Amadou Fofana wins Mellon Fellowship at Duke University

by University Communications,

Associate Professor Amadou T. Fofana from the Department of French and Francophone Studies is one of four faculty across the nation to win a Humanities Writ Large fellowship at Duke University during the 2015-16 academic year.

As part of his project, “Reconceiving African Cinema,” Fofana will work with professor Charles Piot, an internationally renowned cultural anthropologist, as well as other faculty at the Center for Documentary Studies and the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke.

“The Duke Humanities Writ Large Fellowship provides me with a unique opportunity to enrich my teaching pedagogy, advance my research, and build connections between Duke, Willamette and Francophone West Africa,” Fofana says.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides the fellow's full salary and benefits, including $5,000 to fund ongoing research at Duke. Visiting faculty fellows must be committed to the goal of connecting humanists and the humanities in ways that make the humanities a central part of new knowledge projects.

Guest lecturing, video linking with the fellow's home institution to connect students from both institutions, and creating periodic encounters with experts in other locations are among the approaches that fellows are encouraged to pursue during the fellowship year.

The award has been described as one of the most competitive in the United States, with the capacity to build career-shaping experiences for the teacher-scholars who participate in this program.

From the experience, Fofana says he plans to reconceive his teachings of “African Cinema.” He also plans to complete two ongoing research projects. One is about the role of digital mobile cinema in social transformation in Francophone West Africa. The second is about the impact of the Soninke migrants’ network on the development of Kounghany, otherwise known as eastern Senegal.