On behalf of the Africanist faculty group that brings together faculty members from different departments across Denison University campus with scholarly and teaching interests in African Studies1, Dr. Yvonne-Marie Mokam, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Modern Languages Department and a member of the Black Studies Committee, organized a visit and events featuring Dr. Ambroise Kom. Dr. Kom is the co-founder of University of the Mountains, one of the most promising private universities in Cameroon. Dr. Mokam has served on the Black Studies Committee since her arrival at Denison in 2013. Receiving her training in Cameroon, France, and the United States prepared Dr. Mokam for her current teaching and research postcolonial theory and criticism. She organized these events featuring Dr. Ambroise Kom, so that Denison could learn from a renowned thought leader from Cameroon, and one of her mentors.
Dr. Kom started teaching in the US in 1972 at Brown University, and has also held a position at the College of the Holy Cross. His field of expertise is in comparative literatures of Africa and its Caribbean and North American diasporas. Dr. Kom presented a public talk on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 4pm on the “Challenges of Education in Postcolonial Africa” sponsored by the Foresman Fund, the Department of Modern Languages, and the Lisska Center. The talk described the history of both precolonial and colonial education systems in Africa as well as the current state of higher education in postcolonial African states.
Dr. Kom also led an open forum and roundtable discussion on Friday, Nov. 3 at 2:00 pm on “What do African Studies bring to the Liberal Arts?” co-sponsored by the Foresman Fund, the Department of Modern Languages, the Denison Africanist Faculty Group and the Lisska Center. The roundtable, moderated by Dr. Joanna Tague (History and Black Studies) included another member of the Black Studies Committee–Dr. Omedi Ochieng (Communication) as the third speaker in this trilogy of presenters on African Studies. In this photo, Dr. Mokam raises a question for students and faculty during the dialogue portion of the event.
1African Studies is broadly conceived as the study of African people both on the continent of Africa and abroad, and the place of Africa in the global context, historically as well as contemporaneously. Members of the Africanist faculty group at Denison University are Dosinda Alvite, Susan Diduk, Fareeda Griffith, Diana Mafe, Yvonne-Marie Mokam, Omedi Ochieng, and Joanna Tague