Convened by famed Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies, the Achebe Colloquium on Africa annually brings together an international group of scholars, officials from African governments, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and other organizations for two days of intense deliberation and exchange of ideas on the importance of strengthening democracy and peace on the African continent.
The Africana Film Festival, a collaborative project of the Departments of Africana Studies and Modern Culture and Media, features works by new and established filmmakers from Africa and the African Diaspora. The Africana Film Festival hosts filmmakers and scholars who participate in panels and forums covering a wide range of topics related to filmmaking and film analysis. Features, shorts, documentaries, musicals, politically and historically-conscious narratives, ‘arthouse’ and 'mainstream' films as well as films by women, men, established directors and upstarts, from countries within Africa and the African Disapora are included in the Festival.
The C.L.R. James Journal is the official journal of the Caribbean Philosophical Associationand is available online through the Philosophy Documentation Center. With the founding of the C.L.R. James Society in 1989, the Journal served as the primary publishing organ to promote the scholarly engagement with the life and thought of one of the towering figures in Caribbean intellectual history. In 2005, the C.L.R. James Society became a body within the Caribbean Philosophical Association. While continuing to serve as the preeminent journal for the critical exploration of the many dimensions of Jamesian scholarship, the Journal publishes peer-reviewed articles in the area of Caribbean ideas to which James was a major contributor and in the wider field of Africana philosophy. The C.L.R. James Journal is edited by Professor Paget Henry.
One of the unique features of Brown’s Department of Africana Studies department is that it is the home to several world-class writers - Chinua Achebe, Brenda Marie Osbey, and John Edgar Wideman - and one of the most innovative reserach theatres in the nation, Rites and Reason Theatre. The centrality of the arts to intellectual mission and vision of the Department of Africana Studies makes it a premiere venue to convene some of the most engaging and exciting dialogues on the arts and human experience. Conversations in Africana Arts brings together some of the world's leading artists and scholars to reflect on the arts and society, creating an unparalleled intellectual experience for the entire Brown University community.
In October of 2012, the Department of Africana Studies launched the George W. Milford '77 - Ethel Robinson '05 Academy. Named after two pioneering African American graduates of Brown University who went on to distinguished careers in law and education respectively, the Milford-Robinson Academy provides a high quality academic enrichment opportunity for high school students in the city of Providence. Meeting throughout the academic year on select Saturdays in Churchill House, students from Hope High School and The MET enhance their critical thinking skills through a humanities based curriculum built on the key concepts and ideas of Africana Studies. The curriculum is supplemented by performances, colloquia, lectures, and forums at Brown University. Students in the Milford-Robinson Academy have the opportunity to learn from members of the world-class faculty from the Department of Africana Studies and from faculty across Brown University as well as political and civic leaders from the greater Providence community.
In March of 2012, the Department of Africana Studies formally resolved to engage in a wide ranging collaboration with the historic National Black Theatre in Harlem, New York. Recognizing the longstanding artistic and scholarly collaboration between the National Black Theatre and the Department of Africana Studies' Rites and Reason Theatre, the resolution calls for the creation of a series of research, teaching, and public engagement initiatives which advance the mission and goals of both partners. The collaborations will take the form of joint development of new artistic projects, shared performances, faculty lectures, colloquia, and community forums at the National Black Theatre and at Brown University.
In 2013, the Department of Africana Studies in collaboration with the John Hope Settlement House, Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, and other community partners in Providence will formally launch Peoples College. Modeled after the innovative educational projects founded during the formative years of the Africana Studies movement, Peoples College is a cooperative, humanities based adult educational initiative designed to empower citizens with the knowledge, skills, and resources to transform their lives and communities. The philosophy behind Peoples College is an understanding of learning as communal, holistic, life-long, and grounded in the cultures and norms of community. Thus, the educational activities of Peoples College will be based on a praxis of "community conversation" which recognizes the worth, value, and dignity of all participants and seeks to catalyze the various knowledges of all Peoples College participants in creating open, dialogic, and democratic spaces for sharing and engaging a variety of ideas and experiences.
From 2006 until 2011, Brown University, The University of Cape Town, South Africa and the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica formalized the Trilateral Reconnections Project. The collaboration – built around research, teaching, faculty and student exchanges – was developed during a series of strategic planning meetings held between 2004 and 2006 at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, the Centre for Caribbean Thought, University of the West Indies, and the Department of Africana Studies, Brown University.
The partnership with the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the University of West Indies, Mona, Jamaica demonstrates the department’s strong interests in forging educational ties with scholars and research institutions in continental Africa and the African Diaspora. This model research consortium provided undergraduate and graduate students with collaborative research and study aboard opportunities that enrich their understanding and analysis of Africa and the African diaspora.