The September 2012 African Studies Association UK meeting (ASAUK) was one to remember. Not only did it coincide with the 50th anniversary of The Journal of Modern African Studies (JMAS), it also marked the retirement of Professor Christopher Clapham from the Editorship of the Journal. Keen to mark these two events a spectacular 50th anniversary cake was produced and distributed to hungry conference delegates. It was left to the outgoing editor to slice the cake and hand out, with one of the new Editors (Leonardo Villalón) on hand to assist.

After the conference dinner a wine reception was held to thank Christopher for his 15 years at the helm of JMAS. Both Leonardo and Paul Nugent, who will become joint Editors of the journal, toasted to the successful Editorship and his achievements as a leading scholar in African Studies. We all thank Christopher for his hard work and dedication and wish him well for his future endeavours.

JMAS has been proudly published leading research in modern African politics and society since 1963. As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations we are currently offering free access to the most popular papers from the last 50 years. You can view these papers here. We hope those who had the opportunity to taste the JMAS lemon cake at the conference enjoyed it: the cake itself had an eventful journey on three trains from Cambridge to Leeds, carried while I was on crutches. Impressively it survived the journey undamaged and in one piece. We hope that the next 50 years are as fruitful!

Christopher poised to cut the cake

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