The SSA is affiliated with the North American African Studies Association. The SSA is directed by a volunteer board.

SSA Board
Tim Cleaveland, University of Georgia
Chouki Hamel, Arizona State University (USA-Maghreb Dialog Group)
Ghislaine Lydon, University of California, Los Angeles
E. Ann McDougall, University of Alberta
Jacob Mundy, Colgate University

History and Goals of the SSA
The SSA was formed at the ASA’s annual meeting in Seattle in November 1992, following a panel entitled ‘The Missing Link: the Sahara and African Studies’. In the discussion it was agreed that the way in which research tends to be regionally compartmentalized–Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa–is essentially a legacy of colonialism with little scholarly justification. Such a division effectively excludes the Sahara and provides little opportunity for pursuing inter-regional connections.

While the focus of the Association is the Saharan region, it is intended that the association will provide a forum for linking the West African Sahel (from the Atlantic to Lake Chad) with North-West Africa, Libya and Egypt. We deliberately excluded the Nilotic Sudan from our purview since there already exists an active Sudan Studies Association. We hope, however, to establish fruitful dialog and exchange of information and ideas with the latter body.

Broadly speaking, then, the aim of the Association is to foster collaboration and exchange of information between interested scholars in a variety of disciplines ranging through the arts, the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences, as they encounter new research materials, engage with local fieldwork problems and seek avenues for bringing the results of their research to a wider circle of colleagues.