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Bryn Mawr College
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Bryn Mawr. PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5042
Fax: 610-526-7479

Africana Studies

The Africana Studies Program brings a global outlook to the study of Africa and its Diasporas. Drawing on analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, education, history, literary studies, political science and sociology, the program focuses on peoples of African descent within the context of increasing globalization and dramatic social, economic and political changes.

To discuss your plan of study, ideas for special projects and summer work, and other aspirations, please contact Professor Alice Lesnick.

To participate, share ideas, resources, announcements with the broader community, please use our online community space on Serendip Studio at :africanastudies or join us on Facebook


François-Xavier Gbré: The Past is a Foreign Country

September 4th–11, 2015

How is a country’s national story told through its architecture? When should the structures of the past be dispensed for the future? Ivorian artist François-Xavier Gbré creates photographs that survey relics of the built environment, from the ruins of colonial-era monuments to the futurist symbols of the cosmopolitan city.

François-Xavier Gbré’s residency is organized in conjunction with the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery exhibition The Past is a Foreign Country, August 28-October 9, 2015 at Haverford College.

Francois-Xavier Gbre

About the Artist

François-Xavier Gbré was born in 1978 in Lille, France. After studying at the École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques in Montpellier, he worked in fashion and design photography in Milan. This experience led him to explore African stories through landscape and architecture. Gbré’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Africa and Europe, including Abroad, Art Twenty One, Lagos, Nigeria; Surfaces and Fragments, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; DAK’ART: The 11th Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal; FLOW, Kyoto City University of Arts Gallery, Japan; We Face Forward: Art from West Africa Today, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, U.K.; Synchronicity II, Tiwani Contemporary, London; and Rencontres de Bamako–The African Biennale of Photography. In September 2015, he will participate in The Lay of the Land, an exhibition on emerging African photographers, at The Walther Collection in New York. Gbré lives and works in Abidjan.





Recently published is Bryn Mawr's Professor of History and Africana Studies Kalala Ngalamulume's new book,  Colonial Pathologies, Environment and Western Medicine in Sant-Louis-du-Senegal, 1867-1920

Focusing on yellow fever, cholera, and plague epidemics as well as on sanitation in the context of urban growth in Saint-Louis-du-Senegal between 1867 and 1920, this book explores how the French colonial and medical authorities responded to the emergence and re-emergence of deadly epidemic diseases and environmental contamination. Official reactions ranged from blaming the Africans and the tropical climate to the imposition of urban residential segregation and strictly enforced furloughs of civil servants and European troops. Drastic and disruptive sanitary measures led to a conflict between the interests of competing conceptions of public health and those of commerce, civil liberties, and popular culture. This book also examines the effort undertaken by the colonizer to make Senegal a healthy colony and Saint-Louis the healthiest port-city/capital through better hygiene, building codes, vector control, and the construction of waterworks and a sewerage system. The author offers insight into the urban processes and daily life in a colonial city during the formative years of the French empire in West Africa.