Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities

Accra - Lagos - Nairobi - New Orleans - Port au Prince

NEH Summer Institute for college and university teachers

Program Description

Our 2016 NEH Summer Institute, "Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities" explores contemporary urban culture and arts in African and African diaspora cities--Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince. These cities share African roots but are distinctive because of the unique paths that subsequently shaped them: landscapes and histories; multiple languages; waves of immigrants who brought and continue to bring their labor, culture and creativity; and the sometimes tragic events, both “natural” (hurricanes and earthquakes) and man-made (legacies of colonialism and slavery, political violence, and negligence), that these cities have undergone. Our goal is to examine how art engages the political and social hierarchies embedded in these cities and often recasts marginal or precarious lives into lives that exceed their constraining structures.

NEH Institute public events flyer

Welcome message from Edward Comentale, Associate Vice Provost for Arts and Humanities

Application Information

Application Deadline:
March 1, 2016

Notification Date: March 31, 2016

Dates: July 6-26 (3 weeks, inclusive)

Faculty: Eileen Julien and James Ogude, Project Directors

Additional faculty: Akin Adesokan, Grace Musila, Oana Panaïté

Location: Indiana University Bloomington, with a long weekend in New Orleans (bus transportation and dorm accommodations provided for New Orleans excursion)

Stipend: $2,700

Eligibility: Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes at

Questions? Contact Associate Director Suzanne Godby Ingalsbe at or (812) 855-1513

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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