The Harvard Committee on African Studies has awarded 13 research grants for Harvard undergraduates and graduate students to travel to sub-Saharan Africa during the summer of 2007. The undergraduates are juniors who will be doing research for their senior honors theses. The graduate students will be conducting research for their doctoral dissertations.
Graduate student grants are funded by the Office of the Provost and by endowments established by Jennifer Oppenheimer ’89, J.D. ’93, and the White Flower Family Foundation, which was started by J. Christopher Flowers ’79 and his wife, Mary H. White.
The Committee on African Studies has awarded summer research grants since 1984. More information on the grants and recipients for past years is available athttp://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cafrica/grants.shtml/.
The recipients of the senior thesis research grants for travel to Africa follow:
Khary O. Francis ’08, a social studies concentrator, will investigate the influence of mode of instruction in teacher training on the understanding of “Curriculum 2005” in South Africa.
Milo M. Harman ’08, a history concentrator, will travel to Ethiopia to study the Falash Mura.
Alexandra M. Jacob ‘08, a history concentrator, will conduct research in Senegal on the Rassemblement Démocratique African and its role in West African decolonization.
Ofole U. Mgbako ‘08, a history and literature concentrator, plans to travel to Nigeria to research the political development of Wole Soyinka’s life and literature from 1967 to 1969.
Ashley L. Shuyler ‘07-08, a social studies concentrator, will study the national exam culture in Tanzania.
Susannah P. Wilson ’08, a history of art and architecture concentrator, plans to study the cultural, economic, and medicinal significance of beads, in particular powder-glass beads, in Ghana.
The recipients of the doctoral dissertation research grants for travel to Africa are:
Adia Benton (anthropology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences [GSAS]) will do archival research in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to historicize ethnographic data on marriage and sexuality as part of a dissertation on the prevalence of HIV in that country. She is a recipient of a Jennifer Oppenheimer Grant in African Studies.
Jean Biem (Romance languages and literatures, GSAS) will travel to Cameroon to examine aspects of women’s agency in African culture and politics through an understanding of the anthropological, historical, social, and political context of the works of novelist Werewere Liking. Biem is a recipient of a White Flowers Family African Studies Grant.
Sharon Kivenko (social anthropology, GSAS) will study the transnational flows of Bamana dance forms through a study of itinerant African artists’ performance practices in Mali.
Timothy Mah (population and international health, School of Public Health) will conduct a quantitative survey and analysis of predictors and risks associated with concurrent sexual partners for HIV prevention in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. He is a recipient of a Jennifer Oppenheimer Grant in African Studies.
Carla D. Martin (African and African American studies [anthropology], GSAS) will travel to Cape Verde to study connections between members of the Cape Verdean diaspora in the United States and Cape Verdeans, with a focus on popular music and sociolinguistic practices of youth.
Benjamin Piper (administration, planning and social policy, Graduate School of Education [GSE]) will conduct a mixed-methods study of the impact of in-service education and training on achievement in Ethiopia. He is a recipient of a Jennifer Oppenheimer Grant in African Studies.
Allistair M. Witten (administration, planning, and social policy, GSE), will study the role of schools in confronting the challenges of HIV/AIDS in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. He is a recipient of a White Flowers Family African Studies Grant.