Ralph Austen | Professor Emeritus of African History


Interests: Economics, comparative slavery and slave trade, colonialism and imperialism, African literature.

Selected publication: Trans-Saharan Africa in World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).



Jennifer Cole | Professor of Anthropology, Department of Comparative Human Development


Interests: Madagascar, social and cultural anthropology, memory, gender, sexuality, transnational kinship, urban space, youth and intergenerational transformation, Christianity, African migration to Europe

Selected publication: Sex and Salvation: Imagining the Future in Madagascar (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).


Damien Droney | Fellow in the Stefanovich Institute


Interests: Politics of science, technology, and medicine in postcolonial Africa.





Adom Getachew | Assistant Professor of Political Science


Interests: modern political thought with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the history of international law, theories of empire and race, black political thought and post-colonial political theory





Loren Kruger | Professor of English, Cinema and Media Studies, and Comparative Literature


Interests: South Africa, literature and visual culture, drama and performace, urban studies, critical theory.

Selected Publication: Imagining the Edgy City: Writing, Performing and Building Johannesburg (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Fidèle Mpiranya | Lecturer in Linguistics


Interests: Swahili and African linguistics, phonology and morphosyntax of Bantu languages, Swahili textbook development, Taarab music from East Africa and Zanzibar.

Selected publication: [with Rachel Walker and Dani Byrd] “An Articulatory View of Kinyarwanda Coronal Harmony,” Phonology 25, no. 3 (2008): 499-535.


Salikoko S. Mufwene | Professor of Linguistics


Interests: Language evolution, with special attention to creole language varieties, African-American English, and colonial Englishes. Mufwene also works on semantics, lexicography, pragmatics, and Bantu morphosyntax.

Selected Publication: Editor, with Cécile Vigouroux, Globalization and Language Vitality: Perspectives from Africa (London: Continuum Press, 2009).


Natacha Nsabimana | Harper Fellow

Interests: law and subjectivity, violence, social justice, incarceration, art, Rwanda.






Emily Lynn Osborn | Associate Professor of African History


Interests: Precolonial states, Francophone Africa, gender, colonialism, technology transfer and diffusion, aluminum, material culture, artisinal production and labor.

Selected Publication: Our New Husbands Are Here: Households, Gender, and Politics in a West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011).

Stephan Palmié | Professor of Anthropology


Interests: Afro-Cuban religious formations, the Atlantic world, systems of slavery and unfree labor, constructions of race and ethnicity, historical representation, knowledge production, conceptions of embodiment and moral personhood, genomics, and the anthropology of food and cuisine.

Selected Publication: The Cooking of History: How Not to Study “Afro”-“Cuban” “Religion” (University of Chicago Press, 2013).

François G. Richard | Associate Professor of Anthropology


Interests: West Africa (Senegal), Atlantic World, historical anthropology, archaeology, politics, rural mobility, missionaries, material culture.

Selected Publication: “Political Transformations and Cultural Landscapes in Senegambia during the Atlantic Era: An Alternative View From the Siin,” in Power and Landscape in Atlantic West Africa: Archaeological Perspectives, ed. J.C. Monroe & A. Ogundiran, 78-114 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Jenny Trinitapoli | Associate Professor of Sociology


Interests: Demography, Sociology of religion, Social dimensions of the AIDS epidemic

Selected Publication: Religion and AIDS in Africa (with Alexander Weinreb, Oxford University Press 2012)