Thomas Spear is Professor of African History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was also Director of the African Studies Program and Chair of the History Department. He is a leading scholar of pre-colonial and East African history, and has published a number of books and articles on the subject, including The Kaya Complex: A History of the Mijikenda Peoples of the Kenya Coast to 1900 (1978); Kenya’s Past: An Introduction to Historical Method in Africa (1981); The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800–1500 (with Derek Nurse, 1985); Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru (1997); Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa (ed. with Richard Waller, 1993); and East African Expressions of Christianity (ed. with Isaria Kimambo, 1999). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies; served as editor of the Journal of African History; and taught at La Trobe University and Williams College.
Back To Top
Nwando Achebe is an award-winning scholar and the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History at Michigan State University. She is founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of West African History. Achebe received her PhD from UCLA in 2000. In 1996 and 1998, she served as a Ford Foundation and Fulbright-Hays Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her research interests involve the use of oral history in the study of women, gender, and sexuality in Nigeria. Her first book, Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings: Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900–1960 was published in 2005 (Heinemann). Achebe’s second book, The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe (Indiana University Press, 2011), winner of three book awards—the Aidoo-Snyder, Barbara “Penny” Kanner, and Gita Chaudhuri prizes—is a full-length critical biography of the only female warrant chief and king in British Africa. Achebe has received grants from Rockefeller Foundation, Wenner-Gren, Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright-Hays, Ford Foundation, World Health Organization, and National Endowment for the Humanities.
Matthew Davies works on long-term human-environment relations in Eastern Africa with particular focuses on agricultural and pastoral systems and the integration of anthropological, historical, ecological, climatic, spatial and archaeological data to address contemporary challenges of landscape and ecological management. He is Co-Director of the Marakwet Heritage Project and coordinates the interdisciplinary African Farming Research Network. Matthew holds the post of Lecturer in African Studies at University College London and was formerly a research fellow at the University of Cambridge and Assistant Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa. .
Toyin Falola is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair Professor in the Humanities and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria and of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. He has received various awards and honors, including the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, the Texas Exes Teaching Award, and the Ibn Khaldun Distinguished Award for Research Excellence, among others. Professor Falola has published numerous books, including Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide, Nationalism and African Intellectuals, and many edited books including Tradition and Change in Africa and African Writers and Their Readers. He is the co-editor of the Journal of African Economic History, Series Editor of the Cambria African Studies Series, Series Editor of Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, and Series Editor of the Culture and Customs of Africa by Greenwood Press.
Allen J. Fromherz is Associate Professor of North African, Mediterranean, and Gulf history at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Fromherz has written several books on North Africa, including The Almohads: Rise of an Islamic Empire (IB Tauris) and Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times (Edinburgh University Press). He is completing a book entitled The Near West: North Africa and the Medieval Western Mediterranean (Edinburgh). He has also published on the Gulf region, writing Qatar: A Modern History (Georgetown). Dr. Fromherz has received several research fellowships including the Gerda Henkel Grant, Fulbright Scholarship, American Institute for Maghrib Studies Grants, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center grant, and a Senior Fellowship at New York University Abu Dhabi in the Spring of 2016. Dr. Fromherz served as Vice President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (2011–2015) and has served as a North Africa editor for the Dictionary of African Biography.
Dorothy L. Hodgson is Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University and President of the African Studies Association. As a historical anthropologist, she has worked in Tanzania, East Africa, for almost thirty years on such topics as gender, ethnicity, cultural politics, colonialism, nationalism, modernity, the missionary encounter, transnational organizing, and the indigenous rights movement. She is the author and editor of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books, including, most recently, Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: Postcolonial Politics in a Neoliberal World (Indiana, 2011), which received an Honorable Mention for the Senior Book Award from the American Ethnological Society; Gender and Culture at the Limit of Rights (Pennsylvania, 2011); and The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader (Oxford, in press). Her work has been supported by awards from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, American Council for Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, American Philosophical Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
Peter Limb is Africana Bibliographer and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of History, Michigan State University. He has published widely on Southern African history, digitization in Africa, archives, ethics, and the anti-apartheid movement, including: The People’s Paper: A Centenary History and Anthology of Abantu-Batho (Johannesburg, 2012); Autobiography and Selected Works of A. B. Xuma (Cape Town, 2012); The ANC’s Early Years: Nation, Class, and Place in South Africa before 1940 (Pretoria, 2010); Grappling with the Beast: Indigenous South(ern) African Responses to Colonialism, 1840–1930 (Leiden, 2010); and Nelson Mandela (Westport, 2008). In 2012 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award. He serves on the Herskovits Award committee for the best book in African studies, and as convener of the Cooperative Africana Materials Project Newspaper Committee; co-chairperson of the Association of Concerned African Scholars; co-editor of the Africa Past and Present podcast; and coordinator of the African Activist Archives. He has been involved in digitization projects in South Africa and Malawi. His current research includes books on the Free State and African political cartooning.
