AFIAfrican Feminist Initiative



The AFI Mentoring program fosters international and intergenerational conversations to support our member’s professional and personal growth. Twice every year, we partner students, junior scholars, and other early-career professionals who are AFI members with more senior colleagues for a 6-month mentorship. Mentorship and solidarity are key at any career stage, and mentors learn from their mentee’s expertise and experience as well; we encourage all AFI members to apply!

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.

Conversations include life, work, joys, and challenges of navigating your career and thinking and practicing African feminism in or outside of the academic profession. For more information, please contact Dr. Abigail Celis.

About Dr. Abigail Celis

Abigail Celis

2018. PhD Romance Languages and Literatures. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA
2008. BA (magna cum laude) Romance Languages. Carleton College, Northfield, USA

Abigail E. Celis is an assistant professor in decolonial Art History and Museum Studies at the Université de Montréal. Informed by feminist and diaspora studies, her research focuses on the artistic and literary production of Afro-descendants and postcolonial migrants in France, as well as the politics of cultural institutions such as museums and arts festivals. Her current project, Unsettled Bodies, examines the questions of being, belonging, and embodiment staged in Francophone African and Afro-diasporic artistic and literary production. Her published work appears in TTR: Traduction, Terminologie, Rédaction; Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black International; and African Arts, with forthcoming work at French Studies and other venues. Her scholarly contributions include curatorial work and creative collaborations with practicing artists, notably in The Catalogue of Speculative Translations. Dr. Celis was the Marian Trygve Freed Early Career Professor in French and Francophone Studies and Assistant Professor in African Studies at Penn State University from 2019-2021. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, and the Lurcy Foundation for her research. In 2022, she received the 11th Annual Lawrence R. Schehr Memorial Awardfor the best conference paper submitted by a junior scholar in the field of contemporary French and Francophone civilization and cultural studies.

About Oyebanke Wura Oyelaja (Kayode)

Oyebanke Wura Oyelaja (Kayode)

Oyebanke Wura Oyelaja (Kayode) is a graduate student of Gender Studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she is a researcher with Women’s Research and Documentation Centre (WORDOC) with a focus on Gender Development and Education. Oyebanke volunteers with the Center for Applied Ethics and Political Communication in Africa (CAEPOCOM Africa). She is currently researching issues of single father parenting in Nigeria.