Sunday, June 28, 2015

Asian Studies in Africa Conference

On September 24-26 I will be attending the inaugural conference of the Association of Asian Studies in Africa which will take place at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) on the campus of the University of Ghana. LECIAD is just a short walk from my office at the History Department. The conference has scheduled over 80 panels and round tables on various aspects of Asian and African history and their intersection. I organized a panel on Ethnic Germans in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. I will be giving a paper on ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan from 1882 when they first settled the region until 1992 when massive emigration started to seriously reduce their numerical presence in the wake of the break up of the USSR.  The other two presenters on the panel are Eric Schmaltz and Brent Mai from the US. Eric Schmaltz of Northwestern Oklahoma State University will be giving a paper on the aborted attempt to create a German autonomous oblast in Kazakhstan in the late 1970s. Brent Mai from Concordia University in Portland Oregon will present a paper on Volga German settlements in Siberia. The panel will be chaired by my colleague Nana Yaw B. Sapong. The study of Asia including Central Asia is a growing scholarly field in Africa and this is the first large conference in Africa to deal with the subject. I will have more to report on the conference later.

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