University of Pittsburgh
October 11, 2004

Oct. 18 Forum at Pitt to Address Conflict in the Darfur Region of East Africa

Conflict in Sudan fuels debates over U.S. foreign policy
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The international community has, collectively, yet to recognize the conflict in the Darfur region as an act of genocide; as such, international law prohibits other countries from intervening. Nonetheless, the issue of committing U.S. troops to Darfur became a topic of discussion during the Sept. 30 presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. To help members of the University community and the Pittsburgh region better understand the conflict in East Africa, Pitt's Ford Institute on Human Security is partnering with Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the American Jewish Committee, the Black-Jewish Dialogue, the Hillel Jewish Community Center, the Islamic Council of Pittsburgh, the Religious Leadership Forum, and the United Jewish Federation to host an Oct. 18 forum, titled "Genocide in Sudan? Understanding the Conflict in the Darfur Region." The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room G23 of Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health, 130 DeSoto St., Oakland.

The free public forum will feature presentations on the historical background and current dimensions to the problem by John Hunwick, emeritus professor of history and religion at Northwestern University, and Buba Misawa, an associate professor of political science at Washington and Jefferson College and a specialist in conflicts and African Security. Simon Reich, director of the Ford Institute and professor of public and international affairs, will moderate.

Hunwick, a distinguished historian, earned his bachelor's degree in Arabic and his Ph.D. at the University of London in 1959 and 1974, respectively. His teaching career includes appointments at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he was instrumental in establishing the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies; the University of London; the University of Ghana, where he served as professor and chair of the Department of History; the American University in Cairo, Egypt; and

Northwestern University. His scholarly interests include Arabic manuscripts and the broader field of Arabic literature of Africa, as well as the social and intellectual history of Islamic Africa. Hunwick is the author of Arabic Literature of Africa II: The Writings of Central Sudanic Africa (Brill Academic Publishers, 1995), Shari'a in Songhay (Oxford University Press, 1985), and Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire (Brill Academic Publishers, 1999). He edited Religion and National Integration in Africa (Northwestern University Press, 1992) and is a founder and editor of Sudanic Africa: A Journal of Historical Sources (University of Bergen).

Misawa, a native of Nigeria, earned both a master's degree (1985) and a Ph.D. degree (1992) at Pitt in public and international affairs and political science, respectively. Following the completion of his doctoral studies, he joined Pitt's faculty as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies. In 1995, Misawa was appointed to his current position at Washington and Jefferson. His research interests include U.S. foreign policy toward Africa, African conflicts and security, and Nigerian foreign policy. During the summer of 2003, Masawa served as assistant director of the Fulbright-Hays field trip to Ghana. Since 1986, he also has worked with the outreach program of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

For more information on the forum, call Sandra Monteverde, assistant to the director of the Ford Institute, at 412-648-7434.