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Call for Applications: NEH Summer Institute: “Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities"

Thursday, February 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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The Indiana University (Bloomington) Institute for Advanced Study will host the 2016 NEH Summer Institute, "Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities" for college and university teachers.* This three-week institute, held in Bloomington and New Orleans, explores contemporary urban culture and arts in African and African diaspora cities--Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince. These cities share African roots but are distinctive because of the unique paths that subsequently shaped them: landscapes and histories; multiple languages; waves of immigrants who brought and continue to bring their labor, culture and creativity; and the sometimes tragic events, both “natural” (hurricanes and earthquakes) and man-made (legacies of colonialism and slavery, political violence, and negligence), that these cities have undergone.

The goal of this institute is to examine how art engages the political and social hierarchies embedded in these cities and often recasts marginal or precarious lives into lives that exceed their constraining structures. Through in-depth case studies of each of these cities and their arts and an immersive experience in New Orleans, the institute's goal is to help participants grasp, both intellectually and viscerally, the intricate workings of urban spaces in Africa and its Atlantic diaspora. By examining music, literature, visual arts, festivals, and films, participants will learn, through the unique lens of individual artists, how urban identities are recast in each city, particularly in the face of historical and contemporary catastrophe. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

*Please note: although the program is developed for faculty members, we will accept up to three graduate students

Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

Notification Date: March 31, 2016

Dates: July 6-26 (3 weeks, inclusive)

Faculty: Eileen Julien and James Ogude, Project Directors

              Additional faculty: Akin Adesokan, Grace Musila, Oana Panaïté

Location: Indiana University Bloomington, with a long weekend in New Orleans (bus transportation and dorm accommodations provided for New Orleans excursion)

Stipend: $2,700

Eligibility: Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes at

Questions? Contact Special Projects Assistant Kelley Totten at or (812) 855-8228



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