Grand Challenges: Africa Through Language and Area Studies (ATLAS)
The Africa Through Language and Area Studies (ATLAS) Initiative is establishing a focal point for the study of African languages, history and contemporary issues in the University of Maryland (UMD) community with the goal of increasing the understanding of the African continent and its growing global influence. Through a website that acts as a virtual hub, ATLAS is centralizing all research, scholarship, courses, events and student groups that focus on Africa with the goal of building a comprehensive information source that encompasses all UMD activities related to African studies. As part of this initiative, ATLAS hosts a monthly lecture series and an annual conference on the study of Africa, bringing together interested faculty, staff and students and attracting African thought leaders and scholars to engage with the UMD community. By celebrating the diversity and contributions of Africans, African Americans and the African diaspora, ATLAS seeks to reduce disparities in representation, increase the prominence of African and African American topics of study and encourage more scholarship on Africa.