The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is an international research center at the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra. MIASA is committed to reducing global asymmetries in the production of knowledge and aims to facilitate stronger cooperation among and between researchers in both Anglo- and Francophone Africa. The central goal of MIASA is to enhance the visibility of scientific research conducted by researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa who are working in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
Call for Applications
Two German- West African Tandem Fellowships (Junior/Senior) for 3-5 months each at the University of Ghana for the Academic Year 2020/21, Application deadline: September 30, 2019, 24 h CET
Ten Individual Fellowships (Junior/Senior) for 3-5 months at the University of Ghana for the Academic Year 2020/21, Application deadline: September 30, 2019, 24 h CET
4-month Interdisciplinary Fellow Group (Junior/Senior) at the University of Ghana in the period from mid-January to June 2021, Application deadline: September 30, 2019, 24 h CET
MIASA hosts Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFGs). The groups will convene for a period of four months, each group consisting of 8 to12 scholars who will collaborate on a pertinent and innovative research question linked to the Sustainable Governance topic:
- Fellow Group 1: Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement (February to May 2019; convenor: Franzisca Zanker und Stefan Rother) #MIASAmigration
- Fellow Group 2: Parliaments and Democracy in Africa (September to December 2019)
Guest at ABI: Doctoral students from the SDG Graduate Schools ‘Performing Sustainability’ presented their research
On 17th July, participants of the DAAD-funded SDG Graduate School 'Performing Sustainability - Cultures and Development in West-Africa' were guests at the ABI. During the two-day workshop, which also took place at Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), the doctoral students presented their research on migration, land conflicts and resistance to the Boko Haram group, located in Ghana and Nigeria, and discussed it together with the scientists of the ABI. The ABI doctoral students Michael Cobb and Erik Plänitz also presented their doctoral projects. The interdisciplinary Research Training Group is led by three universities: Maiduguri (Nigeria), Cape Coast (Ghana) and Hildesheim (Germany). All of the research projects in the program focus on innovative research that combines approaches from performance, art, and culture. The research results should contribute to sustainable development in the participating countries, as agreed in the goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG) of the United Nations (UN). A special focus is therefore placed on questions of peace and conflict resolution.
Guest at ABI: Representative of STIAS South Africa
On Monday, 1 July 2019, the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute (ABI) welcomed visiting scholars from South Africa, namely the Director of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Professor Edward K. Kirumira, and his colleague Christoff Pauw, Programme Manager at STIAS. Further visitors were the MIASA Director of Ghana, Professor Abena D. Oduro, and the MIASA Director of Germany, Professor Gordon Crawford (UK). Together with colleagues from the ABI, they discussed future options for cooperation between STIAS and MIASA. In the evening, the Rector of the University of Freiburg, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, welcomed our guests in Freiburg’s city center.
MIASA Reception at ECAS8 on June 12, 2019
On the occasion of the 8th European Conference on African Studies in Edinburgh, MIASA held a small reception at the University of Edinburgh on June 12, 2019. The MIASA Director Germany, Prof. Gordon Crawford, and the President of the Executive Council, Prof. Andreas Mehler, introduced MIASA and gave an update on MIASA’s activities in its first year. Among those in attendance were members of the Academic Advisory Board, Prof. Paul Nugent, Prof. Andreas Eckert, Prof. Birgit Meyer, as well as members of the consortium, Prof. Mamadou Diawara (Frankfurt), Dr. Stefan Schmid (Frankfurt), Dr. Susann Baller (DHIP), and Dr. Charlotte Heyl (GIGA). Furthermore, some members of MIASA’s first Interdisciplinary Fellow Group came together at this event with future fellows, fellowship applicants as well as scholars interested in MIASA fellowships. The reception and participation at ECAS was utilized to further disseminate the calls for fellowship applications at MIASA.
International workshop: Issues of Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums
- 13-14 December 2018
- Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
- The participants of the workshop published the following statement
The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) has held its inaugural conference at the University of Ghana. Under the theme “Africa’s Institutions for Sustainable Governance” the event spanned between Thursday, 27th and Friday, 28th of September, 2018. The conference was attended by over 300 scholars from universities in Germany and across Africa. Participants were enlightened on topics in the areas of Gender, Democracy, Sustainable Energy, Agriculture, Elections and Peace during keynote addresses and plenary sessions.
The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is an international research center at the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra. The Institute facilitates the cooperation of African scientists with their international peers beyond disciplinary and geographical boundaries. In order to achieve this goal, MIASA is awarding scholarships to junior and more established researchers. These researchers will work during a pre-project phase from 2018 till 2020 on the central topic Sustainable Governance. Governance shall be defined as the interplay of informal and formal rules that guide public affairs and are embedded into the social, material and cultural practices of daily life. The three research foci of MIASA, under the heading of Sustainable Governance, are: transformation towards sustainability, sustainable Conflict Management, and sustainable democracy.
MIASA is committed to reducing global asymmetries in the production of knowledge and aims to facilitate stronger cooperation among and between researchers in both Anglo- and Francophone Africa. The central goal of MIASA is to enhance the visibility of scientific research conducted by researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa who are working in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) and additional consortium partners in Germany
- Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies – FRIAS;
- Point Sud, Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies,Goethe-Universität Frankfurt;
- German Historical Institute Paris/Max-Weber-Foundation;
- Institute of African Affairs, German Institute of Global and Areas Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg;
- Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz,
- Senegal (Centre de Recherches sur les Politiques Sociales - CREPOS) and
- Ghana (among others the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre - KAIPTC and the Ghana Center for Democratic Development - CDD-Ghana)
are involved in the establishment of the research center. The Centre de Recherches sur les Politiques Sociales in Dakar/Senegal serves a second site of MIASA.
Andreas Mehler (Director of the ABI) is the Chair of the Executive Council of MIASA and the initiator of the project. Based upon its academic and country specific expertise, the ABI is working with MIASA in developing and designing its research program, as well as in identifying multiples actors in academia and society that will be active in the MIASA network. Furthermore the ABI will be hosting delegations from Africa within the framework of MIASA.
The African-European exchange of knowledge through MIASA –the 4th Maria Sibylla Merian Centre for Advanced Studies – is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research/ Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF). The costs for staff, administration and operating costs will be incurred by the University of Ghana.
Additional information on MIASA can be found here: https://www.ug.edu.gh/mias-africa/
Parallel to MIASA, an Africa Centre for Transregional Research is currently being established at the University of Freiburg. The centre hosts African researchers who set their research agenda out of their own interest and thus in a thematically open manner. In line with the new approach of reciprocal research, their data collection takes place in Europe in order to investigate global and transregional phenomena and challenges from an African perspective. The research results are presented in Europe and published open access in order to counteract an exclusive, often Eurocentric production and dissemination of knowledge. In this context, the Africa Centre is planning several internationally visible symposia and smaller specialised events in Freiburg and Stuttgart in the coming years.
In addition, the Africa Centre aims to establish a differentiated image of African reality in the general public, the Freiburg City Society and beyond, for example within the framework of the Freiburg Africa Talks, which started in June 2019 in cooperation with the Colloquium Politicum and the Africa Film Series in cooperation with the academic film club.
Annika Hampel is the contact person for the to be established Africa Centre for Transregional Research.