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Members

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Jeremy Rich

Dr. Jeremy Rich is an Associate Professor of History in the Social Science Department at Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania. He received his doctoral degree from Indiana University in 2002. Dr. Rich is a specialist of Francophone Central Africa, particularly Gabon. His first book, A Workman is Worthy of His Meat: Food and Colonialism in the Gabon Estuary (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), examines the links between food supply, culinary practices, and colonial rule in the Gabonese capital of Libreville and the surrounding Estuary province. Missing Links: The African and American Worlds of R.L. Garner, Primate Collector (University of Georgia Press, 2012), Dr. Rich’s second book, analyzes the life of R.L. Garner, a self-proclaimed zoologist who claimed to have mastered the languages of chimpanzees and gorillas while living in Gabon at the turn of the 20th century. He has received a Fulbright IIE research grant, and has written over 30 articles and book chapters on Gabonese history. Dr. Rich is currently researching the role of aid programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1960 to 1990.

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Kairn Klieman

Dr. Kairn Klieman is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston. She was originally trained as a specialist in comparative historical linguists and the reconstruction of Africa’s pre-colonial past. Her first book, “The Pygmies Were Our Compass”: Bantu and Batwa in the History of West Central Africa, 3000 B.C.E. to 1900 C.E., was a finalist for the Herskovitz Award (best book in African Studies) and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2004. She has received numerous grants and fellowships throughout her career (Fulbright-Hayes, Social Science Research Council, Belgian-American Foundation, The West African Research Association, Humanities Research Center Fellowship at Rice University, among others) and was the recipient of the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in 2007. Dr Klieman’s second book focuses on the history of American oil companies in Africa. Entitled Before the “Curse”: Petroleum, Politics and U.S. Oil Companies in the Gulf of Guinea, Africa, 1890s-1980s, the work chronicles nature and politico-economic impact of long-term relations between transnational oil companies, their home governments, and the colonial and post-colonial governments of West Africa, focusing especially on Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola.

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Michael Schatzberg

His major teaching and research interests are in African politics, comparative politics, political culture, and qualitative methodology. His books include Political Legitimacy in Middle Africa: Father, Family, Food (Indiana University Press, 2001), The Dialectics of Oppression in Zaire (Indiana University Press, 1988), Politics and Class In Zaire: Bureaucracy, Business and Beer in Lisala (Holmes & Meier, Africana, 1980), and Mobutu or Chaos? The United States and Zaire, 1960-1990 (Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1991). He has also published articles in Politique africaine, Journal of Democracy, Africa, Comparative Politics, Journal of Modern African Studies, Afrika Spectrum and other professional journals. One current research project deals with the politics, economics, and culture of football (soccer) in sub-Saharan Africa, while a second explores trans-historical patterns of governance in Africa. Learn more.

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Didier Gondola

Colonial Africa, African Diaspora, popular culture, gender and urban issues in west and central Africa. Teaching. World history surveys and upper-division courses in African history.
Awards. 2011-2012 Recipient of a European Institute for Advanced Studies (Eurias) Senior Fellowship and resident at the Nantes Institut d’Etudes Avancées, October 2011-June 2012 2010 Recipient, International Development Fund from the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. 2008-2009 Recipient of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State (Research conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) 2006 recipient of the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Grant, Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Research.
Publications. Author, Villes miroirs: migrations et identités urbaines á Brazzaville et Kinshasa, 1930-1970 (Mirror Cities: Migrations andUrban Identities in Brassaville and Kinshasa) (Paris: l’Harmattan, 1997); The History of Congo (Greenwood Press, 2002); Africanisme: La crise d’une illusion (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007); Frenchness and the African Diaspora: Identity and Uprisng in Contemporary France, co-edited with Peter J. Bloom and Charles Tshimanga, (Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press 2009); ; and numerous journal articles and book chapters.
Service. Member of the IUPUI African and African American Studies Committee. Member of Central African Studies Association Member of the editorial board of Outre-Mers (Belgium) Learn more.

