CWAS@50: Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the conference participants and the institutions whose financial and administrative support allowed us to arrange many of the conference’s constitutive events and expand participation. We are especially grateful to: 

  • John Fage’s wife and family, and particularly Mr. Michael Fage for joining us at the Fage Lecture.
  • The African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK), whose 50th anniversary also falls in 2013, for generously sponsoring the first Fage Lecture.
  • The ASAUK, in cooperation with the British Academy and the Journal of Southern African Studies, for sponsoring the graduate writing workshop that preceded the start of the conference.
  • The College of Arts and Law (University of Birmingham) for its financial and organisational support to the entire event.
  • The Transatlantic Collaboration Fund (University of Birmingham), thanks to which we were able to arrange the visit of graduate students and faculty members from three Greater Chicago-area universities who contributed to the first Plenary Roundtable on international cooperation and the production of knowledge on Africa and African societies. 
  • The European Research Council for supporting the participation of representatives of Nigeria’s Osun State University and the University of Ibadan, as part of the project ‘Knowing Each Other: Everyday Religious Encounters, Social Identities and Tolerance in Southwest Nigeria’ (coordinated by Dr Insa Nolte).
  • The British Academy for supporting the participation of representatives of the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) and the University of Ghana at Legon, as part of the International Partnership and Mobility Grant ‘Beyond the National Archives: Innovation and Interdisciplinarity in Researching Ghana’s Past’, coordinated by Dr. Kate Skinner.
  • The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a Partnership Grant that allowed us to invite graduate students from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the University of Ibadan and Osun State University (Nigeria), the University of Ghana at Legon (Ghana), and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal).
  • The staff of the Research and Cultural Collections Department (University of Birmingham), and in particular Ms. Anna McCaskie, for arranging display cases of publications by CWAS staff, organizing screenings, and giving talks on the Danford Collection.
  • Brazilian Africanist Daniela Moreau for displaying her collection of 1,000 images selected from those produced by the French photographer Edmond Fortier on aspects of life in Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Nigeria from ca. 1900 to ca. 1923.
  • Staff from the Cadbury Research Collection for offering guided tours and talks on the Collection to conference participants.
  • The writers and poets of the final ‘Readings on Africa’ Plenary, and particularly Dr. Ian Dieffenthaller for giving CWAS’s anniversary conference a marvellous gift: a poem of its own.


Spider Journey

For CWAS@50

Yet another conference
hanging by a shoestring
hoisted and recorded
by the economic historian.

So here's Anansi plan -
to cut it from its gibbet
give it air, and cash
and make a dash for freedom...

Nansi give thanks to the Rossis
and Kerrs, solicit-ers of great potential;
set your spider free on this crossing
two leg in each road and bossing construction

of this new enterprise - doh be surprise
we going back to Mr Fage on the previous page
and sending him to Babel
50 years of text and re-context

to see if we are able now to mash
this root of words into food for thought
Anansi food... and food for soul...
Come. Join Anansi on this new patrol.

ID 6 . IX . 13

by Ian Dieffenthaller