The African Studies Program (ASP) at Indiana University (IU) requests U.S. Department of Education funding to serve as a comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC) and to award Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. The ASP organizes an interdisciplinary program focusing on African languages and African Studies in teaching and research, provides outreach to various constituencies, and increases access to our rich resources on Africa in libraries, museums, and other IU repositories. The ASP draws on IU's faculty and institutional strengths, concentrated in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and professional schools. The objectives of the proposal are to deepen and expand the ASP's current activities and to pursue new directions to serve local and regional needs and to address national priorities. Goals include: 1) To promote undergraduate African language learning through two or more continuous years and to encourage advanced African language learning at both undergraduate and graduate levels in Arabic, Bamana, Swahili, Twi, and Zulu through initiatives designed a) to enhance instruction at IU, b) to create online language materials for use locally and nationally, c) to collaborate with the African National Language Resource Center (NALRC) and other Africa NRCs in training and pedagogy projects, and d) to provide pedagogical assistance to regional colleges and universities that are beginning to offer African languages; 2) To increase the supply of specialists trained in areas vital to U.S. national security through a) curriculum initiatives, b) website development, and c) conferences regarding Muslim Africa and Democracy and Law; 3) To improve teacher training in African Studies at IU's School of Education by a) expanding our current efforts to introduce Africa content across their elementary and secondary curriculum, and b) sending School of Education faculty who have not been to Africa, on course-development trips to the continent; 4) To expand and enhance outreach to K-12 constituencies by a) forging a new partnership with the School of Education's Social Studies Development Center to offer training on Africa to in-service teachers through workshops, and b) continuing to offer our own one-week summer institutes, day-long workshops, and follow-up sessions with teachers preparing Africa modules for their courses while teaching to the Indiana standards; 5) To make our unique and growing library resources on Liberia more readily accessible to users nationally; 6) To assess the ASP's progress in meeting these goals by a) enhancing our current measurement of student proficiency in languages, and b) instituting a comprehensive and objective evaluation plan, including external assessments and reviews.
Our proposal demonstrates a strong IU commitment to African Studies; the reputations of our faculty and staff; the quality of our curriculum design (including a new B.A. African Languages Minor, a new African Studies M.A. in the final approval stage and proposed dual M.A. degrees with several professional schools); the excellence of instruction in African languages; the breadth and depth of our instruction in African Studies; the strength of our library holdings (which have expanded consistently for over 45 years) and special collections in several areas; and a revitalized and active outreach program. The ASP also has a proven record in providing FLAS awards to students taking languages at advanced levels, those enrolled in M.A. programs in professional schools and students interested in careers in government service.