2019 Academy of African Urban Diversity Program for Doctoral Students

Deadline: April 30, 2019.

The African continent is rapidly urbanizing. If this point is agreed upon by a wide variety of actors—from media, to governments, UN agencies, development banks as well as scholars—there is far less consensus about what this process will mean for Africans. The Academy of African Urban Diversity aims to bring together doctoral students to debate and theorize the political, social and economic processes surrounding Africa’s growing and diversifying cities. The Academy aims to counter the narrow empiricism that characterizes many studies of urban Africa by pushing participants to think relationally and theoretically about the social, economic and political assemblages and processes generated by rapid urbanization and human mobility. As regional and global crossroads, African cities refract broader geo- economic and political trends, often in innovative, anticipatory and unexpected ways.



  • Must be currently enrolled in a PhD program.
  • Must have completed an extended period of empirical research not more than 12 months before the academy begins and is expected to submit a completed discretion within 12 to 18 months of the first Academy date.
  • Ability to converse and write in English, the academy language
  • Must be willing and able to travel to South Africa and Germany on the academy dates



1. AAUD will bring together a cohort of 8-10 post-fieldwork doctoral students exploring diversity in African cities to refine their research focus, promote professional development, and build trans-national scholarly communities.

2. Half of each cohort will be reserved for scholars enrolled in doctoral programs at African Universities, while the other half is open to scholars of urban Africa based elsewhere.

3. Each cohort will meet in two intensive workshops. The first week long workshop, to be held at the University of Witwatersrand from November 4-8, 2019, combines advanced seminars on theories of the urban, migration, and diversity by leaders in the field; peer workshopping of dissertation plans; professional development; and international networking.

4. In the second workshop, held in Europe, one year on, fellows convene to present their work and organize a seminar for the incoming cohort of fellows to kick off the next round..



To apply, please go to https://s-lotus.gwdg.de/mpg/mpgs/aaud2019.nsf/application. Please prepare the following materials for the application:

  • CV
  • Letter of interest (outlining stage of completion and what you hope to
    contribute to and gain from the academy)
  • Summary of dissertation project (6-800 word)
  • Bibliography of 10-20 relevant texts
  • Contact information for two professional referees who will be asked to submit letters addressing your project, and how your work would benefit from the academy.




Click here to apply

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