About Us

The African Diaspora Cluster (ADC) is part of UW Madison’s innovative Cluster Hiring Initiative that brings to campus a cluster of faculty from different disciplines for a subject area that is not easily and productively accommodated within conventional departments. The goal is to engender a broad and forward-looking scholarly and curricular coverage on campus. ADC is a logical extension of UW-Madison’s strong and renowned programs in African Studies, African American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, as well as a host of other international and cultural and social study programs. ADC consists of three core faculty with affiliations in five departments. The core faculty runs the much larger African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (ADAWRC), which consists of several faculty across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as staff and students. The Circle studies the dispersion of African peoples from their original homelands. In addition to creating, supporting, and encouraging African diaspora-related courses on campus, ADAWRC’s programming includes regular brown bag presentations, workshops and seminars, invited lectures, book/theater/film discussions, and conferences. Please look leisurely through our “Events” over the years. One of our programs was a year-long exploration of genetics, genetic testing and ancestry studies. Selected members volunteered for genetic ancestry testing; we incorporated the results into our monthly discussions, and ended with a symposium involving scholars across disciplines. Another of our events devoted to a scholarly interrogation of the place of the disciplines in African diaspora studies led to the groundbreaking conference and pioneering book of the proceedings, The African Diaspora and the Disciplines (2010), edited by Tejumola Olaniyan and James H. Sweet.

Cover of African Diaspora and the Disciplines book