Wed 28 Feb

Invitation to attend the Second Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Lecture

Wednesday 28 February at 5.00pm - BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW

What we know and don't know yet about skeletal gracility in modern humans"

delivered by Dr Habiba Chirchir (Marshall University)
on Wednesday 28th February at 5.00pm, in the Yusuf Hamied Centre, Christ's College,
followed by a reception at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

ADVANCE BOOKING IS REQUIRED - please reserve your seat (free of charge)


Skeletal gracility is the reduction in the strength and relative bone mass as inferred from bone tissue and overall bone size. In contrast to our hominin ancestors, the recent modern human skeleton is unusually gracile. In this lecture, I will examine the evidence supporting the recent emergence of gracile morphology, explore the variations in this morphology among recent human groups, and discuss the various hypotheses that have been proposed to explain this phenomenon through a comparative analysis of extinct and extant mammalian species including hominin ancestors from the deep past, reaching as far back as ~ 2 million years ago. 

Dr Habiba Chirchir is an Associate Professor of anatomy at Marshall University in the USA and also holds an associate research position at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. She earned her BA degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, followed by a Master’s degree from New York University. Subsequently, she matriculated with a PhD from George Washington University in Washington DC and completed her postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian. Her research investigates the relationship between skeletal anatomy and behaviour in the human fossil record, modern humans, and various other extant mammals through the quantification of trabecular and cortical bone using high-resolution imaging. Recently, she was awarded the John Deaver Drinko Distinguished Fellowship at her university as recognition of her research and teaching efforts.



Wed 28 Feb

How does foreign policy of African governments reflect public opinion? Evidence on free movement and free trade

Visiting Fellows Seminar

Wednesday, 28 Feb, at 12.30pm in SG1

Florian G. Kern (Reader (Associate Professor) in the Department of Government, University of Essex



Wed 28 Feb

Infrastructural Geographies

We are delighted to share that Professor Michael Degani will be giving a talk at the Department of Geography in the Small Lecture Theatre, on the 28th February 2024, 15:00-16:00.

Nun of the River: Missions, Hydropower, and Para-Grid Imaginaries in Rural Tanzania

Michael Degani is Assistant Professor of Environmental Anthropology in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge and Juliet Campbell Fellow at Girton College. He has conducted long-term research on the politics of energy, infrastructure, and design in Africa and beyond. His first book, The City Electric: Infrastructure and Ingenuity in Postsocialist Tanzania (Duke University Press 2022), is an ethnography of a national power grid and a finalist for the Bethwell A. Ogot Prize for Best Book in East African Studies.



Sun 3 Mar

Warwick Africa Summit 2024

2nd and 3rd of March at the University of Warwick

The Warwick Africa Summit is a student-organised interdisciplinary conference that aims to create collaboration and inspire attendees to address the various challenges faced by the African continent. We achieve this goal through inviting and presenting thought-provoking keynote speeches, relevant topics, and interactive panels.

For the first time since the pandemic, the summit will be in- and take place on the 2nd  and 3rd  of March  at the University of Warwick. 

Tickets can be found here:

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Mon 4 Mar

Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge Lent Term Seminar Programme - Migrations

Room S1, Alison Richard Building, 3pm

4 March: Catherine Namono (University of Witwatersrand and Centre of African Studies – Newton Trust Visiting Fellow)

Spirituality-on-the-rocks: the rock-art of African forest-hunter-gatherers

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Mon 4 Mar

2024 Cambridge Diabetes Seminar

MRC Epidemiology

The Cambridge Diabetes Seminar provides a unique opportunity for participants from a range of backgrounds including clinical, research and public health, to engage in discussion, debate and collaboration on prominent issues in diabetes epidemiology. It aims to provide all those attending with a common goal to become better equipped in the epidemiological and public health aspects of diabetes and helps to foster international networks.

When: Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th August 2024

Where: Clare College, University of Cambridge

Cost: No registration fee, no attendance fee; no accommodation fee

Travel: Participants will be expected to fund their own travel to and from Cambridge

Closing date for applications: Monday 4 March 2024

If accepted for attendance, the seminar programme, accommodation and meals will be provided free of charge. The only costs for participants are for travel to and from Cambridge.

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More Info:


Wed 6 Mar

Futures of State Capitalism in the Global North, East and South

Hosted by the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, Newnham College

Wednesday 6 March, at Newnham College (Lucia Windsor room)

Seminar: 4.15 to 5.30pm (in person and online)

Reception: 5.30 to 6.30pm

Speaker: Dr Ilias Alami, Assistant Professor in the Political Economy of Development, Centre of Development Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge

The state is ‘back’, and its means business. Since the turn of the 21st century, state-owned enterprises, sovereign funds, and policy banks have vastly expanded their control over assets and markets. Concurrently, governments around the world have experimented with increasingly assertive modalities of statism, from techno-industrial policies and spatial development strategies to economic nationalism and trade and investment restrictions. This talk offers an analysis of the determinants and consequences of this drastic reconfiguration of the state’s role as promoter, supervisor, shareholder-investor, and direct owner of capital across the world economy, or what commentators refer to as the “new state capitalism.”

For more information please visit our website:



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Mon 11 Mar

Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge Lent Term Seminar Programme - Migrations

11 March: Marthe Achtnich (University of Cambridge)

Mobility Economies in Europe’s Borderlands

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Tue 12 Mar

African Economic History Seminars

13th and 27th Feb and 12th March 2024

13 February   

Eric Makombe (University of Zimbabwe) 

Consumer Experiences in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe: Trends and Developments, 1980 to 2023’   

27 February    Rebecca Simson (Oxford/LSE) 

Elite Persistence in Sierra Leone: What Can Names Tell Us?’ 

12 March             Hélder Carvalhal (Manchester) 

‘Living Standards in Angola, 1760-1960’ 

(co-authored with Nuno Palma) 

 *The Zoom link will be sent to everyone on the seminar mailing list. To subscribe, wherever you are in the world, please visit Whether online or in person, where possible, the speaker provides a paper in advance, which will be sent to those committing themselves to attending.


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Wed 20 Mar

The legacy of John Chilembwe: a workshop

Wednesday 20th March 2024 Wolfson College, Cambridge

John Nkologo Chilembwe (June 1871 – 3 February 1915) was a Baptist pastor, educator and revolutionary who was an early figure in the resistance to colonialism in Nyasaland, which became Malawi.  John Chilembwe Day is observed annually on 15 January in Malawi.

We consider his status as a revolutionary, his relationships with the colonial authorities and churches and his legacy now in the UK and Malawi.

We are delighted the following will be speaking:

  • Samson Kambalu, the artist of the fourth plinth    
  • Harvey Kwiyani, former academic and now CEO of Global Connections 
  • Ian Randall, Baptist historian 
  • David Stuart Mogg, former editor and UK publisher of the Society of Malawi Journal on “The circumstances of John Chilembwe’s death and his secret burial

We invite contributors from the Malawi Society, and on-line attendance is possible. 

The event is free, with priority tickets for those with a personal or professional association with Malawi. All attendees are invited to join us for dinner, for free. Tickets are limited to ensure a productive workshop.

 Free tickets here

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