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September 22, 2016

Workshop Examines African Environments and their Populations

On April 23, Dr. Meredith McKittrick and Dr. Kathryn de Luna hosted “African Environments and their Populations,” a one-day workshop featuring the works of scholars based in Washington, D.C., and Africa.

The workshop, supported by a Global Futures Research Grant and funds from the African History Workshop of the Georgetown Institute for Global History, addressed the study of African environments from a humanistic perspective. It facilitated discussions centered on climate history, wildlife sustainability, non-human populations, and ideologies of environmental exploitation and development within the region. Throughout the workshop’s series of three panels, scholars offered an array of presentations, including “Tapping Ghanaians: Kwame Nkrumah’s Rubber Scheme, 1957 to ‘68” and “Women Prefer Elephant, Men Gorilla: Tasting the Anthropocene in the Congo River Basin.” The event drew a large audience, comprising faculty and graduate students from universities across the mid-Atlantic, as well as other researchers and experts on climate issues in Africa. 

Participants intend to publish commentary presented at the workshop in the South African Historical Journal in order to ensure that conversations that take place at Georgetown also become part of the academic dialogue on the continent. Additional information about the workshop can be found here

At Georgetown, McKittrick is an associate professor in the Department of History and the director of the M.A. in Global, International, and Comparative History, and de Luna is an assistant professor, also in the Department of History, and director of the Georgetown Institute of Global History. Collectively, their research explores several African nations including Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, southern Angola, the northern zones of Zimbabwe, and the southern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.