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About the Chair

African Studies (Africanistics) as a specialization, is a programme offered by the Faculty of Oriental studies (formerly known as the Oriental Institute, till January 2008), University of Warsaw. The tradition of African studies at the University of Warsaw was established in the 1950s but it derives its academic pedigree from a much older tradition of Ethiopian studies, the foundations of which at the University of Warsaw were built by Prof. Stefan Strelcyn. The first Department of African and Semitic Studies was founded in 1969.

African studies as a didactic specialty functioned successively within the framework of oriental philology, cultural studies, and since 2005 – within the framework of oriental studies. It is a scientific field with a well-established tradition of linguistic research, which over time has broadened its profile to include research on history, literature, cultural and social issues.

At the University of Warsaw, students of African studies are educated at both bachelor’s and master’s levels. The Africanist profile is also visible at the level of doctoral studies, where research is carried out within the scientific disciplines of linguistics and literary studies. In addition to Polish doctoral candidates, students from African countries are also enrolled.

The Chair of African Languages ​​and Cultures maintains a long tradition of didactics and research in the field of Amharic, Hausa and Swahili. It runs three specialization paths, combining language learning with a whole range of issues related to the language area of ​​North-East Africa, West Africa and East Africa, respectively, as well as Africa as a whole.

The Journal Studies in African Languages and Cultures (until 2018 known as Studies of the Department of African Languages and Cultures) founded in 1984 is affiliated to the Faculty of Oriental Studies whose part is the Chair. The Journal is a forum for the publication of original works in various fields of African studies.

Ethiopian studies in Poland