Nwando Achebe (pronounced: Wan-do Ah-chě-bě; [pronunciation key: ě as in pet]) is responsible for the design of the Institute, selection of all scholars and consultants, and overall planning and implementation of the Institute. Achebe is an award-winning author and Professor of History at MSU. She is also the founding editor-in-chief of the new Journal of West African History published by Michigan State University. She served as a Ford Foundation and Fulbright-Hays Scholar-in-Residence at The Institute of African Studies and History Department of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1996 and 1998. Her research interests involve the use of oral history in the study of women, gender, sexuality, and power in Nigeria. Her first book, Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings: Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900-1960, was published by Heinemann in 2005. Dr. Achebe’s second book, The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe (Indiana University Press, 2011), winner of three awards—The Aidoo-Snyder Book Award, The Barbara “Penny” Kanner Book Award, and The Gita Chaudhuri Book Award—is a critical biography on the only female warrant chief and king in all of colonial Nigeria, and arguably British Africa. Dr. Achebe has received prestigious grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Wenner-Gren, Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright-Hays, Ford Foundation, the World Health Organization, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Achebe’s more than 20 years of teaching experience in the U.S. includes many African history courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels (mentoring and training a next generation of PhDs in African History), as well as developing the “Africa and the World” survey course for which she won MSU’s Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.
Institute Associate Director:
John Metzler will lead Institute sessions that focus on curriculum development and teaching practice. Metzler is Assistant Director, MSU African Studies Center, and Assistant Professor of Teacher Education. He has 27 years’ experience in administering one of the nation’s most comprehensive African outreach programs. Metzler was associate director of the Africa in World History NEH Summer Institute for Teachers in 2013, director of an NEH Summer Institute for Teachers on Comparative Studies of Colonialism: The Colonial Experience and its Aftermath in Africa in 1996, and co-director of a Group Projects Abroad program in South Africa for Michigan high school teachers in 1999. He has taught courses in MSU’s Dept. of Teacher Education about integrating Africa into the K-12 curriculum.
Institute Faculty Lecturers:
A highly qualified group of scholars, many with national reputations in their field, will lecture and engage the teachers in scholarly discovery and learning. All the scholars have researched, written about, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses related to the Institute themes. Participants will benefit from the unusual strength, depth and diversity of the African studies faculty at MSU in history and other relevant fields, as well as from several scholars from other institutions.
Glenn Chambers, Associate Professor, History, expert on the African Diaspora with an emphasis on the modern Caribbean and Latin America. His research intersects with the histories of colonialism (in the Caribbean), labor, nationalism, race relations, and immigration/migration.
Pero Dagbovie, Professor, History, expert on African American history. His books include Black History: “Old School” Black Historians and the Hip Hop Generation, The Early Black History Movement, Carter G. Woodson, and Lorenzo Johnston Greene, and African American History Reconsidered.
Walter Hawthorne, Professor and Chair, History, expert on Atlantic commerce. He has published two monographs, Planting Rice and Harvesting Slaves: Transformations along the Guinea-Bissau Coast, 1400-1900 and From Africa to Brazil Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1830.
Peter Limb, Africana Bibliographer, Adjunct Associate Professor, History, Distinguished Faculty Award recipient, expert on 20th century South African political history. He has published two monographs, The ANC’s Early Years: Nation, Class and Place in SA before 1940 and Nelson Mandela: A Biography.
Folu Ogundimu, Associate Professor, Journalism, expert on African media. He is co-editor of Media and Democracy in Africa and has published many articles on African media and public policy, media training, political liberalization, press performance, and private enterprise broadcasting in sub-Saharan Africa.
Christine Root, Outreach Specialist, History Department. She is the Project Manager of the African Activist Archive Project and South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy website projects.
David Wiley Professor of Sociology Emeritus. A past President of the African Studies Association, Dr. Wiley specializes in social inequality of Africa and its environment, social movements, social stratification and religion, and internationalization of higher education. He has published nine books and monographs.
Leo Zulu, Associate Professor, Geography, expert on African political ecology, environment, and development. He has published articles on socio-spatial geographies of civil war, land, and cover change.
Edward Alpers, Research Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles. A past President of the African Studies Association, Dr. Alpers specializes in the political economy of international trade, with special attention to the western Indian Ocean world. He has published eleven books and monographs.
Joseph Bangura, Associate Professor of History and Director of African Studies at Kalamazoo College. Dr. Bangura’s scholarly interests are identity, the state, Islam and Christianity in Africa. He has published a co-edited manuscript titled History, Society and Culture in a West African City: The Evolution of Temne Institutions in Colonial Freetown, 1880-1960.
George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, McDonnell-Barksdale Chair of Ethnomusicology and Professor of Music, holds a 1977 diploma in music education from Ghana National Academy of Music, a 1986 B.Mus. and 1992 M.Phil. in music from the University of Ghana, and a 2001 Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dor was also the resident conductor for the Ghana National Symphony Orchestra (1996)
Karen Flint, Associate Professor, History, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, expert on Southern Africa. Her Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 was a finalist for the Melville J. Herskovits Finalist Award.
Cymone Fourshey, MacArthur Associate Professor of History, Bucknell University, expert on early East African history. Her current book project is Strangers, Immigrants, and the Established: Hospitality as State Building Mechanism in Southwest Tanzania 300–1900 CE.
Hilary Jones, Associate Professor, History, Florida International University. She is the author of The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa.
Dennis Laumann, Associate Professor, History, University of Memphis, expert on German Africa is the author of two books, Colonial Africa, 1884-1994 and Remembering Germans in Africa.
Ndubueze Mbah, Assistant Professor, History, SUNY Buffalo. Dr. Mbah’s present project is “Emergent Masculinities: The Gendered Struggle for Power in Southeastern Nigeria, 1850-1920.”
Harry Odamtten, Assistant Professor, History, Santa Clara University. He is presently working on a book manuscript entitled, “A History of Ideas: West Africa, The “Black Atlantic,” and Pan-Africanism.”
Jonathan Reynolds, Professor, History, Northern Kentucky University, expert on WestAfrica, Islam, and World History. His first book is The Time of Politics (Zamanin Siyasa): Islam and the Politics of Legitimacy in Northern Nigeria, 1950-1966. Dr. Reynolds(along with Erik Gilbert) co-authored Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present.
Shobana Shankar, Assistant Professor, History, Stony Brook University is a specialist on British W. Africa. She is the author of Who Shall Enter Paradise? — Christian Origins in Muslim Northern Nigeria, c. 1890–1975.
Raymond Silverman, Professor, Department of the History of Art and Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, expert on History of museums in Africa and the translation of local knowledge in community-based cultural institutions. He has published two books and numerous articles on the visual culture of religion and the commodification of culture in Ethiopia and Ghana.
Rudolph (Butch) Ware, Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan, specializes in premodern West African history. His research interests include Islam, popular religious culture, and race. His book, The Walking Qur’an Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa, interrogates the role of Islamic education in shaping Muslim identities, and examines the ways in which Qur’anic schools have articulated with Sufi orders, Muslim reformers, and the state in the recent past.
Craig Windt, has been teaching for 19 years at both the middle school and high school level. He earned his undergraduate degree at Central College in Pella, Iowa and then finished his social studies and history endorsements through Saginaw Valley State University. He is currently working on his masters degree in teaching history and government through Ashland University in Ohio and is Michigan’s 2015 recipient of the James Madison Fellowship. Craig has also participated in several NEH workshops and seminars over the years.