African Humanities Program

The online fellowship and grant administration (OFA) system is now open for applications. Apply Here.

The deadline for the African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowship is 5PM Eastern Time on December 3, 2021. 

We invite applications for postdoctoral fellowships from scholars who are within eight years of receiving the PhD degree, who are citizens of Sub-Saharan African countries, and who are currently working at universities in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

This extraordinary competition will extend for one year the fellowship program that began in 2008-09 and that had been scheduled to conclude in 2020-21.  Funds for the extension became available due to the cancelation of in-person activities during the Covid pandemic.

The 2021-22 AHP competition will replicate previous ones in almost every respect.  The eligibility criteria remain the same – awards will go to African scholars, living and working on the continent, pursuing basic research in the humanities, willing to take two semesters leave from all other employment to devote full energy to the project proposed.  Applications will be received through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant (OFA) Administration system, as they have been in previous years.  ACLS will distribute monetary stipends.  No further AHP fellowship competitions are planned.

All eligible African scholars, especially women and staff at regional universities, are encouraged to apply!

The Carnegie/ACLS African Humanities Program is committed to inclusion, equity, and diversity as integral components of merit that enhance the scholarly enterprise. It is a priority of this program that cohorts of Fellows be broadly inclusive of different backgrounds, cultures, and any aspects that make one unique. We seek balance regarding gender, country of origin, and current university affiliation, as well as in topics and disciplinary approaches. 

Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant Administration (OFA) System (ahp.acls.org) no later than 9 pm GMT, December 3, 2021.

Looking ahead

In the preceding AHP competitions (2009-21), more than 450 early career Fellows received research support and more than 100 senior scholars served as assessors and mentors. In future, the tremendous momentum generated by AHP will continue to build a vibrant humanities community on the continent through the African Humanities Association (AHA). Founded by AHP Fellows, assessors, and advisers, AHA has taken sturdy steps toward institutionalization through the efforts of the Interim Steering Committee. A constitution for AHA was presented at the AHP Regional Assembly in Abuja, in February 2020.

The African Humanities Association has already assumed responsibility for breakthrough initiatives of the AHP such as the book publications of the African Humanities Series and the program of residential opportunities for research and writing.

Goals of the African Humanities Program

  • To encourage and enable the production of new knowledge and new approaches to research
  • To strengthen the capacity of early career researchers at African universities
  • To advance the humanities by establishing networks for scholarly communication throughout Africa and with Africanists worldwide

Fellowship stipends free recipients from teaching and other duties for a full academic year to concentrate on scholarly work -- for revising the dissertation for publication or for a new major research project. Written products should aim to make significant contributions to humanistic knowledge.

Fellow are encouraged to take advantage of additional opportunities offered by AHP such as residential stays at African institutes for advanced study and Manuscript Development Workshops, so that finished products may be submitted to the African Humanities Series.

Each fellow may request a residential stay at an African institute affiliated with AHP. Residencies have proved extremely productive, granting fellows time and space to concentrate on writing. Because residencies must be taken at a location outside the home country, they foster international communication. Currently AHP Fellows may take residencies at one of seven institutes from South Africa to Senegal, Ghana to Tanzania.

Fellows who have completed their fellowship tenures may apply to attend a Manuscript-Development Workshop to discuss manuscripts with AHP mentors and other fellows in a weeklong, intensive retreat. Authors who attend workshops are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to the AHP Humanities Series. The Series offers developmental editing and rigorous peer review. The Series Editors are Fred Hendricks, Rhodes University, South Africa and Adigun Agbaje, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The works produced by AHP fellows will speak to succeeding generations of humanist scholars, to leading figures in culture and politics, and to the broad interested public. Books published by the African Humanities Series will stand as the AHP's enduring legacy.

AHP has partnered with the African Studies Association in the United States to bring selected AHP Fellows to the ASA Annual Meeting as ASA Presidential Fellows.

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