The power of imagination to help humans break free of confinement is truly the story of all art. --Ngugl wa Thiong'o "Note to this Edition" in Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir (1) This special edition of A:JPAS is the response to a call for studies that explore dimensions of the full scope of the African world, as we are especially seeking to broaden our scope of diasporic African content. To this end, we sought submissions from all disciplinary fields of academic inquiry, including the arts, humanities and social sciences, interdisciplinary studies, STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as well as Africology (i.e., African Diaspora Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, African American Studies, Afro-American Studies, Black Studies, Pan African Studies, etc.). The non-exhaustive relevant topics sought for this special edition include the main topic as well as the following subtopics:
* Reports on international study experiences
* The process of merging African American Studies and African Studies
* Historically Black College and University (HBCU) international partnerships
* Partnerships with institutions of higher learning and/or community agencies in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, or the Pacific that serve African people
In my Preliminary Remarks that were a part of a roundtable discussion that was titled "When the Dust Settles: JPAS in the Mix" at the National Council for Black Studies 41st Annual Conference in Houston, Texas (March 2017), I noted that my first engagement with The Journal of Pan African Studies was during its emergence in March 2006--to use the journal's own description--"as an open access multilingual trans-disciplinary on-line peer reviewed scholarly journal". This occurred during my graduate studies in African/African-American History. Between 2006 and 2008, I read issues of the journal with keen interest; indeed, the content and form of the publication was one that I not only admired for purely personal reasons, but it was one that I saw as a sorely needed one in Africology. Two moments will help explicate the development of the enhancement of my cognizance of the importance of The Journal of Pan African Studies.
In 2001 I served as the Chief Editorial Assistant for a Women's Health in the City of Accra Research Collective, a joint project between the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of Ghana, Legon (Accra); while working in offices at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, and while conducting collaborative field research with a Ghanaian geography graduate student near and in Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Osu, and other neighborhoods in Accra, in the words of The Journal of Pan African Studies's website, "the importance of universal access in cyberspace; regardless of geography, economic, social or cultural diversity" was clear to me as I negotiated and witnessed knowledge production and research in environments in which infrastructures were not configured to take full advantage of the global information age. (2) Indeed, I was operating in zones whose exploitation fueled the economic success of the West. This critical recognition of "the...