Gregory H. Maddox is a specialist in African and environmental history. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has co-edited two collections with James Giblin of the University of Iowa, Custodians of the Land: Environment and History in Tanzania (with I.N. Kimambo), and In Search of the Nation: Histories of Authority and Dissidence from Tanzania, both published by Ohio University Press. His translation of Mathias Mnyampala’s The Gogo: History, Customs, and Traditions from Swahili was a finalist for the African Studies Association’s Text Prize in 1997. His most recent scholarly books are Practicing History in Central Tanzania: Writing, Memory, and Performance with Ernest M. Kongola (Heinemann, 2006); Sub-Saharan Africa: An Environmental History (ABC/CLIO, 2006); and, with Karl Ittmann of the University of Houston and Dennis Cordell of Southern Methodist University, The Demography of Empire (Ohio University Press, 2010). He is currently Professor and Dean of the Graduate School at Texas Southern University in Houston.
Gerald C. Mazarire is a lecturer in African history at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe. His research interests include the oral traditions of the Shona people, environmental history, landscape and historical geography, and the history of liberation movements across southern Africa. He has published numerous articles for such publications as the Journal of African Conflict and Development; the Journal of Peace, Conflict, and Military Studies; the Journal of Southern African Studies; Zimbabwean Prehistory; and the African Historical Review, among others. He was a 2013 ACLS Fellow in the African Humanities Program.
Peter Mitchell studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge followed by a DPhil at Oxford, focused on the late Pleistocene Later Stone Age of southern Africa. After stints at Cape Town and in Wales, he returned in 1995 to Oxford, where he is Professor of African Archaeology and Tutor in Archaeology at St Hugh’s College. He has directed several projects in Lesotho, most recently as Senior Consultant on the Metolong Cultural Heritage Management Project (2008–2012), and served as President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists from 2004 to 2006. Mitchell is a member of the Governing Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa and co-edits Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa. He has written widely on African archaeology (The Archaeology of Southern Africa, Cambridge University Press, 2002; African Connections: Archaeological Perspectives on Africa and the Wider World, AltaMira Press, 2005; The First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers, Cambridge University Press, 2008, with Larry Barham) and recently edited the Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology with Paul Lane (2013).
Richard Roberts is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History at Stanford University and the Ford-Dorsey Co-Director of the Center for African Studies. He has written widely on the economic and social history of French West Africa. His most recent research has focused on what historians of Africa can learn from court cases. His book Litigants and Households: African Disputes and Colonial Courts in the French Soudan, 1895–1912 (Heinemann, 2005) was based on analysis of over 2,000 civil disputes. He has also recently published Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (edited with Emily Burrill and Elizabeth Thornberry, Ohio, 2010); Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges (edited with Ebrahim Moosa and Shamil Jeppie, Amsterdam, 2010); Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake: Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa (edited with Benjamin Lawrance, Ohio, 2012); and Marriage by Force?: Contestation over Consent and Coercion in Africa (edited with Anne Bunting and Benjamin Lawrance, Ohio, forthcoming). Roberts is currently working on a micro-history of Faama Mademba Sy, who rose from being a clerk in the French colonial post and telegraph service to king of Sinsani in recently conquered French Soudan.
Chris Saunders is Emeritus Professor of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, where he taught for many years before retiring, after which he worked for two years at the Centre for Conflict Resolution, also in Cape Town. He was educated at UCT and then Oxford University, where he completed a doctorate on the annexation of the Transkeian Territories in the late 19th century. He has written widely on topics in the history of Southern Africa. He is co-author with Rodney Davenport of South Africa: A Modern History (Macmillan, 5th edition, 2000) and, more recently, of a number of articles on Southern Africa in the late 20th century. With Sue Onslow, he wrote the chapter on Southern Africa for The Cambridge History of the Cold War, volume 3. His most recent publication is a chapter on South Africa’s foreign policy in a volume edited by Robert Rotberg on Governance and Innovation in Africa: South Africa after Mandela (CIGI, 2014).
