Founding Editor-in-chief: Nwando Achebe
Nwando Achebe (pronounced: Wan-do Ah-chě-bě; [pronunciation key: ě as in pet]) is an award-winning author and 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. She was also a 2000 Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Fellow. 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 Book Award, The Barbara “Penny” Kanner Book Award, and The Gita Chaudhuri Book Award—is a full-length critical biography on the only female warrant chief and king in all of colonial Nigeria, and arguably British Africa. Achebe has received prestigious grants from Rockefeller Foundation, Wenner-Gren, Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright-Hays, Ford Foundation, World Health Organization, and NEH.
Hilary Jones is Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University. Her book, The Metis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa (Indiana University Press, 2013) examines the making of a mixed race community in Senegal’s colonial capital. She has published in the Journal of African History and the International Journal of African Historical Studies, and several edited collections. Jones received research awards from Fulbright Hays and the Social Science Research Council. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of West African History and serves on the board of directors of the West African Research Association.
John Thabiti Willis is Assistant Professor of African History at Carleton College, USA. He obtained his PhD from Emory University, and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia. His research interests focus on the history of indigenous religions, Islam and Christianity, and of slavery and the slave trade in Africa and the African Diaspora. He also focuses on theoretical approaches to gender and performance. His current book project, Masquerading Politics: Kinship, Gender, and Ethnicity in a Yoruba Town (under contract with Indiana University Press), places masquerades at the center of West African political history.
Book Review Editor: Harry Odamtten
Harry N. K. Odamtten holds a Dual Ph.D. in History, and African American and African Studies from Michigan State University, and is Assistant Professor of African and Atlantic History at Santa Clara University. Odamtten is an intellectual and social historian. His research spans African and African Diaspora history, gender and women’s studies, Pan-Africanism, and Public Culture. He is the book review editor of the Journal of West African History. His most recent publication is “Dode Akabi: A Reexamination of the Oral and Textual Narrative of a “Wicked” Female King” Journal of Women’s History Vol. 27 (3) 61-85, Fall 2015.
Editorial Assistants and Office Managers
Tara Reyelts is a second year PhD student at Michigan State University. She studies African History along with minor fields in Comparative Black History and World History. Tara works under the guidance of Professor Nwando Achebe. The focus of Tara’s research is law and gender in late precolonial and colonial Igboland, Nigeria.
James Blackwell is a second year doctoral student in African History, advised by Dr. Nwando Achebe. James’ work centers on Igbo labor from Igboland to British Southern Cameroon.
Past Editorial Assistants and Office Managers
Shaonan Liu is a PhD candidate in African History at Michigan State University. His dissertation will focus on the history of Chinese people in Nigeria from the 1960s to the present.
Dr. J. M. Davey completed his doctoral degree in West African history at Michigan State University in 2015. His dissertation, entitled “Replanting the Seeds of Home: Slavery, King Jaja, and Igbo Connections in the Niger Delta, 1821-1891,” utilizes the life history of the renowned slave-turned-king Jaja of Opobo to examine how Igbo slaves in the Eastern Niger Delta were increasingly capable of maintaining meaningful economic, political, and social connections with their natal homes in the hinterland in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Dr. Davey’s research interests include indigenous slave systems, social histories of West Africa, Atlantic economic networks, the era of “legitimate trade” as well as the establishment of colonialism in West Africa.