African Studies Center Announces Incoming Co-Directors
Victoria Rovine (left) and Sudhanshu Handa (right)
Sudhanshu (Ashu) Handa, Kenan Eminent Professor of Public Policy, and Victoria Rovine, professor in the Department of Art and Art History, have been appointed co-directors of the African Studies Center (ASC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill effective Aug. 1.
The ASC is designed to sustain and strengthen teaching of African languages and to promote research, academic opportunities and artistic exchange related to the African continent.
Handa and Rovine hold impressive records of scholarship at Carolina. Handa is an economist working on poverty, health and human development in sub-Saharan Africa and is co-principal investigator of The Transfer Project, a regional initiative with UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations designed to understand the broad effects of government-sponsored cash transfer programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Handa is researching the long-term effects of cash transfers in Zambia and Malawi.
Rovine is an art historian focusing on African art with a concentration on African textiles and dress practices. She has published two books based on historical and contemporary dress practices, with a focus on Francophone West Africa. Rovine also studies Africa’s presence in Western visual culture, particularly in early 20th century Europe. Rovine has conducted research in Mali since the early 1990s and has also worked in Senegal, South Africa and Ghana, among other African countries.
Handa and Rovine succeed Emily Burrill, a historian of West Africa, gender, and law and society. Burrill is now a faculty member in the University of Virginia Corcoran Department of History. Burrill’s tenure included two successful Title VI applications, an award from the Oak Foundation to develop digital content for K-5 learning of contemporary Africa, and advancement in African scholarship that furthered the University’s mission of global teaching and service.