AIMS: American Institute for Maghrib StudiesHomeContact AIMSMy AIMS

AIMS Research Grants for North African Scholars

Fourth Annual Saharan Crossroads Fellowship Competition

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 15, 2015 - On-Line Application

PDF Document Call for Applications English - print or download (PDF)

PDF Document Call for Applications French - print or download (PDF)

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) and the West African Research Association (WARA) announce the fourth annual Saharan Crossroads Fellowship Competition.

Saharan Crossroads seeks to counter the conceptual divide separating North and sub-Saharan Africa and the tendency to view the Sahara Desert as an impenetrable barrier dividing the continent into the northern "white" and sub-Saharan "black" Africa. Countries to the north often find themselves placed in Mediterranean, Islamic, and Middle Eastern studies with little consideration of cultural, historical, or artistic contact with sub-Saharan countries, which are often considered more authentically "African." Despite trans-Saharan cultural contact spanning centuries, this inaccurate perception of Africa as two distinct zones separated by an empty wasteland of desert continues to influence the way people think about this region and the continent as a whole.

Contact among traders, scholars, artisans, and nomads set the stage for the emergence of richly diverse aesthetic expressions along the web of North to South and East to West routes crossing the Sahara as well as at their beginning and ending points. The Sahara and its peripheries continue to be platforms of interconnected peoples and cultures. The Saharan Crossroads Initiative is a partnership of AIMS, WARA and the Saharan Studies Association (SSA) that provides support for research, conferences and publications exploring the culture, geography, history, and sociology of this region.

US, North African and West African Scholars interested in conducting research in any part of North or West Africa concerning Saharan Crossroads are encouraged to apply for short-term fellowships (up to three months) for awards up to 3,000 USD. US scholars flying from the United States will receive an additional travel stipend.

The Saharan Crossroads Fellowship Program is made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The competition is open to students, senior or independent scholars holding at least a Master's Degree. Research must be completed before December 31, 2016.

Saharan Crossroads Grantees are not eligible to apply for the AIMS Grants Program for US Citizens within the same cycle. Priority will be given to scholars who have not received AIMS or WARA funding in the last two years. All Fellows are required to give a public lecture at an AIMS or WARC research center or other affiliated institution.

On-Line Application. The deadline for submission of applications is December 15, 2015.

Awards will be announced January 31, 2016.


Saharan Crossroads Fellows 2015
Kendra Salois (Ethnomusicology, University of Maryland, College Park)
For research in Morocco and Senegal
Changing Perceptions of Africans and Africanity Amongst Casablancan Hip Hop Artists

Jamal Bahmad (Department of English, University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah)
For research in Morocco
The Gnawa Festival of Khamlia: African Slave Blues, International Tourism and Cultural Translation in Southeastern Morocco

Saharan Crossroads Fellows 2014
Amanda Gilvin (Art History, Mount Holyoke College)
For research in Niger, Senegal, and Algeria
Saharan Visions: The Political Aesthetics of the Museum in Africa

Alioune Deme (Department of History, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop)
For research in Senegal
Archaeological investigations of the relationship between the Sahara and the Middle Senegal valley during West Africa’s Late Prehistory: Promising data from Walaldé

Fathi Jarray (Departments of History and Archeology, University of Tunis)
For research in Morocco
La notion du temps et les procédés de sa mesure au Maroc d’après les cadrans solaires

Saharan Crossroads Fellows 2013
Isabella Alexander (Anthropology, Emory University)
For research in Morocco
‘Burning’ at the Maghrebi Border: Blackness and Belonging Among Morocco’s New Immigrant Class

Safa ben Saad (Comparative Law, Universite de Toulouse)
For research in Morocco and Senegal
Les origines africaines du droit au Maghreb

Afis Ayinde Oladosu (Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan)
For research in Egypt
Sahara Crossings: Race, Nation and Imagination in African Literature