Initiatives of the AFI

African Feminist Dialogues

  • Each month, the AFI hosts a feminist dialogue on a key issue that is affecting the African feminist community. Anyone who is a member of our listserv can participate in these moderated conversations using a phone or computer.  Topics vary from month to month, but usually stem from discussions that emerge on our listserv. Feminist Dialogues are recorded and uploaded to the Archives tab of this website. To join the listserv and receive information on future Feminist Dialogues, please contact Alicia Decker at

African Feminist Lecture Series

  • The African Feminist Lecture Series highlights the work of scholars and activists who are addressing and/or engaging with African feminisms in various ways. The series features lectures, panel discussions, and film screenings. Our goal is to bring critical African feminist ideas, expressions, movements, and histories to a much broader audience. We have recorded some of these lectures and will be uploading them to the Archives tab of this website.

Mentoring Program

  • The AFI Mentoring program fosters international and intergenerational conversations to support our member's professional and personal growth. Every May and November, we partner students, junior scholars, and other early-career professionals who are AFI members with more senior colleagues for a 6-month mentorship. Mentors and mentees commit to checking-in monthly to advise on a project of the mentee's choosing. A suggested topic and reading are sent each month (e.g. work-life balance; publication pipelines; applying for jobs), but mentors and mentees are encouraged to find their own rhythm and priorities for the conversations! At the end of the six months, some of our mentoring pairs choose to continue working together, while others choose to continue in the program with new partners to grow their support community. To sign up, or for more information, please contact Dr. Abigail E. Celis at abigail.celis@UMONTREAL.CA.

Fellowships and Grants 

  • The AFI awards seed grants of up to $2,500 to support the professional development of doctoral students and faculty members (tenure-track, teaching faculty, and tenured) who are engaged in research projects that advance knowledge about African Feminisms. These awards can be used to support research, as well as relevant travel, and are processed as a reimbursement for approved expenses. Joint proposals are welcome, although at least one applicant must have an appointment within the College of the Liberal Arts. 

Teaching African Feminisms

  • In an effort to expose new generations of students to the richness and diversity that is African feminisms, we have developed three new academic courses. These include two graduate courses: (1) African Feminisms and (2) Gender and Islam in Africa, and one undergraduate course: Women, Gender, and Feminisms in Africa. We expect to develop additional courses in the near future. Our long-term goal is to create a dual-title Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies.

International Conferences and Workshops

  • The AFI has organized four international meetings thus far: (1) Human Rights and Subjectivity (March 2016, Penn State), (2) African Feminisms Around the World (September 2016, Penn State), (3) African Muslim Feminisms (May 2017, Morocco), and (4) African Feminist Histories (April 2019, Penn State). We will host our next international workshop in September 2019 at the Bellagio Center (Lake Como, Italy) on the state of Women's and Gender Studies in Africa. Please check back for additional details.

Feminist Residency at Penn State

  • As part of our mission to create productive and equitable partnerships with African feminist scholars and activists, we created a Feminist Residency at Penn State. Although “Feminists in Residence” spend most of their time working on scholarly or creative projects, they also have opportunities to network with members of the larger Penn State community, through either classroom visits, guest lectures, or one-on-one meetings. Past residents include Dr. Mary Hames (University of the Western Cape, September 2016), Dr. Zimitri Erasmus (Wits University, April 2018), and Sanja Nivesjo (Stockholm University, August-December 2018). Please check back for additional details on future residencies as they become available.
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