Institute of African Studies


A bird's eye view of the roofs of Zanzibar Stone Town, showing roofs made of different materials from brown, rusty corrogated iron to new, read, shiny plastic roofs.

about us

We see African Studies as part of Area Studies with a particular historical responsibility. Our interdisciplinary institute works within the scope of the humanities and the social sciences.

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The picture shows all staff members of the IFA.
Two smiling students are sitting in front of the Albertina library.
A picture of Lara-Stephanie Krause, Alumna and now staff member of the Institute of African Studies in her office.


A thatch-roofed round hut directly in front of the Chinese-built glass block that is the Faculty of Business at the University of Botswana in Gaborone.

African Studies

We learn to think critically about Africa and its role in a globalised world as well as in the social sciences. Here you find information on our Bachelor and Master programme in African Studies.

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Photo of the reading room of the Library of Oriental Studies in Schillerstrasse
A big satelite dish in Accra, Ghana that was converted into an AVN telescope and belongs to the Square Kilometer Array project.
A selfie with four PhD students and their supervisor in their midst.


Bundles of electrical wires, assorted cables and water pipes attached to houses throughout the Stone Town Zanzibar.

Diverse, dynamic and changing

We engage in individual and collaborative research projects on Africa in its regional and global entanglements, and we orient towards Leipzig University’s strategic research field “Changed order in a globalised world”.

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A graphic logo of the project Recalibrating Afrikanistik project.
This is the first page of Mamadou Chetima’s Quran, showing the first sura al-fâtiha. The bold print is Arabic and the translation between the lines is old Kanembu.
Electricity pole and cables photographed from below against the background of an urban neighbourhood in Ibadan, Nigeria.
A mining pit in Burkina Faso that is covered with a tarp and connected to a solar panel.
Hands holding on to a yellow handrail on a bus in Dar es Salaam.
A picture of the Julius Nyerere Building for Peace and Security in Addis Ababa on the left side, and the African Union Headquarters on the right.


African Studies - NEWSLETTER

The Institute of African Studies at Leipzig University has a weekly newsletter that announces new events, publications and projects.

  • To subscribe click here.

by Lara-Stephanie Krause

Multilingual Matters has just published a book of a member of our institute: With Relanguaging Language, Lara-Stephanie Krause writes a detailed, conceptually innovative linguistic ethnography of South African English classrooms.

  • Here is a link to a short blog post in which the author explains the concept of relanguaging
  • With the code at the bottom of the poster you can order the book for 50% less until the 31st of December

RecAf — New Video Podcast — Afrikanists Assemble

Have a look at the first episode of Afrikanists Assemble, a Video Podcast produced by the research project Recalibrating Afrikanistik; a forum that seeks dialogue and exchange. There will be new episodes of Afrikanists Assemble every month centring around changing topics related to the field of Afrikanistik and African Studies.

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Information about Coronavirus

  • Our University’s crisis management team will provide regular updates here.
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  • Students
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Prof. Beck during a presentation.

News & Events

Everything you currently need to know from the Institute of African Studies: news, lectures, workshops, colloquia and conferences.

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Summer semester 2022 — De/colonial Practices In and Across Academia

hosted by the Institute of Anthropology and the Institute of African Studie

  • Find the abstract of the joint lecture series here.
  • Find the programme of the joint lecture series here.

Every Monday 5—7pm (beginning on the 25th of April 2022)
Venue: Hörsaal 10 (Unless otherwise indicated)


23rd of May 2022, 5—7pm, Zoom Lecture

"Issues in Contemporary Politics of Knowledge and Decolonization of African Studies"
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni — Universität Bayreuth

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African Studies Research, 25 May 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends,
we would like to invite you to the first African Studies Research Seminar of the summer semester on 25 May 2022 at 11h15. After almost two years of online seminars, we are once again able to hold our seminar in Room 2.216 at the Institute of African Studies. The online option will still be available for those of you cannot join us in person. 
Our speakers are: 

  • Katharina Wilkens (Leipzig University) — The Formation of African Culture and Religion in African Socialism
  • Ulf Engel (Leipzig University) — African non-military conflict intervention practices

Venue: Room 2.216 at Institute of Africa Studies and
BigBlueButton Link:


Institute of African Studies

Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum
Beethovenstraße 15
04107 Leipzig

Head: Prof. Dr. Dmitri van den Bersselaar

Phone: +49 341 97-37030
Fax: +49 341 97-37048