The Centre of African Studies (CAS) was established in 1965 by the path-breaking anthropologist Audrey Richards. Its current Director is Professor Harri Englund. CAS supports teaching and research on Africa at the University of Cambridge through its library and its various seminars and events. It acts as a platform for interdisciplinary and international scholarship by drawing Cambridge academics and research fellows doing research in Africa into a vibrant scholarly community. The Centre is proud to host visiting academics from African universities every year and to be associated with the Cambridge-Africa Programme, a working partnership between the University of Cambridge and several African universities and institutes, which supports the training of African doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Staff members at CAS include the Centre/MPhil Administrator, a Librarian and a Library Assistant. The Centre also hosts a number of Visiting and Research Fellows, as well as CAPREx Fellows. The African Studies Library attracts a steady flow of undergraduate and graduate students.
The Centre is housed on the third floor of the Alison Richard Building (ARB) on the University’s Sidgwick Site, which is the main base for humanities/social science teaching and research in Cambridge. This location means that CAS is at the heart of a cosmopolitan academic community that also contains the renowned interdisciplinary Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), as well as the Centres of Latin American Studies, South Asian Studies, Development Studies and the Centre of Governance and Human Rights. This stimulating intellectual and social environment presents many opportunities for developing new research initiatives and academic networks. Library facilities in Cambridge are world-renowned, along with its beautiful historic buildings.
The ground floor of the ARB is home to the excellent Arc Café, a popular cafeteria and social space, which opens into a pleasant outdoor eating area. Students also have access to the open study spaces on each floor, as well as a shared kitchen, which is a common meeting place and a hub of social activity. The CAS meeting room is available for student bookings, while an Audiovisual Room in the Centre of Latin American Studies can be booked for film screenings (subject to availability). All students admitted to the MPhil in African Studies join one of the University’s thirty-one Colleges, where they are provided with accommodation and meals, as well as membership of another thriving academic community. Students also have the opportunity to join one or more of the numerous student societies (including ASCU, the African Society of Cambridge University) or to get active with Cambridge University Sport.