Current research in African Studies

We offer this collection to our dear Colleague and Mwalimu Dr. Eugeniusz Rzewuski as our appreciation of his constant love for and great knowledge of Africa, and his generous sharing of this passion and expertise with everybody around him. As Eugeniusz’s former students and then colleagues in the Department of African Languages and Cultures we have received incredible amounts of enlightenment, stimulus, support and positive vibes from him. He guided us through the intricacies of the Swahili language and culture, and introduced us to African linguistics. He never hesitated to dedicate his time and knowledge to encourage us in our research ideas and studies. He also always shared with us his current research projects and interests, whether they be Indian Ocean civilizations, ajami manuscripts, multilingual education, Swahili travelogues, lusona drawings, or computer technologies. His deep knowledge of various fields in African Studies served many generations of students at the University of Warsaw and inspired them further in their professional activities and promotion of African culture in Poland. Upon beginning this project, we immediately realized that Eugeniusz’s other Colleagues had equally positive feelings toward him. He was a friend and a mentor to many, who will always remember the good emotions they shared while doing research together. For the Colleagues from Mozambique, Eugeniusz is part of the generation of independence, as Perpétua Gonçalves and Adelina Gouveia write in their introductory essay, while pointing out his efforts toward recognition of cultural value of Bantu languages. Drawing a Portrait of the Scholar Stanisław Piłaszewicz brings to attention Eugeniusz’s diplomatic career and many other missions he conducted in African countries and in Poland for the purpose of intercultural dialogue and understanding; they brought him numerous awards and people’s gratitude. The papers collected in this volume reflect our own and Eugeniusz’s interests within the broad area of African Studies, providing samples of current research projects in linguistics, literature, history, art, and education. We thank all Colleagues who have kindly agreed to participate as Authors. We are also grateful to Ewa Rzewuska for contributing family photographs and to Nina Pawlak, the Head of the Department of African Languages and Cultures at the University of Warsaw, for her general support on this project.