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Peter J. Bloom

Peter J. Bloom is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of French Colonial Documentary: Mythologies of Humanitarianism (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), and two co-edited volumes with Indiana University Press. The most recent volume is Modernization as Spectacle in Africa, (with Stephan Miescher and Takyiwaa Manuh, 2014). He is currently completing a monograph tentatively entitled The Curse of Minimal Difference: Sounding out late colonial Film and Radio about film and radio in late colonial Ghana and Malaya, and has been interested in the history of drawn strips (bande dessinée) in D. R. Congo, Belgium, among other sites.

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John F. Clark

John F. Clark is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (Miami). He was Chairperson of the Department of International Relations at FIU from August 2002 to December 2008. He specializes in the state-society relations of African polities and the international relations of sub-Saharan Africa. He is co-editor of Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), editor of The African Stakes of the Congo War (2002), author of The Failure of Democracy in the Republic of Congo (2008), and co-author of the Historical Dictionary of Congo (2012). He has also published some forty articles and book chapters, including articles in African Affairs, the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of Modern African Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, African Security, and the Africa Spectrum. During the 1999-2000 academic year he was a Fulbright lecturer and research scholar at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and he has made seven research trips to the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1990. He was a Fulbright Specialist consultant at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in the summer of 2014. He is currently writing a textbook on Africa’s international relations. Learn more.

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Filip De Boeck

As the research coordinator of the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA, www.iara.be), a Research Unit of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Leuven, Professor Filip De Boeck (Antwerp, 1961) is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating and supervising research in and on Africa. Since 1987 he has conducted extensive field research in both rural and urban communities in D.R. Congo (ex-Zaire), starting with years of research in rural communities in the province of Bandundu (1987-1995), followed by long-term research in Kinshasa and other secondary cities such as Kikwit (1995-present). His current theoretical interests include local subjectivities of crisis, postcolonial memory, youth and the politics of culture, and the transformation of private and public space in the urban context in Africa. Filip De Boeck has published extensively. Together with Alcinda Honwana, he edited Makers and Breakers. Children and Youth in Postcolonial Africa (Oxford: James Currey, 2005). Other book publications include Kinshasa. Tales of the Invisible City, a joint book project with photographer Marie-Françoise Plissart (Ghent/ Tervuren: Ludion / Royal Museum of Central Africa, 2004), which was also translated into French (Kinshasa. Récits de la ville invisible. Brussels: Renaissance du Livre, 2005), and for which De Boeck received the Henry Lavachery award from the Académie Royale des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts de Belgique in 2008.

With co-curator Koen Van Synghel, De Boeck curated the exhibition which accompanied the publication of the Kinshasa book. Commissioned by the Flemish Architecture Institute, it was awarded a Golden Lion for best installation during the ninth International Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2004. The exhibition subsequently travelled to Belgium (Bozar, 2005) and South-Africa (Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2006).

In 2008 De Boeck and Van Synghel curated another exhibition about the work of Congolese artist Pume Bylex. On show at the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS) in Brussels (2008). This collaboration resulted in a book, The World According to Bylex (KVS/ Africalia: 2008).

In 2010 De Boeck released ‘Cemetery State’, a 70 minute long documentary film which examines urban youth’s politics of death in a Kinshasa graveyard. A Belgian Dutch co-production, it won the Mirror Award in April 2010.

In a joint book and exhibition project with photographer Sammy Baloji, De Boeck is currently working on new city extensions in Congo (Kinshasa, Lubumbashi), Kenya (Nairobi), and Ghana (Accra, Takoradi).

