December 1, 2016 Symposium on Contemporary African Immigrants in the United States, Dec. 15

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Contemporary African immigration and African communities in the United States will be the focus of a half-day symposium at the Library of Congress.

“Contemporary African Immigrants in the United States” will be hosted by Toyin Falola, the John W. Kluge Center Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South at the Library of Congress.  The symposium will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15 in room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

Participating scholars include:

•           Toyin Falola, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas, Austin

•           Abdul Karim Bangura, researcher-in-residence of Abrahamic Connections and Islamic Peace Studies at the Center for Global Peace in the School of International Service at American University and the director of The African Institution, both in Washington, D.C.

•           Nemata Blyden, associate professor of history and international affairs and interim director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at George Washington University

•           Kenneth Harrow, distinguished professor of English, African literature and cinema at Michigan State University

•           Dr. Moses Ochonu, professor of history at Vanderbilt University

Falola is the author of numerous books, including “The African Diaspora: Slavery, Migration and Globalization,” “Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies,” “The Power of African Cultures,” and “Nationalism and African Intellectuals.”  As a series editor, he manages leading monograph series for the following publishers: Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, Cambria Press, Carolina Academic Press, the University of Rochester Press, and the Cambridge University Press.  He also serves on the board of more than 20 journals on African Studies.  He was the vice-president of the International Scientific Committee, UNESCO Slave Route Project.  Falola is now the president of the Pan-African University Press Consortium. He currently serves on the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

While at the Library of Congress, Falola has spent the past four months researching a project titled “African Immigrant Communities in the United States.”  Falola seeks to document and to structure into a discernible narrative framework the stories and experiences of African intellectual and professional migrants to North America and Europe in what’s being called “the moment of brain drain.” He also wants to produce both a collection of stories of migration, its challenges, and its triumphs, and an archive of immigrant experiences for scholars and policymakers.

The Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South is a distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library, appointed by the Librarian of Congress. Using research facilities and services at the Library, the scholar is expected to explore the history of the regions of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and the islands of the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand, using the immense foreign-language collections of the Library of Congress.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information, visit

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PR 16-206
ISSN 0731-3527