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African Linguistics and Literatures

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We are socially committed and we put effort in making our knowledge accessible to a wider audience that goes beyond our primary academic audience.

In this regard, we participate in outreach activities that serve as a bridge between the “academic ivory tower” and the “general audience”. In doing so, within the limited scopes of our disciplines, we act as cultural mediators in the communication and knowledge transmission between academia and the interested public.

​Projekttag @MWGHide

Since 2015, we regularly take part in the alumni outreach day with the Markgräfin-Wilhelmine Gymnasium Bayreuth. Former students from this high-school tell 9th graders about their career paths and daily work and professional ethics. We talk about Afrikanistik as a subject not to be mistaken with Anthropology or African Studies but as a matter of linguistics; but fun nevertheless. In the process, the pupils also learn about the idea of Africa not as a country but a continent with over 2,000 languages and just as many different cultures.


Exhibition Hide

Exhibition  with BA students ASpLiKu and Secondary School (Gymnasium) in Veitshöchheim

Students of the Gymnasium Veitshöchheim visited Bayreuth and Iwalewa Haus during the winter term 2010/11 to work on aspects of Namibian history and curation with BA students of the interdisciplinary BA programme African Languages, Literatures and Arts. The result of this joint venture was an exhibition on colonial history and language diversity in Namibia which was shown at the high school in 2011 at Veitshöchheim as part of the Kulturherbst initiative. ​

Open Day Hide

Open Day of the Botanical Garden (UBT): Exhibition on African cultural plants (BA/MA)

In a project seminar and in collaboration with the Botanical Garden at UBT Bayreuth BA and MA students of the programs African Languages, Literatures and Arts and Magister Afrikanistik developed posters, stands, interactive presentations and a quiz on African cultural plants to be shown at the Open Day of the Botanical Garden at Bayreuth in summer 2009.  ​

Praktikums BerichtHide
Judith Lejndorff

In July 2022, our chairs together with the Iwalewahaus hosted the intern Judith Lehndorff who visited us from Gymnasium Christian Ernestinum secondary school in Bayreuth. This is what she had to say:


“In meiner Praktikumszeit bei der Universität Bayreuth habe ich einen Einblick in die Afrikanistik bekommen, bei dem ich unter anderem Unterrichtsstunden besucht habe. Dabei waren auch Sprachkurse, bei denen man natürlich nicht alles versteht, aber schon einen generellen Eindruck in die Sprache und die Struktur des Unterrichts erhält. Außerhalb der verschiedenen Unterrichtsstunden habe ich auch die Chance bekommen, ein kleines Projekt zu beginnen, bei dem ich Fotografien und Gemälde, die mir von der Universität Bayreuth und dem Iwalewahaus zur Verfügung gestellt wurden, anschauen und auswählen sollte. Die Auswahl hat sich dabei auf Landwirtschaft und Agrarkultur in Teilen von Afrika beschränkt. Ich finde diese Projektidee sehr interessant und konnte dabei auch selbst viel erfahren und natürlich auch viele Kunstwerke bestaunen, die ich auch bei meinem Besuch im Iwalewahaus nochmal persönlich anschauen konnte. Das Ziel des Projektes ist Landwirtschaftsformen von früher und heute zu vergleichen und ich freue mich schon die Ergebnisse davon zu sehen. Im Allgemeinen empfand ich es als sehr vorteilhaft, bei vielen verschiedenen Arten der Afrikanistik an der Uni Bayreuth reinschauen zu können um ein noch besseres Verständnis für die Arbeit und das Studium zu erhalten.”



During my internship at the University of Bayreuth, I got an insight into African Language Studies, where I attended classes, among other things. There were also language courses where you of course don't understand everything but you get a general impression of the language and the structure of the lessons. Outside of the different classes, I also got the chance to start a small project where I had to look at and select photographs and paintings that were provided to me by the University of Bayreuth and the Iwalewahaus. The selection was limited to agriculture and agrarian culture in parts of Africa. I find this project idea very interesting and was able to learn a lot myself and of course admire many works of art, which I could also look at again personally during my visit to the Iwalewahaus. The goal of the project is to compare forms of agriculture from the past and today and I am looking forward to seeing the results. In general, I found it very beneficial to be able to look into many different types of African Language Studies at the University of Bayreuth in order to get an even better understanding of the work and studies.


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