Dakar Symposium - 2015

Dakar Symposium, Dakar, Senegal, 2015

West African Research Center (UCAD)

Symposium participants at Goree Island

Dr. Joseph Smith-Buani attended the Dakar Symposium in the summer of 2015. The symposium was convened by the Dakar Institute of African Studies (DIAS), Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), and the West African Research Center (WARC). It started on 3rd of July and ended on 4th of July. Travel to the symposium started on 30th June and ended on 8th of July.

Beyond personal and professional enrichment from travel to unfamiliar parts of Africa and interaction with African studies and study abroad professionals, travel to the symposium pays dividends for teaching and scholarship. The trip also benefits Portland State University’s internationalization efforts and study abroad programs and the African studies program of the Black Studies Department by providing an additional perspective on international experiential learning.

As a result of Dr. Smith-Buani's attendance at the symposium, he has offered several recommendations: 

  • Explore affiliation opportunities 
    • Build new relationships; innovate – let knowledge serve the world
    • Université Cheikh Anta Diop, West African Research Center, Dakar Institute of African Studies
      • African, African American, International, Development, and Culture/Ethnic Studies
      • Study abroad; Student exchange; Faculty exchange; Curriculum Sharing
    • Cascade Festival of African Films (CFAF)
      • A possible source of education abroad participants with interest in film/cinema studies, African cinema/films, and African art/artists
      • A possible source of information/bid data on African cinema, filmmaking, filmmakers, etc.
      • Partners in experiential learning; collaborate, grant seeking, study abroad, information sharing, event staging, etc.
  • Adopt a phased approach to summer study abroad for two years
    • 2015-16: Partner with DIAS
      • Black studies’ travel initiative for development of an academic program to Senegal
      • Confirm affiliation, confirm curricular alignments, recruit small groups of participants, participate in DIAS 2016 Dakar Program 
    • 2016-17: Pilot/Test BST’s Dakar Summer Study Abroad
      • Black studies’ travel initiative for development of an academic program to Senegal
  • Get on PSU’s Education Abroad Curriculum Integration bandwagon
    • 2016 Internationalization Grant
      • Application was made February 26, 2016 for Education Abroad’s 2016 IG. BST is on the right track with integration of education abroad in the curriculum and the award is pending
      • Explore other funding opportunities
  • Seek grants/funding for Black Studies Internationalization and/or curriculum integration