7 episodes

This series of podcasts explore the question of adolescence in African contexts. They are part of the ongoing work of the 5-year, UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund Hub, Accelerating Achievement for Africa's Adolescents, hosted by the University of Oxford and the University of Cape Town. These podcasts are part of the innovation strand of the Hub's work, seeking to challenge and extend the ideas that underpin research on adolescence in Africa.

Understanding Adolescence in African Contexts Oxford University

    • Education

This series of podcasts explore the question of adolescence in African contexts. They are part of the ongoing work of the 5-year, UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund Hub, Accelerating Achievement for Africa's Adolescents, hosted by the University of Oxford and the University of Cape Town. These podcasts are part of the innovation strand of the Hub's work, seeking to challenge and extend the ideas that underpin research on adolescence in Africa.

    S2E3: Thinking Futures

    S2E3: Thinking Futures

    This episode’s discussion with three African writers and cultural practitioners asks how we imagine the future in situations where we may lack resources or feel cut off from opportunities. In contexts of poverty and deprivation, how do young people in Africa think about tomorrow? We also talk about the tools that work well to imagine the future.

    Participants:
    Aleya Kassam (LAM Sisterhood, Kenya), Mako Muzenda (Independent Researcher, Zimbabwe), Jonny Steinberg (Yale/WiSER)
    With Chair: Elleke Boehmer

    • 1 hr
    S2E2: Employment as Accelerator

    S2E2: Employment as Accelerator

    This episode’s conversation explores the practical ways in which jobs can be created as an intervention for young people on the African continent. The participants draw on their experience to talk about what worked particularly well in recent interventions relating to employment.

    Participants:
    Lukas Hensel (Guanghua University), Kebba-Omar Jagne (Gambia), Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah (Cambridge)
    With Chair: Elleke Boehmer

    • 55 min
    S2E1: Narrative, intervention, motivation

    S2E1: Narrative, intervention, motivation

    This episode is a conversation about how storytelling works in empowering ways in in situations of intervention in African contexts. We discuss how our work on motivation and storytelling helps to ground interventions in particular contexts and to make them relatable and own-able for people.

    In this episode of ‘Understanding Adolescence in African Contexts’, we look at the kinds of stories that have worked for us in our different activities (teaching, writing, activist groups, social work), and we explore further the things we might do with narrative interventions.

    Participants:
    Alude Mahali (HSRC South Africa), Robert Muponde (Wits), Tamsen Rochat (Wits)
    With Chair: Elleke Boehmer

    • 55 min
    S1E4: Adolescence, narrative and storytelling

    S1E4: Adolescence, narrative and storytelling

    This episode hosts a discussion reflecting on the meeting points between narrative and adolescence. The episode seeks to flesh out how stories are used by adolescents, and told about adolescents, and what differences this makes to their lives. The participants debate the ethics of storytelling, the relationship between stories and empathy, and what makes people able to tell stories about themselves in the first place. As forms and nexuses of power, stories have a deep hold not only on how adolescents understand themselves, but how others understand adolescents. How might the power of stories, then, be harnessed to improve the lives of Africa’s adolescents?

    This episode was recorded during a three-day workshop on the theme of Understanding Adolescence in African Contexts, hosted at Rhodes House in Oxford.

    Participants
    Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literatures in English at the University of Oxford, and a prize-winning novelist and short-story writer.
    Oluwafemi Oyebode is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham.
    Caroline Adjimi is a doctoral researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
    Hermann Wittenberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of English where he teaches courses in Ecocritical Writing, South African Literature and Digital Culture.

    • 26 min
    S1E3: Performance and Adolescence

    S1E3: Performance and Adolescence

    This episode explores the relationship between performance and selfhood in adolescent lives. Roaming from methodologies of writing and photography through questions of gender, social media and performativity, the participants share their experiences about the importance of story-telling and expression to adolescents in Africa and beyond. They reflect together on how image-making, performance, writing, film, dance and other forms of creative practice are both crucial to adolescent identity and highly productive methods for researching adolescence. Ultimately, the participants agree, any research on adolescence, and any intervention into their lives must begin in equal partnership adolescents themselves.

    This episode was recorded during a three-day workshop on the theme of Understanding Adolescence in African Contexts, hosted at Rhodes House in Oxford.

    Participants
    Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literatures in English at the University of Oxford, and a prize-winning novelist and short-story writer.
    Alude Mahali is a post-doctoral fellow/research specialist in the Human and Social Development (HSD) programme.
    Alexandra Georgakopoulou is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Sociolinguistics at King’s College London
    Kopano Ratele is a Professor in the Institute of Social and Health Sciences (ISHS) at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

    • 30 min
    S1E2: Adolescence and Care

    S1E2: Adolescence and Care

    This epsiode addresses the role of care in adolescence in African contexts. The conversation explores how context changes the very spaces and times of what adolescence is, when it starts and ends, how it is experienced and how it is categorized. Reflecting on the role of friendship, family formations and environmental conditions, the participants think through how interventions in adolescent lives relate to complex conditions of context. They discuss how different dimensions of care – whether in the home, institution or wider society – effect adolescence, and on the interweavings of care that take place before, during and after adolescence.

    This episode was recorded during a three-day workshop on the theme of Understanding Adolescence in African Contexts, hosted at Rhodes House in Oxford.


    Participants
    Chris Desmond is a Director of the Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Hub
    Olayinka Omigbodun is the first Nigerian female professor of psychiatry. She is Professor at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
    Cindi Katz is professor of Environmental Psychology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, American Studies, and Women's Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Centre.
    Lucie Cluver is Principal Investigator on the Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Hub.

    • 28 min

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