Past Activities


Upcoming talk at Yale by Dr. Ayala Levin: Biography and Contradiction: Unpacking Denise Scott Brown’s ‘African View’ of Las Vegas

10 February, 2019
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Location: Room 322


“I have an African view of Las Vegas” Denise Scott Brown, the co-author of the seminal Learning from Las Vegas has stated on a number of occasions, referring to her childhood experience growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa. How should we interpret this biographic statement, which has for the most part been left out from the annals that crowned this book as the birthplace of architectural postmodernism? This research situates Scott Brown’s gaze in relation to Apartheid’s scopic regimes, and the particular forms of urban ethnography they gave rise to.

Bio Ayala Levin’s research is concerned with north-south and south-south architectural knowledge exchange, with a focus on building and urban planning projects in post-independence African states. She is currently completing a monograph on the export of Israeli architectural and planning models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast in the 1960s-1970s. Levin completed her PhD at Columbia University. Before joining Northwestern University’s Art History Department, she was a fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities, a postdoctoral researcher in the European Research Council project “Apartheid: The Global Itinerary”, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute.

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Four New Articles Available on Free Open Access

16 November, 2018

Four recent articles published by Louise Bethlehem's European Research Council project, "APARTHEID-STOPS" reflect the versatile use of cultural studies-based methodologies on the part of Professor Bethlehem and three of her researchers: Dr. Ayala Levin, Yair Hashachar and Ron Levi.All articles are on free download, so feel free to read and distribute them.

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Louise Bethlehem "'Miriam's Place': South African Jazz, Conviviality and Exile," Social Dynamics 43(2).

Ron Levi "Zaire '74: Politicising the Sound Event," Social Dynamics 43(2).

Ayala Levin, "South African 'Know-How' and Israeli 'Facts of Life': The Planning of Afridar, Ashkelon, 1949-1956," Planning Perspectives.

Yair Hashachar "Playing the Backbeat in Conakry: Miriam Makeba and the Cultural Politics of Sékou Touré’s Guinea, 1968–1986" Social Dynamics 43(2).

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Invitation to upcoming public keynote address by Prof. Louise Bethlehem

20 October, 2018

As part of the international conference on Celebrity and Protest in Africa and in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle at the University of Copenhagen (29-31 October 2018), we invite you to the following public keynote address – which will be followed by a brief reception.

MONDAY 29 OCTOBER 2018 Room 9A-0-01, 17.00 – 18.00

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"Stars in the Southern Hemisphere: Celebrity, Agency, and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle"

by Professor Louise Bethlehem

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Upcoming Conference: Celebrity and Protest in Africa and in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle, 29-31 Oct.

17 October, 2018
Hosted at the University of Copenhagen, 29-31 October, the event is a collaboration between the European Research Council Project APARTHEID-STOPS, “The Perception of Apartheid in Western Europe 1960-1990” Research Cluster, and the Centre of African Studies of the University of Copenhagen.

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The upcoming interdisciplinary research workshop will focus on the role of celebrities and celebrity culture in the antiapartheid struggle, as well as on celebrity culture in relation to solidarity with or within Africa more generally.


The final program is attached below.


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CFP: The Momentous 60s: Reflections on an African Decade

15 September, 2018



The Momentous 60s: Reflections on an African Decade

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Interdisciplinary International Conference hosted by:


The Tamar Golan Africa Centre,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva


APARTHEID-STOPS, European Research Council Project,

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem


Centre for Area Studies and Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199

Universität Leipzig


6-8 January 2018


     The 1960s was a decade of revolutionary changes throughout Africa. At this juncture across the continent, histories of colonialism, decolonization, the Cold War, nationalism, pan-Africanism and independence intermingled, with critical consequences for nations, communities and individuals. More than any other period of the 20thcentury, the 1960s was an era of immense, radical and contradictory possibilities. A massive range of ideologies, political agendas, economic developments, cultural styles and social changes were experimented with, and a sense of opportunity found expression everywhere. From the newly decolonized to those enduring the most extreme forms of racist minority rule, the 1960s was an era of heightened expectations and aspirations – some fulfilled and others held in abeyance. This conference seeks to consolidate a growing body of work addressing the 1960s in Africa as an era of monumental significance that requires more scrutiny and analysis.

     Focusing on the 1960s opens up new opportunities for understanding how local, national, transnational and international phenomena intersect and give birth to new kinds of circulations, imaginaries, and initiatives. A wide-ranging examination of this era will bring into focus the intersections and overlaps between local experiences across the continent at this time, despite the immense diversity that characterized the political, economic and cultural histories of the period. We ask potential contributors to consider how the 1960s serves as a framework of analysis for understanding changes and continuities. Several questions emerge that require deeper investigation: What kinds of opportunities and innovations were unique to this era, and how were other alliances made obsolete at this time? How do we adjudicate the success or failure of momentous events or social movements, and at what scale of resolution—local, national, or transnational? How have African actors aimed at repositioning the continent and their societies in a new way in the changing global order? How did actors in other parts of the world reevaluate the role of Africa in the potentially emergent new world order? How does the period look when we refrain from focusing exclusively on the behavior of political elites? How do events in Africa impact events elsewhere, in anticipating, for instance, the revolutionary ferment of May 1968 in Europe, as recent scholarship is beginning to suggest? How have dynamics on the African continent challenged the position and strategies of former metropoles as well as those of the emerging superpowers of the Cold War? Might we develop arguments for the “long 1960s” modeled on notions of the “long civil rights movement” in the United States, for instance, to suggest that in some respects at least, the 1960s in Africa began in the late 1950s?

     As scholars increasingly grapple with the consequences of decolonization, nation-building, liberation struggles, social development and economic expansion that characterized much of the continent’s history at this time, we hope that this conference will enable us to reach new understandings of both commonalities and exceptions in current research.  We hope to consolidate emergent paradigms with regard to histories of the 1960s in Africa, and also bring into focus new models and trends.

Some themes that might be explored include, but are not limited to, the following:

- New Vantage Points on Statecraft and Leadership 

- Planning and Optimism in the 1960s

- Decolonization and the Re-entrenchment of Colonialism

- Decolonization and Cultural Exchange

- Decolonization and the Cold War during the global 1960s

- Ideologies and New Borders

- Postcolonialism and Diplomacy 

- Periodization: When do the 1960s in Africa begin and when do they end?

- Youth and Popular Culture in Africa in the 1960s

- Transnationalism, Pan-Africanism and the Local

- Forms and patterns of mobilities and circulations in, across and beyond Africa during the 1960s

- Media and Changing Forms of Communications

- Unions and the Mobilization or Marginalization of Labor

- Resources and Conflicts in the Process of Nation-building

- Economic Optimism and its Lasting Impact

- Nationalism and the Built Environment


     The conference will be held at both the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: Abstracts should be submitted by November 1, 2018.  Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and email address and a short biography (up to 200 words) along with your abstract.  Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 10, 2018.

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Special issue of Safundi-guest edited by Louise Bethlehem and colleages- now available on free access

17 August, 2018

Entitled "Cultural Solidarities: Apartheid and the anti-colonial commons of world literature," it is one of a series of interventions based on a conference Louise Bethlehem co-convened at WiSER (The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) with Sarah Nuttall and Stefan Helgesson in April last year.