The University of Iowa

Arabic at Iowa

The Department of French and Italian offers courses in Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Arabic.  It also offers both a French and Arabic Track, for students who which to combine the study of French and Arabic language and culture, and a Minor in Arabic.

Kiswahili at Iowa

For more than twenty years, the University of Iowa has offered instruction in Kiswahili,  a language spoken by more than sixty million people in eastern and central Africa.  Currently, Kiswahili courses at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels are offered by the Department of French and Italian.

Several established programs and unique resources at The University of Iowa contribute to the rich resources for African studies students on the UI campus, including the following:

WiderNet Project

WiderNet gives students the chance to help bring Internet technology to African universities and to share virtual classrooms with students in those universities

International Writing Program

Learn about the many African writers in the IWP.

University Libraries’ strong Africana collection

Specialist Librarian: Lisa Gardinier

African Diaspora Programs

African American Studies

Interdisciplinary Project for Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA)

PASALA supports student research on campus and in Africa.  The university has outstanding resources in African expressive culture, most notably the Stanley Collection of African Art at the UI Museum of Art (UIMA) and the related Project for Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa.

PASALA is funded annually by the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, and sponsors student research at Iowa and in Africa, colloquia, and publications based on or inspired by the Stanley Collection. PASALA hosted the seventh Stanley Conference on African Art in March of 1996, on the theme of "The Æsthetics of Urban African Identities." More than a dozen noted African, Canadian, and US scholars from five different fields (Anthropology, Art History, History, Linguistics, Political Science) will came together for this event. PASALA hosted the 9th Triennial Symposium on African Art in 1992, that brought more than 500 Africanist scholars (including nearly 40 from Africa) to Iowa City. PASALA staff have mounted a number of major international exhibitions of African art, including the first ever seen in Taiwan and two currently touring major museums in the U.S.

UI Stanley Museum of Art

Stanley Collection of African Art

Through a FIPSE grant, ASP faculty will bring UI's Stanley Collection to classrooms throughout the world, via a website. At least two faculty teach African music; there is occasional attention to African dance; and African literatures are especially well represented, both through courses on both Anglophone and Francophone African literatures taught by several faculty, and by the regular presence of African participants in the International Writing Program. The Hancher Performing Arts Center regularly brings African performers to the greater community.


Several fellowships are offered each year to senior and junior scholars working in any discipline in the social sciences or the humanities whose research interests include the visual arts of Africa. Fellows are expected to pursue their own research and writing, to increase their understanding of objects in the Stanley Collection and of the collection as a whole, and to participate in seminars. Several scholarships are also provided for graduate study of African art, for research in Africa, and for dissertation writing.