Research on Africa at Uppsala University
Since the 18th century, when students of Professor Carl Linnaeus travelled across the world, Uppsala University has been engaged in research on the African continent.
In order to reconstruct the history and explore future possibilities for African Studies, Uppsala University in early 2011 commissioned a study (Kay Svensson project leader) that was carried out by Simone Noemdoe: Mapping Uppsala University´s Activities on Africa. During 2012, Professor Tekeste Negash went beyond mapping and contextualized the research on Africa carried out at Uppsala University. The survey concentrated on the work produced by the major departments (Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology and Peace and Conflict), and discussed the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of issues and areas, as well as scrutinized the role and responsibility of Universities of World Class, like Uppsala, in mapping out knowledge about the human condition. In the Fall of 2012 Forum for Africa Studies organized a conference on strategies to scale up research Uppsala University's Africa research.
In 2016, Molly Sundberg, Coordinator of Forum for Africa Studies, undertook a new mapping of academic activities pertaining to Africa at Uppsala University. The mapping was based on three main methods of data collection: a) interviews with key Africa scholars at UU; b) an online questionnaire filled out by 137 researchers on current scholarly work on Africa, and; c) a review of doctoral theses produced at UU between the years 2000 and 2016. The report of the mapping is called "Africa at Uppsala University".
These different studes of Africa research at Uppsala University indicate that Forum for Africa Studies continues to play a key role in the construction of a vibrant, lively and productive environment for researchers engaged with Africa from a number of disciplines. By organising small and big events (from weekly, informal research seminars, to public lectures and international symposia), the Forum has consolidated its unique identity and has become one of the landmark of African Studies in our city. Please read our report (in Swedish) here.