Sussex Africa Centre

Africa at Sussex

The Sussex Africa Centre is a new initiative that builds on Sussex’s long-standing tradition of area studies expertise that is a legacy of AFRAS (African and Asian Studies). AFRAS was founded in 1964, and acted as one of the UK’s foremost hubs of African and Asian scholarship and teaching. It developed in close communication with the University’s Institute of Development Studies (IDS), gaining a reputation for critical, creative, activist research.

AFRAS epitomised Sussex’s reputation for pushing the boundaries of knowledge by crossing conventional academic divisions and transcending disciplinary borders. It stood for creative, independent scholarship, and practical engagement.

Sussex Africa Centre takes forward this tradition in new ways:

  1. Cutting edge interdisciplinarity.   Sussex Africa Centre brings together not only the usual range of social science and humanities expertise, but combines these with environmental scientists working on climate change, energy and agricultural futures.  It draws on the wealth of Africa expertise in the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the School of Education and Social Work, and the Institute of Development Studies.
  2. Transnational connections.  The Africa Centre’s research and practice breaks the boundaries of conventional area studies expertise through its emphasis on the importance of mobility and transnational linkages.   Staff and students have a tradition of engaging not only on the continent, but also with African diasporic communities in the UK and elsewhere.
  3. Activism and practical engagement.  Sussex Africa Centre maintains the university’s pioneering reputation for rigorous, independent, engaged, critical scholarship.  The approach to international connections hinges centrally on partnerships, mobility and exchanges, providing opportunities both for Sussex faculty and students and our international partner organisations.

History of AFRAS bookletThe History of AFRAS

Download a copy of our booklet:

History of AFRAS booklet [PDF 1.53MB]


– Prof JoAnn McGregor, Dept of Geography

Steering Committee
Prof Martin Evans (History)
Dr Jeremy Allouche (Institute of Development Studies)
Prof Mairead Dunne (Dept of Education and Social Work)  
Dr Rob Byrne (Science Policy Research Unit)
Dr Pamela Kea (Anthropology)
Dr Max Cooper (BSMS)
Dr John Masterson (English)
Dr Simidele Dosekun (MFM)

Banner image: 2012 Kwani? Litfest, Panel Discussion: Art & Literature in Societal Reconstruction © Paul Munene / Kwani Trust