The African Studies Program is pleased to welcome the new Executive Director of the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS), Anju Reejhsinghani. Anju will join us from UW-Stevens Point, where she is currently an Associate Professor of History and International Studies.

At UW-Stevens Point, Anju developed and taught over a dozen different classes, including History of Mexico, U.S.-Cuba Relations, and Women and Gender in Latin America. In 2013, she organized and taught one of the first UW System for-credit undergraduate study abroad programs in Cuba, which ran again in 2014 and 2016. She also founded an interdisciplinary speaker series that earned a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association.

In this interview, Anju shares why she thinks area studies is a critically important subject of inquiry and how UW-Madison can lead the way in strengthening, expanding, and diversifying this field of study. Anju will assume her new position at UW-Madison on June 1, 2019.

About IRIS

The Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS)–a unit of the International Division–is a consortium of nine area studies centers, the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI), and the International Studies major. IRIS was founded in 2016 to consolidate administrative support services for each of the nine centers in order to cement UW-Madison’s legacy as national leader in area studies education. The IRIS Executive Director position was created in part to develop and support cross-regional programming on campus. Former Associate Director of African Studies Jim Delehanty held the position from from 2016-2018, and Ron Machoian served as interim Executive Director in 2018.

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