Kathleen Sheldon is an independent scholar who has a research affiliation with the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has written on African women’s history and history in Mozambique. She edited Courtyards, Markets, City Streets: Urban Women in Africa (Westview, 1996), and also published Pounders of Grain: A History of Women, Work, and Politics in Mozambique (Heinemann, 2002), and the Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa (Scarecrow, 2005, revised edition forthcoming 2015). Her articles have appeared in African Studies Review, Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Journal of African Historical Studies, History in Africa, Lusotopie, Signs, and in numerous edited collections and reference works. She has served on the editorial boards of the New Encyclopedia of Africa (2007), the Dictionary of African Biography (2011), and Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies (2012 and ongoing). She is treasurer of the African Studies Association, and serves as an editor with H-Luso-Africa, an online network of scholars interested in Portuguese-speaking Africa.
Olufemi (Femi) Vaughan is the Alfred Sargent Lee ’41 & Mary Farley Ames Lee Professor of African Studies at Amherst College. He is author and editor of ten books, over fifty scholarly articles, and many reviews, including Religion and the Making of Nigeria (Duke University Press, 2016) and Nigerian Chiefs: Traditional Power in Modern Politics, 1890s-1990s (University of Rochester Press, 2000; second edition, 2006). Before joining the faculty of Amherst College, he was professor of Africana Studies and History at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where he was associate provost, and was the Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College where he led the revitalization of Bowdoin’s Africana Studies Program. He is co-editor of the Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Nigeria, a Senior Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Methods, Sources, and Historiography in African History, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Africa Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. Femi Vaughan is the recipient of several professional awards including a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Fellowship, Ford Foundation fellowships, a Distinguished Scholars Award of the Association of Global South Studies, and a State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Jelmer Vos is Assistant Professor of History at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He received his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2005 and has since been on the editorial board of Voyages, the online transatlantic slave trade database. He has published several articles and book chapters on the socioeconomic history of northern Angola in the late 19th century as well as the Atlantic slave trade, with particular attention to the coastal regions of modern Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. His book, Kongo in the Age of Empire, 1860–1913, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, examines the history of the kingdom of Kongo under Portuguese rule.
Richard Waller is now retired after a long career of undergraduate teaching in England, Malawi, and the United States, including posts at Cambridge University, the University of Malawi, the University of Virginia, and Bucknell University. He is the editor of Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa (with Thomas Spear, 1993), and the author of numerous articles and book chapters on the pre-colonial and colonial history of East Africa, especially Kenya, with particular reference to pastoralism, ethnicity, and law. His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Economic and Social Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society.
Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa oversees the non-governmental organization Onyeoma Research, which encourages the study of the Niger Delta and promotes the work of gifted young writers from the region. He has written extensively on the history and culture of the Niger Delta. Professor Alagoa is a Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria and of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. He received Nigeria’s National Merit Award in 2011.
Ruramisai Charumbira is an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a cultural historian who studies and teaches on the ideas that shape people’s gendered historical memory as individuals, communities, and societies writ large. Her work examines individual and local memories, placing them in larger continental and global historical perspectives. Her book, Imagining a Nation: History and Memory in Making Zimbabwe (University of Virginia, 2015), was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians Book Prize. She is currently at work on a second monograph on memory and transnational migration (Bloomsbury, 2017) as well as academic articles and literary pursuits.
Shadreck Chirikure is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town. His research on the technology and anthropology of material culture has received the University of Cape Town’s College of Fellows’ Young Researcher Award and the Faculty of Science Young Researcher Award. Chirikure also received the Best Paper Prize for research published in Antiquity, a leading global archaeology journal. He currently sits on the advisory board of African Archaeological Review, and on a number of committees that shape policy regarding African archaeology and heritage.
Owen J. M. Kalinga is Professor of History at North Carolina State University. He has taught at the universities of Malawi, Dalhousie (Canada), Jos (Nigeria), Lesotho, and the Western Cape (South Africa). Prof. Kalinga has published on the Lake Malawi region in many leading academic journals, including Journal of African History; African Affairs; Journal of Southern African Studies; African Studies Review; Cahiers d’Études Africaines; and International Journal of African Historical Studies. His other publications include A History of the Ngonde Kingdom of Malawi; Communities at the Margin: Studies in Rural Society and Migration in Southern Africa 1890–1980; and the Historical Dictionary of Malawi.
