Photo: Peggy McInerny

Our Story

Things are moving fast in Africa. After two centuries of colonial and post-colonial stagnation, this vast continent is now developing politically and economically at an unprecedented pace.  The human energy, drive, aspirations, and creativity of Africans from Tunisia to the Cape of Good Hope, from the Atlantic Coast to the Indian Ocean, makes it more than ever the continent of hope and opportunity.

Africa is still largely understood in the terms of an all-too familiar narrative of deprivation and corruption. But beyond the vicious circle of human suffering and stereotypes are myriad other stories to be told about the resourcefulness and strength of its inhabitants.

It is thus crucially important that Africa be understood in its full complexity. At UCLA, Africanists in many disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities and the arts, study Africa’s history and politics, tracking the changing trends and the evolving lives of dynamic entrepreneurs, social reformers, writers, and activists who are today shaping the future of their respective nations in the face of momentous global challenges.

UCLA’s African Studies Center is one of the US’s oldest and most distinguished research, teaching, and outreach centers. We continue to build on our existing excellence in research by faculty whose focus runs the gamut from North Africa and the Sahara to Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo, Kenya, and the South Western Indian Ocean. The journal African Arts and the Marcus Garvey Papers are two signature projects that have given our Center enormous visibility over the years. Since its founding, UCLA’s African Studies Center has played a role in making a difference in Africa, from leading the educational reform in the post-colonial phase to leadership of the 1980s anti-Apartheid movement, and today is fully engaged in Africa, from health sciences to the arts to the environment.

Cick here to read about the Center's history

Faculty Advisory Committee

Tendayi Achiume
Professor of Law

Victor Agadjanian
Professor, Sociology

Hannah Appel
Associate Professor

Onyebuchi A. Arah

Ruby Bell-Gam
African Studies Bibliographer

Stephanie Bosch Santana
Assistant Professor

Aomar Boum
Assistant Professor

Judith Carney
Professor Emerita

Darin Christensen
Assistant Professor

Kamari Clarke
Adjunct Professor

Mekonnen Gebremichael
Associate Professor

Shelleen Greene
Associate Professor

Edmond Keller
Professor Emeritus

Yumi Kinoshita
Academic Counselor

Michael Lofchie

Ghislaine Lydon

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan
Professor Emerita

Kevin Njabo
Assistant Adjunct Professor and Africa Director

Erica P. Jones
Curator of African Arts

Jemima Pierre
Associate Professor

Daniel Posner
James S. Coleman Professor

Thomas Smith
Director, Center for Tropical Research; Professor

Paula Tavrow
Adjunct Professor; Director, Bixby Program in Population and Reproductive Health

Dominic Thomas
Professor and Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee

Harold Torrence
MA Chair and ASC Director

Anne W. Rimoin
Professor; Director, UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health

Alden Young
Assistant Professor

African Studies Center

10244 Bunche Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1310
United States

Campus Mail Code: 131003

Tel (310) 825-3686
Fax (310) 206-2250



Harold Torrence
MA Chair and ASC Director


Erica Anjum
Deputy Director

Sheila Breeding
Budget and Program Manager

Leslie Ellen Jones
Executive Editor, African Arts

Wesleigh Gates
Editorial Assistant, African Arts

Yumi Kinoshita
Academic Counselor

Dirsa Deandaru
Graduate Student Assistant