We are delighted to confirm that following interviews at the Gates Foundation in Seattle in late January, Mamasa Camara, applicant to the MPhil in African Studies, received one of 35 scholarships offered in the US round 2016. Our warmest congratulations to Mamasa, an alumnus of Spelman College, who we look forward to meeting in October. Please see below for her biography:
As the trilingual daughter of a traditional West African healer, my identity embodies the complexity of diaspora, migration, and collective memory. My research interests are in African identity formation, the social, political, and historical processes which inform various African experiences across and through diaspora.
Through a historical lens I investigate the practice of female circumcision and how to apply this analysis to aid contemporary efforts to address the practice. My past research explored British colonial narratives on female circumcision in Kenya and received the highest honor thesis award in the History Department at Spelman College.
In 2012, I collaborated with the Vice President of the Gambia to organize the first national conference on women’s health to mutually create strategies to address women’s health disparities. In 2014, I also traveled to China to research how West Africans construct community and engage their host population while navigating difficult political circumstances. I am committed to contributing to knowledge production that engages with communities and their material realities.
At Cambridge I will continue to excavate how historical forces inform contemporary moments in African Studies, by examining discourse on female circumcision and its real-world implications.
I am honored to join a vibrant community of Gates-Cambridge learners and knowledge producers who are doing research with the intent to change the world.