Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Visiting Scholars


JEREMIAH O. AROWOSEGBE is a Fellow of the African Peacebuilding Network of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) at the Institute of African Studies, Columbia University, New York, United States of America. He teaches Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He earned a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Previously, he has held fellowship and teaching positions at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands; the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India and the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. His research specializations include African development, African intellectual history and African studies. His teaching interests include African political thought, political philosophy and political theory. His recent publications include an edited special section of Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies 40(2) 2014 on African Studies and Knowledge Production in the Universities in Postcolonial Africa as well as a book titled, Claude E. Ake: The Making of an Organic Intellectual. Pretoria: UNISA Press. 2016.


Makerere University, Institute of Social Research

Yusuf Serunkuma is a graduate Student at Makerere University Institute of Social Research (MISR). His PhD project, “Making Somaliland: Popular Culture, Identity and Recognition” sprung from an understanding that East Africa and the Horn of Africa are deeply bounded to each other, as the crises in Somalia/Somaliland have vividly demonstrated. Yusuf has a Bachelors degree in Literature and English Language and an MPhil in Social Studies [Cultural Studies] both from Makerere University. In his free time, Yusuf moonlights as a columnist in Uganda’s newspapers, and a playwright. In 2014, Fountain Publishers published his first play, The Snake Farmers.


Doudou Sidibé is a Professor-researcher at Novancia Business School. He Holds a doctorate in international relations at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. He teaches negotiation, geopolitics, political communication and "business diplomacy". He is involved in several higher education institutions such as the University of Paris-Est Marne-La Valley, ENA Rabat (Morocco), the National Assembly of Cameroon in collaboration with ENA in France, the Schiller International University Paris-Campus, the University of Roehampton in London, Ecole de Guerre de Paris in collaboration with ESSEC Business School. He is currently a visiting scholar at The Institute of African Studies Columbia University where he is researching on Negotiating Intractable conflicts in Casamance (Senegal) and power negotiation between Areva and Niger. He used to be a Visiting scholar at SAIS Johns Hopkins University (2015) and at CPASS Georgetown University (2006). He is the scientific coordinator of the International Biennial on negotiation. He is author of several books and articles. He is member of several academic associations such as IACM (International Association for Conflict Management), ICAM (International Conference for Advanced Management), IPSA International Political Science Association, PIN (Processes in International Negotiation). He is member of the scientific committee of Revue Négotiations.


PhD Fellow, Department of Ecology International and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Camilla Houeland is PhD Fellow in the Department of Ecology International and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Her research concerns trade union agency and oil politics in Nigeria. She explores the Nigerian trade unions and their opportunities and constraints in relation to state, capital and community in the Nigerian political economy of oil. It looks at both national level, emphasizing relation to state and civil society, and local level, focusing on oil workers’ unions’ relation to companies and communities in the Niger Delta. She received her M.Phil in political science from the University of Oslo (Thesis: A discourse analysis: Political mobilization of coloureds in Western Cape, South Africa), and she worked for five years as Africa adviser to the Norwegian Confederation of Trade unions. She also teaches and advises BA and MA students in development studies.


Program Director, SSRC

Cyril Obi is currently a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and leads the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) program. He earned his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Lagos. His recent publications include, The Rise of China and India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions, London and Uppsala; Oil and Insurgency in the Niger Delta: Managing the Complex Politics of Petro-Violence, London: Zed Books, 2011.


Jesse Weaver Shipley is a filmmaker, writer, and ethnographer. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Chicago and is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. He is concerned with urban life, labor, entrepreneurship, mobility, and new media technologies as they relate to life under changing economic regimes. His ethnographic research focuses on performance, popular culture, music, youth, and technology in Ghana and recent African Diasporas. He is the author of Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music (Duke University Press 2013). His articles appear in journals including Public Culture, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, and So​cial Text. Recent films include the feature documentary Living the Hiplife: Musical Life in the Streets of Accra (2007), the multi-channel video installation Black Star (2012), and Is It Sweet? (2013). His new book Trickster Theatre: The Poetics of Duality in African Theatre is due out with Indiana University Press in 2014.



Associate Professor of History, Temple University

Benjamin Talton is an Associate Professor of History at Temple University. He earned his doctorate in History from the University of Chicago.His research and teaching is focused on nineteenth and twentieth century Africa and the African diaspora. His most recent publications include Black Subjects in Africa and its Diasporas (Palgrave Macmillan) and Politics of Social Change in Ghana: The Konkomba Struggle for Political Equality (Palgrave Macmillan). Professor Talton’s current research examines hunger and humanitarianism in the politics of the closing years of the Cold War in the Horn of Africa, South Africa and the United States.


Professor emerita of History, American Culture, and Women's Studies, University of Michigan

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg is the Mary Frances Berry Collegiate Professor of History, American Culture and Women’s Studies, Emerita, University of Michigan. Her two best known books are: Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America and This Violent Empire: The Birth of an American National Identity, which traces US racism, violence and paranoia to the formation of the new American nation and the adoption of the Federal Constitution. While at the University of Michigan she founded and directed the University’s Atlantic Studies Initiative, 1999-2008. The Atlantic Studies Initiative has three principal starting points: (1) that modernity, as we understand it, took form through Atlantic connections: the emergence of an imperial Europe; global capitalism, traced back to the beginnings of the Atlantic slave trade and plantation slave economies in “the New World;” the modern, mobile and fragmented subject; the novel, etc. etc. (2) that events in one part of the Atlantic are intricately connected to events in other parts of the Atlantic and (3) the North Atlantic cannot be understood in isolation from the South Atlantic of Africa, South America and the Caribbean. She is presently working on a new book project: Atlantic Citizenship, which traces the origins of modern citizenship to the Revolutionary Atlantic of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.



PhD Fellow, Institute for Social Sciences of Contemporary Religions (University of Lausanne)

Simon Mastrangelo is a PhD fellow at the Institute for Social Sciences of Contemporary Religions at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He is working within the framework of the Swiss National Fund project Undocumented Mobility (Tunisia-Switzerland) and Digital-Cultural Resources after the Arab Spring. His PhD thesis, entitled Making sense of a migratory path made of hopes and disappointments: Study on the mental representations, beliefs and narrative tools of Tunisian undocumented migrants (harragas), analyses a.) how Tunisian harragas challenge migratory policies and claim their right to free movement and b.) how they make sense of their migratory trajectory. Mastrangelo has done ethnographic fieldwork in Tunisia, Italy, and Switzerland and is now in the process of completing his manuscript. He has written several articles, including (with M. Salzbrunn and F. Souiah) “Les 'brûleurs' de frontières dans la musique tunisienne: La migration non documentée au prisme de chansons de rap et de mezoued” [“Harragas in Tunisian Popular Music: Undocumented Migration Seen through the Prism of Rap and Mizwad Songs”] and “Représentations de parcours migratoires de harraga tunisiens: Lecture à la lumière de la foi en Dieu” [“Representations of Tunisian Undocumented Migrants’ Life Paths: Readings by the Light of Faith in God”], in: Nathalie Ortar, Monika Salzbrunn, Mathis Stock (eds.), Mobilité – Migration. Propositions épistémologiques pour appréhender les déplacements humains (in press).