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African studies conducted at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMOC PAS) are direct continuation of the research policy inaugurated in 1963 by Professor Józef Chałasiński, ordinary member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the creator of the Centre for Studies on Social and Cultural Issues of Contemporary Africa, which later developed into the Center for Studies on Non-European Countries PAS. Therefore, the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures (IMOC PAS), created after the merger of the Center of Studies on Non-European Countries and the Centre of Mediterranean Archeology is the second oldest institution in Poland devoted to African studies. Current research is conducted within the Division for Research on Sub-Saharan Africa (DRSSA) inaugurated in 2020 as one of the two research pillars of the Department of Modern Cultures of Asia and Africa.
DRSSA's research topic: Dialogue of cultures – cultures of conflict. Socio-cultural transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa concentrates on multiethnic and multireligious societies of Africa south of the Sahara. The research concentrates on cultural and religious matters in regard of the African statehood and society while giving the field for the in-depth analysis of the changes and cultural transmission within societies and ethnic groups. Moreover, the research topic recognizes and evaluates the role of the traditional, modern and popular cultures as possible state-building or conflict-generating factors and analyses various aspects of social development and social changes inspired by the cross-cultural dialogue and incited by the local and global cultural products.
At its launch, the Division introduced two, subject oriented, research teams with dynamic staff fluctuations:
1/ Popular and traditional culture in West Africa
2/ Cultural aspects of migration