Brown presents African research

Photo by: Megan DeWitt

Melissa Rollins, Staff Writer

Associate Professor of Geography Dr. Scott Brown will be presenting the research that he did on traditional culture during his recent trip to Africa at the fall semester’s first Humanities and Social Science Symposium on Aug. 30.

Brown’s presentation, entitled “Folk Material Culture vs. Globalization in West Africa,” will take place from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Founders Hall room 222-A.

Brown will share the findings from his research on globalization and its effect on traditional African culture. Brown said that the study sought to answer the question: “Has globalization pervaded traditional folk tradition?”

This summer, Brown studied the effects that an ever-broadening globalization can have on traditional folk culture. During his six-week trip to Africa, Brown visited eight countries on the African continent to see how each of the tribes had been influenced by outside culture.

Brown visited Senegal, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Gambia and Burkina Faso.

Exploring the way that humans change a country’s landscape was also part of Brown’s research and will be included in his presentation. Brown encourages students to attend the symposium.

“It is not just for colleagues,” Brown said. “Students can learn some-thing as well.”

He believes that students can benefit from learning about traditional global landscapes and globalization, which can also be seen in America.

Brown said that Africa has experienced “a lot of change,” but that traditional culture can still be seen in local markets and the round mud huts that locals live in.

Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Russell Ward, who organizes the Humanities and Social Sciences Symposium, said that he would also like to see more students in attendance.

“Traditional scientists have had a platform; English teachers and social scientists need a forum, too,” Ward said. “Students would benefit from seeing what professors do behind the scenes . . . outside of the lecture environment. At Francis Marion, they don’t just focus on teaching, but also on service and research.”

Ward said that he wants faculty members to be able to share their research in a way that will “connect with students and the community,” and he feels that the symposium offers a good way for them to accomplish that goal.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Symposium takes place throughout the semester. The schedule can be found on the Special Events Calendar on the FMU website.