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QF partners Northwestern, GU-Q introduce new minor programme

QF partners Northwestern, GU-Q 
introduce new minor programme

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
Doha
Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and Northwestern University in Qatar (NUQ) have announced the launch of a new joint minor programme in Africana Studies. The programme will provide a critical understanding of African identities and struggles both within and outside of the African continent. According to Northwestern Qatar Dean Marwan M. Kraidy, the program, which will include interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teaching and research in the histories, cultures, economies, politics, and languages and cultural practices of Africans in Africa, will “prepare students in the program with an understanding and interdisciplinary perspective of the Africana experience while faculty – through their research – will contribute to the scholarship on African communities and cultures.”
GU-Q Dean Ahmad Dallal praised both universities’ collaborative spirit, saying, “the breadth and depth of this minor and related research are made possible by the collaborative efforts of professors who identified a need and creatively leveraged the Education City multiversity ecosystem to craft a program that serves the community of learners and the nation as a whole. Everyone benefits from our combined efforts.”
The committee will be co-chaired by Northwestern Qatar professor Zachary Wright and GU-Q professor Phoebe Musandu, as well as Africana Studies faculty Rogaia Abusharaf (GU-Q), Akintunde Akinade (GU-Q), and James Hodapp (Northwestern Qatar). In addition to supervising students’ completion of six Africana Studies courses, the committee will work with students to develop senior capstone projects such as portfolio presentations, research projects, or multimedia creations.
African history scholar Musandu explains the significance of Africana Studies by stating, “Africa is the cradle from which humans originated. It has a long history and is home to thousands of languages and cultures. It is also a resource-rich continent with 1.2 billion people spread across 54 countries who are constantly changing how they engage with the rest of the world. We hope that by offering this new Africana Studies minor, students will be able to understand some of these dynamics and contribute to the university’s goal of providing as comprehensive an education in international affairs as possible.”
African diasporic studies will be included in the program, whether in an American, European, or Asian context, as a welcome reminder that debates about African identity have frequently taken place in settings where Africans are in the minority. North Africa will be studied alongside Sub-Saharan Africa and the African diaspora.
Wright, who teaches African and Middle Eastern history courses at Northwestern Qatar, says the new minor is intended to prepare students to be knowledgeable about and engaged in diverse scholarly debates on Africana studies.
“Perspectives from the Global North – whether the history of European colonial occupation or black Atlantic diasporic studies – have historically dominated African studies and scholarship,” noted Wright. The Africana Studies minor is the most recent joint program offered by Northwestern Qatar and GU-Q. The two schools also collaborate on a media and politics program, which is available as a minor at Northwestern Qatar and a certificate at GU-Q.

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