The Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies is the only interdisciplinary institute dedicated to a critical understanding of the experiences of Gullah Geechee people and other descendants within the global African diaspora.

The Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies examines the historical migration and scattering of African populations to local geographical areas and the subsequent evolution of blended cultures, specifically Gullah. CCU’s location at the northern tip of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor puts it in a unique position for diaspora study and research. The work of the institute provides students with experiential learning opportunities, both at home and abroad, that center on interconnections among local, national, and global peoples and their societies. The Institute is also a catalyst for community involvement.

The Joyner Institute engages students and faculty in grant-funded experiential learning projects, special events, and a minor in African and African Diaspora Studies.

The Charles W. Joyner Institute of Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal Carolina University invites abstracts, poster sessions, lightning talks, workshops, performances and panel proposals for its Fourth International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference (IGGAD) on February 22-24, 2024. This year’s theme – Speaking with an Unbroken Tongue: Exploring and Celebrating the Language and Culture of Gullah Geechee People and the African Diaspora, focuses on the use of Gullah Geechee oral and cultural language, and how they/we have used them to stay connected to their/our legacy within the African Diaspora; create, protect, and sustain Gullah Geechee communities; and influence American society. 

IGGAD encourages submissions that present new works, projects, analyses, and critiques of public interpretation and performances as well as research of creole and First Nation languages within the African Diaspora and indigenous people. The Joyner Institute of Gullah and African Diaspora Studies believes there is value in continuing these linguistic journeys as vital tools to preserve cultural identity through stories, shared memories, histories, and wisdoms.  IGGAD encourages research in areas such as Afrofuturism, gender studies, Pan-Africanism, theories of race and politics, as well as other topics that intersect with the heritage and culture of the global African Diaspora. Of special importance is our conference’s emphasis on the community-based participatory model, which recognizes the importance of cultural practitioners and community participation to the success of the conference. To this end, the last day of our conference is a public-facing community day that will be held in the historic City of Conway, South Carolina, near the Myrtle Beach and Georgetown areas. This day will combine workshops, performances, and film screenings with project presentations and short lectures. Submitters should indicate interest in giving a public-facing presentation on their initiative or project when submitting their proposals.

To accommodate our international participants and funding deadlines, IGGAD will have a rolling notification of decisions of acceptance. We will stop accepting applications on November 15 and provide notification no later than November 20.

Contact the organizers at via email. 

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The Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies