Institute of African Studies

Recent occurrences of brutal racial violence in the United States in the form of the murder of George Floyd and many others have sparked a worldwide protest movement. We strongly oppose all forms of racially based violence and exclusion. We stand in solidarity with all who are committed to the fight against racism.


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.


WS 2020—21: exams

Under the current circumstances, we have decided on an overall date for handing in your essays and portfolios: 31.03.2021.


Further information and/or changes will be communicated here, as soon as we receive official communication from the central offices of Leipzig University. For any individual change (possible extensions etc.) please contact the instructor(s) of the course(s)/module(s) in question.


For information on online exams (written and oral) please ask the courses' specific instructors.

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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RecAf Spring School 2021 in Bayreuth

The upcoming Spring School offered by Recalibrating Afrikanistik will be hosted at University of Bayreuth in March 2021 under the topic of Popular Culture and Arts in Africa. See the full description and registration procedures here.

RecAf Summer School 2021 in Eldoret, Kenya

The research project Recalibrating Afrikanistik is inviting applications from MA and PhD students to participate in a 10-day summer school to be held at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya from August 30th to September 9th, 2021. Participation in the summer school includes participation in the 5th Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies Conference. Submittals for conference papers are also welcome.

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Dear students,
the deadline for the Erasmus + applications for Winter semester 2021/22 is the 10th of March 2021!
Please be sure to send in the following to Lara Krause via email:

  • Letter of Motivation
  • Application Form (Online Erasmus Uni Leipzig)
  • Transcript of records
  • Language Certificate of language of instruction at your chosen host university

Information about Coronavirus

  • Hygiene concept GWZ (13.01.2021)
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  • 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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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