About us

Media, policy, and academic representations of Africa emphasise poverty, crisis and dependence. 

The point is not to confirm or deny these conditions: they exist for some people in some places.  The point for us, as a research institution, is to ask real questions.

CWAS was founded in 1963 by John Fage, one of the most significant figures committed to the institutionalisation of African Studies in the UK and worldwide.  Key contributors to Africa-focussed research have been based at CWAS as researchers and teachers including A.G. Hopkins, Thomas McCaskie, Paulo Fernando de Moreas Farias, Margaret Peil, Douglas Rimmer, Ken Swindell, Karin Barber and, more briefly, David Henige and Robin Law, Marion Johnson, Finn Fuglestad, Gareth Austin, and Richard Higgott.

Photo of students playing a musical instrument during a workshop
The Africa Hub (AHub) promotes and disseminates research conducted across Colleges and Departments at the University of Birmingham, as well as by invited scholars and international research partners, students and alumni.  Africa is still marginal in school curricula and public culture.  Many of the images associated with African society reproduce stereotypes that say more about the particular perspectives that generate them than about the issues they claim to represent.  AHub is a space for thinking Africa differently.