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Linda Heywood

Professor Linda Heywood is the author of Contested Power in Angola, editor of and contributor to Central Africans: Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora, and co-author with John Thornton of Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of America (Cambridge University Press, July 2007), which won the Melville J. Herskovits Award for the best scholarly work on Africa published in English in 2007. She is completing her book project entitled “Queen Njinga: History, Memory and Nation in Angola and Brazil.” Her articles on Angola and the African Diaspora have appeared in The Journal of African History, Journal of Modern African Studies, Slavery and Abolition, and the Journal of Southern African Studies. She has served as a consultant for numerous museum exhibitions, including African Voices at the Smithsonian Institution, Against Human Dignity sponsored by the Maritime Museum, and the new exhibit at Jamestown, Virginia. She was also one of the history consultants and appeared in the PBS series African American Lives (2006) and Finding Oprah’s Roots (2007), as well as was a consultant for the PBS series Blacks in Latin America (2012).

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Charles Tshimanga

Charles Tshimanga is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Paris 7—Denis Diderot (France). Before coming to UNR, he taught in Paris at the University of Marne-la-Vallée and at the University of Paris 8. He also spent one year as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (2002-2003). He is the author of Jeunesse, formation et société au Congo/Kinshasa, 1890-1960 [Youth, Education and Society in the Congo/Kinshasa. 1890-1960] (2001); and co-author of L’Abako et l’indépendance du Congo Belge. Dix ans de nationalisme Kongo, 1950-1960 [The Bakongo Alliance (Abako) and the Independence of Belgian Congo. Ten Years of Kongo Nationalism, 1950-1960] (2003). He is also co-editor of Frenchness and the African Diaspora: Identity and Uprising in Contemporary France (2009); Ecrire l’histoire de l’Afrique autrement? [Writing African History Differently?] (2004); Histoire et devenir de l’Afrique noire au vingtième siècle. Travaux en cours [History and the Future of Sub-Saharan Africa in the 20th Century. Works in Progress], (2001). He is currently working on the African Diaspora in France and examining how migrations and ethnic minorities challenge the concept of citizenship in early 21st century France. He is also conducting a comprehensive research seeking to understand the wars that have been ravaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996. He teaches a variety of courses on African History, African Civilizations, Islam in Africa, Culture and Societies in Africa, Colonial Africa, Postcolonial Studies, The African Diaspora and Popular culture, etc. He also teaches The Modern World (in the Core Humanities Program) and is serving as Joe Crowley Distinguished Professor of the Humanities (2013–2015). Learn more.

Lys Alcayna Stevens

Lys Alcayna Stevens

Lys Alcayna-Stevens is currently conducting archival research at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress, after completing 18 months of fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She conducted ethnographic research with the Nkundo and the Ngandu peoples in Bandundu and Equateur Provinces, and in the scientific communities studying wild great apes in these peoples’ forests. She examined knowledge-making practices, as well as the relationships between scientists, local communities, state actors, poachers and the great apes being studied, and is interested in the ways in which natural resources are conceptualized and inequalities in power, wealth, ownership and mobility are evoked and negotiated.

Florence Bernault

Florence Bernault

Florence Bernault teaches African History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. in African History in 1994 at the University of Paris-Diderot, and moved to the US in 1996. Her publications include Démocraties ambigües en Afrique centrale: Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, 1940-1965, Paris: Karthala editions, 1996; A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa, Portsmouth, NJ: Heinemann, 2003; and Ruptures Postcoloniales (co-editor, Paris: La Découverte, 2010). Her current book project investigates the history of magic in colonial Gabon, and more broadly, the cross-emergence of black and white anxieties about sacred and spiritual agency from the nineteenth century to the present. Florence Bernault has also worked extensively on colonialism and postcolonialism, particularly on African and colonial scholars’ engagement with current social crises in France. Her work has been rewarded by a John S. Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2001-2002), a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2008) and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (2013-214). She recently served as the African History member on the Editorial Board of the American Historical Review and on the advisory board of the Journal of African History. Please also see: http://faculty.history.wisc.edu/bernault/

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Enrique Okenve

Enrique Okenve is a Lecturer in History at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. He received his PhD in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies-University of London. His research interest focuses on socio-cultural transformations in colonial Central Africa, in particular Equatorial Guinea. He is currently working on a book manuscript that addresses the development of Fang tradition as the conceptual instrument that aided local communities to retain power vis-à-vis the Spanish colonial state.