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 Benue State University, Makurdi

Benue State University selected to host Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow

Collaborative Project will focus on Arts Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to Support Projects at Universities across Africa Makurdi, November 2020, Benue State University, Makurdi, NIGERIA was selected by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) to host an African Diaspora scholar from [the United States] to work with, on a collaborative project on Curriculum Co-development, Graduate Students Teaching/Mentoring, and Collaborative Research. Prof. Tor Joe Iorapuu will lead the Project, together with Prof. Bridget A. TEBOH, a Fellow from The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA.

PROJECT TITLE IS: Strengthening Curriculum in History and Co-Developing New Courses for Diasporan and Heritage Studies; Graduate Teaching/Mentoring.

The Scholar Prof. Teboh will spend 81 days this summer 2021 to strengthen existing curriculum and co-develop new courses for History Department; as well as facilitate the setting up of a credible Diasporan and Heritage Studies Center, thereby inserting the Diasporan and Heritage Studies discipline in the BSU Makurdi curricular. The key goals of the project include: Mentoring both Students and Faculty Members; Foster Academic Collaboration‚ and Organization of Capacity Building Workshops.

The Diasporan and Heritage Studies is an expanding academic field dealing with dispersed ethnic populations, regarded as diaspora peoples. It connotes the idea of a forced or (in)voluntary settlement due to coercion, expulsion, slavery, racism, war, or ethnic conflicts especially nationalist conflicts. This is linked up with heritage studies that will help to establish the cultural roots of the persons/groups so studied. The Department already has an archival and Documentation Centre which is still undergoing development. Prof. Teboh’s expertise and connections with the African Diaspora and Black Studies in the USA could be deployed to assist the Department in the provision of original documents on Diasporan & Heritage studies.

We cannot overemphasize the impact of this project. For both BSU and UMASSD, this collaborative project represents a new and exciting formal partnership that will be mutually beneficial to both campuses. The establishment of a Diaspora and Heritage programme will revamp linkages between Africa and its Diasporas. The project will also open new doors, forming lasting linkages that will promote future international collaborations, and thus positioning BSU and Nigeria as a welcoming environment. Facilitate the accreditation of our programmes by the National Universities Commission, NUC. Facilitate research collaboration between the CADFP visiting Fellow, her colleagues at UMassD, and faculty members of BSU.

The Benue State University, Makurdi, NIGERIA project is one of 74 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate training and mentoring activities in the coming months.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its eighth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. It is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council. A total of (471) 527 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013.

Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.