Department of Africana Studies

Africana Studies Responds to Devastating Fires at University of Cape Town

Africana Studies extends our deepest regrets to the University of Cape Town after the devastating fires on their campus. We have enjoyed long and close ties through the Trilateral Reconnection Project, and remember fondly the wellspring of resources there.

An image of Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town on fire.


Dear Professor Chitonge,

We reach out to you, your faculty, and the entire University of Cape Town community. It is with deep sadness and regret that we received the news of the terrible fire that consumed the African Studies Library and other buildings on your campus. The Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre Department at Brown University has had long and close ties with the African
Studies Centre, through the Trilateral Reconnection Project of the mid-2000s that brought UCT, Brown, and the University of the West Indies (UWI) into a close collaborative arrangement, leading to the exchange of graduate students as well as a number of rich and intellectually stimulating seminars and conferences. Members of our faculty, Particularly Tony Bogues, now Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and Geri Augusto from the Watson Institute along with Rupert Lewis from UWI and Brian Meeks now chair of Africana Studies at Brown, but who was then at UWI, worked closely with Nick Shepherd and the late Harry Garuba on this project and recall fondly many visits to your department and particularly the rich wellspring of resources in your library. 

The loss of this archive, including, as we have heard, irreplaceable papers, pamphlets, and other memorabilia from the Anti-Apartheid Movement, is truly a cause for mourning. Nonetheless, in the spirit of resilience and transnational solidarity that was the hallmark of the movement, we are determined to help in whatever way we can to rescue and resuscitate the
library. Please let us know what is needed and we will make every effort to help. 


Anthony Bogues
Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory
Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Brian Meeks
Professor and Chair, Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre

Geri Augusto
Director Undergraduate Development Studies
The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs