The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS) is an organization of scholars and students of Africa dedicated to formulating alternative scholarly analysis of U.S. government policy, mobilizing support in the United States on critical current issues related to Africa, developing communication and action networks among scholars in the United States and Africa, and collaborating with other organizations that share our concerns. ACAS is a coordinate organization of the African Studies Association.
ACAS was founded in 1977 by scholars who sought to organize scholarly analysis and action to work toward “moving U.S. policy toward Africa in directions more sympathetic to African interests.” [Statement from the first ACAS newsletter.]
ACAS has a rich history of political activism and policy review. ACAS members now work on a range of issues, including growing presence of the US Military’s AFRICOM across the continent as the Global War on Terror is brought to Africa; the increase in Department of Defense and intelligence funding in U.S. higher education for African language, NSF, Boren Fellowships, and other educational programs; food sovereignty and land grabs; the politics of trade and development; the implications for Africa of U.S. interests in African oil, strategic minerals, and genetic wealth; the need for greater U.S. support for HIV, malaria, and other health programs in Africa; and the continuing issues of women’s rights across the continent. Read more about the history of ACAS at http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/81/.
A Board of Directors and Executive Committee govern ACAS. The chairpersons of ACAS have been: Immanuel Wallerstein and Willard Johnson (1977-1991), David Wiley and Jean Sindab (1991-1993), William G. Martin and Merle Bowen (1993-2001), Meredeth Turschen and Michael West (2001-2006), Sean Jacobs and Kris Peterson (2006-2009), Carol Thompson (2009-2011), and Eve Sandberg and Noah Zerbe (2011- ).
Our interdisciplinary approach supports rethinking conventional interpretations of social and economic policy, globalization, development strategies, media representations, and nation building.