African Studies − A Focus Area with Tradition
Our regional research focus on Africa has existed since the establishment of the University of Bayreuth in 1975. Today, the term African Studies refers to the totality of Bayreuth's Africa-related research and training activities animated by 40 different disciplines and subject areas, from cultural and language studies to the social sciences, economics, and law to the Earth sciences and biosciences. The Institute of African Studies coordinates all Africa-related activities at the University of Bayreuth.
Within this wide and diverse range of disciplines, which is unique for a single university, interdisciplinary cooperation has been consistently encouraged from the very beginning.
The collaboration between academics from different fields working in the same region and addressing joint questions creates strong synergies, which have led to the establishment of research groups, bachelor's and master's programmes, and doctoral programmes, with a high proportion of researchers from Africa.
The outstanding position of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth is reflected in its success within the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments: the full proposal of the "Africa Multiple" cluster of excellence found the approval of the Excellence Commission at the selection meeting at the end of September 2018. "We are very excited about this terrific result, which underlines the high quality of our work. We would like to thank all those involved who have made this success possible through their support. We are now able to address future challenges with great enthusiasm thanks to this new recognition for our research focus on Africa", explains Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Seesemann, who is acting with Prof. Dr. Ute Fendler as the co-spokesperson of the successful cluster initiative. Visit www.exzellenz.uni-bayreuth.de for more information.
Our university library houses the second largest collection of books and media on Africa in Germany, with 155,000 volumes and media items, which provide an important basis for Bayreuth's internationally recognized Africa expertise.