Building a Faculty Network on Africa

New faculty initiative provides funding to support scholarship related to Africa

Sanford Professor Marc Jeuland will bring researchers and students together to discuss water, health and climate change in Africa.
Sanford Professor Marc Jeuland will bring researchers and students together to discuss water, health and climate change in Africa.

Duke has awarded more than $60,000 to support 10 faculty projects related to Africa.  The awards, ranging between $500 and $8,000, support faculty activities taking place on campus in Durham. 

The funding is part of an Africa initiative launched in January to identify and create a network of Duke faculty members, staff and students with scholarly interests related to Africa.  The initiative, led by Charles Piot, professor of cultural anthropology and African and African-American studies, and John Bartlett, professor of medicine, aims to enhance sharing of knowledge and resources, build connections between Duke programs and schools, and explore new funding opportunities to support work related to Africa.

"There is a great deal of interest in Africa on campus," said Provost Peter Lange, whose office provided the funding for the awards.  "We were delighted by the breadth of the proposals we received, and pleased to provide awards to projects representing many disciplines and schools, from the humanities and natural sciences, to global health, history, and music," Lange continued. 

Among the award recipients are Marc Jeuland, assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, and a team led by Erika Weinthal of the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Jeuland will use the funds to support a two-part workshop convening researchers and students from Duke and other institutions to focus on water, health and climate change.  The workshops will explore issues of water, sanitation and health, and food security and climate change in Africa. 

Weinthal received funding for a project with colleagues Giovanna Merli of the Sanford School of Public Policy and Claudia Koonz of History to host a workshop on migration between China and Africa. With a focus on understanding the Chinese experience and business model in Africa, the workshop will provide a micro-level perspective of the experiences of Chinese and African migrants and communities.


Complete List of Funded Projects and Award Recipients:

2012 meeting of the Midwest Group on African Political Economy (MGAPE)

Marc Bellemare, Assistant Professor, Economics, Sanford School of Public Policy


Meeting of historians and social scientists from Duke and the University of Witswatersrand to discuss the similarities and differences between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the civil rights movement in America

William (Bill) Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History, Emeritus


Mini-conference: Food Security for South Sudan

  • Mary Eubanks, Professor, Department of Biology
  • Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School
  • Nyuol Tong, third year undergraduate majoring in philosophy and literature, founder of the nonprofit organization Sudan Education for Liberty Foundation (SELF)
  • Norman Wirzba, Research Professor of Theology, Ecology and Rural Life, Duke Divinity School


Two-part workshop on water, health and climate change

Marc Jeuland, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy


Working group on African music

Louise Meinjtes, Associate Professor of Music


"Health Communication across Cultures: Some Perspectives from South Africa," visit and lecture by Professor Claire Penn

Neil Prose, Professor, Dermatology, School of Medicine


Visualizing the Environment for Conservation

Anne Pusey, Professor, Evolutionary Anthropology


Population, Health, and Environment in Africa: Coordinating Strategies

David Toole, Associate Dean for Global Health Initiatives, Duke Divinity School


Workshop on Migration between China and Africa  

  • Erika Weinthal, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy
  • Giovanna Merli, Associate Professor of Public Policy Studies
  • Claudia Koonz, Professor of History


December 2012 Conference: Rights and Resources in Madagascar

  • Anne Yoder, Professor, Department of Biology
  • Charlie Welch, Conservation Coordinator, The Duke Lemur Center
  • Margaret (Lou) Brown, Manager, Education & Outreach for the Kenan Institute for Ethics