The Graduate Student Caucus of the ALA (GSCALA) is a relatively small group of MA and PhD students from around the world that organizes graduate student-oriented events and panels at the annual conference. The purpose of the caucus is to facilitate and strengthen graduate student participation in the ALA, providing students with opportunities to advance their research, professional development, and relationships with scholars in the field.


2016-2017 GSCALA Leadership

Chair: Molly Slavin, Emory University
Vice-Chair: Kerry Manzo, Texas Tech University
Media Officer: Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu, Cornell University
Secretary: Babasinmisola Fadirepo, Louisiana State University
Treasurer: Alexander Fyfe, Penn State University

Members at Large
Michelle Clarke, University of London (SOAS)
Heather Jeanne Denyer, CUNY Graduate Center
Kate Harlin, University of Missouri
Nancy Henaku, Michigan Tech University
Bernie Lambardi, Rutgers University
Deborah Nyangulu, University of Münster
Maria-Gratias Sinon, SUNY Buffalo
Cristina Onesta, Boston University
Bernard Oniwe, University of South Carolina
Lester Mwetu Peter, University of Kabianga
Magdalena Pfalzgraf, Goethe University
Jill Planche, Brock University
Ann Reading, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, University of Alberta
Yuan-Chih Yen, University of Witwatersrand



We encourage all graduate students who presented papers at the 43rd annual conference at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut to submit their papers to be considered for the 2017 Graduate Student Best Essay Award. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2017 Submissions should be sent to

At the 43rd annual conference, GSCALA hosted a key-note lecture given by Tejumola Olaniyan on "The State of African Literature." The GSCALA also hosted a roundtable for graduate students and junior faculty members on publishing. The stellar lineup of speakers included Lindsey Green-Simms, Abioseh Porter, Kerry Manzo and Anne Adams. If you missed it or want to listen back to something in the discussion, email Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu ( to receive a digital copy of the audio recording.

The next conference will be hosted in Washington, DC in May 2018.


Join Us

GSCALA welcomes all graduate students who wish to be part of a community of like-minded students studying the literatures and cultures of Africa and the diaspora. And we are always looking for motivated students to help out with our organizing efforts. To learn more about the caucus please contact Molly Slavin at

Click here to join our Facebook page.
And please follow us on Twitter @GSCALA_.

GSCALA Constitution