Elias C. Mandala is Professor in the Department of History at the University of Rochester. His research interests include African agriculture, environments, food, gender, peasantry, and labor movements in southern Africa since the mid-19th century. He is the author of many articles on the agrarian history of Southern Malawi, and his book Work and Control in a Peasant Economy: A History of the Lower Tchiri Valley in Malawi, 1859–1960 was a finalist for the 1990 Herskovits award.
Kathryn M. de Luna is an Assistant Professor of African History at Georgetown University. She specializes in the history of precolonial Africa as accessed through historical linguistics, archaeology, and paleoclimatology. de Luna is completing a book tracing the relationship between subsistence and notoriety in south central Africa across three millennia. Her next two projects similarly reconstruct the longue durée history of the mobility of people, languages, and material culture in Bantu-speaking communities and those intimate relationships that augmented familiar ties to kin, clan, shrines, and local leaders.
Bertram B.B. Mapunda is the principal for the Colleges of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at Dar es Salaam University, and head of the Department of History. His research focuses on archaeometallurgy, public archaeology, social history, and cultural heritage. He sits on the editorial board for the Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage, and on the board for the Partnership for Africa’s Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA).
Patrick R. McNaughton is the Chancellor’s Professor of African Art History at Indiana University. He has been a Smithsonian Senior Fellow, and received Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities grants. He directed the Five Windows into Africa CD-ROM project and contributed the “window” on masquerade performance. Along with numerous articles and a monograph on the Mande Kòmò Association, his books—The Mande Blacksmiths: Knowledge, Power, and Art in West Africa (Indiana University Press, 1993) and A Bird Dance Near Saturday City: Sidi Ballo and the Art of West African Masquerade (Indiana, 2008)—were both finalists for the Melville J. Herskovits Award. He has served on the African Studies Association Board of Directors, is an editor for Africa Today, and is general editor of the Indiana University Press series African Expressive Cultures. He is on the Advisory Board for Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies, and served as chair of his department from 2007 to 2015.
received her PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2005. She is currently an associate professor and researcher at WiSER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She recently published a book titled Magema Fuze: The Making of aKholwa Intellectual, which is about Magema Magwaza Fuze, the first Zulu-speaker to publish a book in the language.
Catherine Namono is a researcher at the Rock Art Research Institute, Department of Archaeology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she gained her doctoral degree. Her doctoral research focused on the rock art of forest hunter-gatherers of Uganda. More recently, the scope of her work has grown to include Africa’s eastern and southern regions. Namono’s major research interests are identity and gender, archiving and management, contextual approaches to understanding rock art, and the role of rock art in contemporary societies and cultural history. She currently chairs the Association of Southern African Professional Archeologists and guides the Uganda Association of Archeologists and Paleontologists.
Fallou Ngom is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Studies Center at Boston University. His current research interests include the interactions between African languages and non-African languages, the localization of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa, and Ajami literatures—records of African languages written in Arabic script. He seeks to understand the knowledge buried in African Ajami literatures and the historical, cultural, and religious heritage that has found expression in this manner. Another area of his work is LADO (Language Analysis for the Determination of National Origin), a subfield of Forensic Linguistics. His work has appeared in several leading scholarly journals, including African Studies Review, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, and International Journal of the Sociology of Language. He is the author of Muslims beyond the Arab World: The Odyssey of Ajami and The Muridyya (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Innocent Pikirayi is Professor of Archaeology and Head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. His research explores the rise, development, and demise of state societies in southern Africa, dating to the second millennium AD—particularly Great Zimbabwe and other state systems between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. Professor Pikirayi aims to transform and decolonize archaeological practice in southern Africa by integrating his research with community and public engagement approaches. In 2014, he was named Humanities Researcher of the Year by the Department of Anthropology and Archeology at the University of Pretoria.
Jay Spaulding grew up in an interracial family in Kansas during the 1950s. He was educated at Bethel College and Columbia University, where he received one of the first American-trained PhDs in African History. He is the author of The Heroic Age in Sinnar (Red Sea Press, 2007) and numerous articles and collaborative volumes in the field of Northeast African history. He is a founding member and past president of the Sudan Studies Association. He has taught as a visiting scholar in African History at Columbia University and Michigan State University. He worked for many years at Kean University. He has participated as an editor in the Dictionary of African Biography and Oxford Bibliographies Online.