Africana Studies Blog

Posted on May 7th, 2022 by Les Etienne

As of May 1, 2022, in what Program Director Dr. Les Etienne calls “a defining moment in the program’s evolution,” the Journal of Africana Gender Studies (JAGS) and the Gender and Africa and the African Diaspora (GAAD) International Conferences—formerly Women in Africa and the African Diaspora (WAAD)—will have a permanent home in the IUPUI Africana Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts. Dr. Obioma Nnaemeka, Chancellor’s Professor of French, Africana Studies and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies is the Editor-in-Chief of GAAD and the Convener of  the WAAD. According to Dr. Nnaemeka, “I conceived these two initiatives many years ago as both my scholarship and activism led me to strongly believe in the necessity for both initiatives. After figuring out and shaping the contours of the two initiatives, I remain convinced that both will blossom and thrive if planted in the IUPUI Africana Studies Program under the able leadership of  Dr. Etienne and with the collaboration of my exceptional colleagues in Africana Studies.” Dr. Nnaemeka has brought on as Associate Editor of GAAD Dr. Jennifer Thorington Springer, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Professor of English and Africana Studies. This year, a double special issue of the journal on Islamic Feminisms will be published. The first WAAD international conference was held in 1992 in a small university town (Nsukka) in Nigeria; the 1998 WAAD was held on the IUPUI campus and attracted over 600 participants from 48 countries. The 2009 WAAD, held in Abuja, Nigeria, was hugely successful thanks to Dr. Ronda Henry and the Olaniyan Scholars Program.  The 2023 GAAD conference with Dr. Nnaemeka as the Convener will be held in Barbados. The conference website is set to go live in September.