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The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies


The Ferguson Centre promotes the interdisciplinary study of empire and postcolonial conditions with a particular focus on Africa and Asia. Since its establishment in 2002, it has hosted seminars, exchanges, postgraduates and run collaborative research projects.

Members have contributed to the writing of a range of Arts courses including: A326 Empire 1492-1975; A180 Heritage, whose heritage?; AD281 Understanding global heritage; A300 20th century literature: texts and debates; A215 Creative writing; A815 MA English; A230 Reading and studying literature; AA316 The nineteeth-century novel.

Dr Sandip Hazareesingh takes over as Centre Director in January 2016.


Forthcoming events

Joint Ferguson Centre-OpenSpace half-day seminar on ‘Non-Eurocentric approaches to environmental history’

2 November 2016, 12.30-4.00 pm, The Open University, Milton Keynes, Library seminar rooms 1-2

The field of environmental history emerged just a few decades ago but has established itself as one of the most important and innovative interdisciplinary approaches to studies of the past, one that bridges the humanities and the sciences as well as the human and natural worlds. Moreover, with the current trend towards global approaches in the humanities and social sciences, environmental history is uniquely positioned to studying subjects outside the nation-state framework and highlighting perspectives from regions and societies beyond Europe. Jointly organised by the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies and the OpenSpace Research Centre, this half-day seminar will present current work in environmental history focussing on Africa and South Asia, highlighting the salience of traditional ecological knowledge in shaping how people experience and respond to their changing local environments. This event is envisaged as the first in a series of research conversations led by research centres in FASS.

To register please contact Marie-Claire Le Roux or 01908 653179 stating your dietary or special requirements by 24th October 2016.

Abstracts and programme


Recent events

Cultural Rights and Kenya’s New Constitution project

Cultural Rights in Action: from global policy to local practice.
Wednesday 20 April 2016, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.

A one-day workshop that will present preliminary research findings by the project team drawn from case studies across Kenya.
More information at and

Panel on Heritage and Subversion in Africa
3-8 June 2016, Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, Montreal, Canada
Conference website

Local Subversions of Colonial CulturesNew publication

Local Subversions of Colonial Cultures: Commodities and Anti-Commodities in Global History by Sandip Hazareesingh and Harro Maat, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
Find out more about this book

Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque), Arab Street, Singapore (2007). Photo: Karl Hack

Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque), Arab Street, Singapore (2007). Photo: Karl Hack

Market woman, Nigeria. Photo: Françoise Parent Ugochukwu

Market woman, Nigeria. Photo: Françoise Parent Ugochukwu