Skip to main content

Tamba M’bayo

Associate Professor

Teaching Fields

  • African History
  • West African History
  • World History


  • Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • M.A., Miami University (OH)
  • B.A. (Honors), University of Sierra Leone

Research Interests

Dr. M’bayo’s current research for his second book will trace Sierra Leone’s long history of epidemic episodes from 1787 to the Ebola outbreak of 2013. Provisionally titled “From ‘White Man’s Grave’ to Ebola: Sierra Leone’s History of Epidemics, 1787- 2015,” the study seeks a more profound understanding of the dynamics of cultural, social, political, and environmental conditions that have influenced disease eruptions in the country. During the 2019-20 academic year, Dr. M’bayo conducted archival research for his book in Sierra Leone as a Fulbright US Scholar. The project also received funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Graduate Students

Ph.D. Students
  • Stiffin Kamande
  • Abu Koroma

M.A. Students
  • Benjamin McMullen

C ourse s Offered
  • HIST 726: Seminar in African History                                                                 
  • HIST 725: Readings in African History
  • HIST 437: Africa in World History
  • HIST 434: West Africa From 1885
  • HIST 433: West Africa To 1885
  • HIST 393E: Epidemics in Modern World History
  • HIST 319: Myth and Culture in Pre-colonial Africa
  • HIST 320: Pre-colonial Africa
  • HIST 200: Practicing History - Disease and Plagues in History and Modern Times
  • HIST 180: World History Since 1500



Mbayo book cover

Muslim Interpreters in Colonial Senegal, 1850-1920: Mediations of Knowledge and Power in the Lower and Middle Senegal River Valley. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.

Reviews of Muslim Interpreters in Colonial Senegal:

Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies 41, 2 (2020): 91-94.

Journal of African History 60, 1 (2019): 146-148.

Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute 88, 1 (2018): 186-187.

Journal of West African History 4, 2 (2018): 135-137.

Canadian Journal of African Studies 51, 3 (2017): 448-449.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

“Mediating a Complex Cultural Matrix: Indigenous Muslim Interpreters in Colonial Senegal, 1850-1920.” In Lucía Ruiz Rosendo and Jesús Baigorri-Jalón, eds. Towards an Atlas of the History of Interpreting: Voices from around the World (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2023): 120-144.

“Soccer in Senegal: National Identity, Commercialization, and Acquisition of Wealth.” In Augustine E. Ayuk, ed. Football (Soccer) in Africa: The Origins, Contributions, and Contradictions (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2022): 213- 230.

 “West Africa in the 19th Century.” In Toyin Falola and Steven J. Salm, eds. Africa: Volume I, African History and Culture Before 1900. Second Edition. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2019, 421-448.

Kristina M. Hash, Christine E. Rittenour, Catherine Gouge, Tamba M’bayo, Lori Hostuttler, and Tyler Redding, “Recollections and Voices: An Appalachian Community Revisited,” Contemporary Rural Social Work Journal 11, 1 (2019), Article 15.

“Ebola, Poverty, Economic Inequity and Social Injustice in Sierra Leone.” Journal of West African History 4, no. 1 (2018): 99-128.

“The Politics of Football in Post-colonial Sierra Leone.” In Brenda Elsey and Stanlislao Pugliese, eds. Football and the Boundaries of History: Critical Studies in Soccer. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 267-293.

“Historical Memory, Pan-Africanism, and National Consciousness.” In Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley and Ismail Rashid, eds Paradoxes of History and Memory in Post-colonial Sierra Leone. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013, 77-99. 

Africa’s Past, Present and Future Underdevelopment: Dependency in the Context of Globalization.” In Alain Laurent Aboa, Hilaire de Prince Pokam, Adama Sadio and Aboubakr Tandia, eds. Démocratie et développement en Afrique: perspectives des jeunes chercheurs Africains (Tome 2). Imaginaires et practiques du développement à l’épreuve de la politique international . Paris: L’Harmattan, 2013, 23-50.

“Bou El Mogdad Seck, 1826-1880: Interpretation and Mediation of Colonialism in Senegal.” In Femi J. Kolapo and Kwabena O. Akurang-Parry, eds. African Agency and European Colonialism: Latitudes of Negotiations and Containment. University Press of America, 2007, 25-44.

“W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Pan-Africanism in Liberia, 1919–1924.”  The Historian 66, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 19-44.

Selected Scholarly Reference Entries:

“Assimilation,” “Cheikh Amadou Bamba,” and “Dahomey.” In F. Abiola Irele and BiodunJeyifo, eds. The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought . New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, 102-103, 128-130, 269-271.

“Côte d’Ivoire (The Republic of Ivory Coast).” In Peter N. Sterns, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Volume 4. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, 274-276.

“Benin” and “Côte d’Ivoire.” In Thomas Riggs, ed. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006, 101-107, 251-258.

“Ethnic Conflicts: West Africa.” In Thomas M. Leonard, ed. Encyclopedia of the Developing World. New York: Routledge, 2006, 626-629.

“Africa,” “Americo-Liberians,” “Guinea,” “Liberia,” “Mali,” “Muslims in Africa” and “Sierra Leone.” In Carl Skutsch, ed. Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities. New York: Routledge, 2005, 27-28, 90-93, 527-529, 748-750, 784-786, 870-871, 1098-1100.

Selected Book Reviews:

Richard Peter Anderson. Abolition in Sierra Leone: Re-Building Lives and Identities in Nineteenth-Century West Africa . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. Journal of African History 61, 3 (November 2020): 451-453. 

John H. Hanson. The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast: Muslim Cosmopolitans in the British Empire. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 89, no. 2 (May 2019): 412-414.

Jonathan Derrick. Africa, Empire and Fleet Street: Albert Cartwright and “West Africa” Magazine. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018. The Journal of Modern African Studies 57, no. 1 (March 2019): 176-178. DOI:10.1017/S0022278X18000745.

Ibrahim Abdullah and Ismail Rashid. Understanding West Africa's Ebola Epidemic: Towards a Political Economy. London: Zed Books, 2017. Canadian Journal of African Studies (March 9, 2018) DOI: 10.1080/00083968.2018.1443688.

Sharon Alane Abramowitz. Searc hing for Normal in the Wake of the Liberian War . Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2014. African Studies Quarterly 15, no. 4 (September 2015): 183-184.

Vivian Seton, Konrad Tuchscherer, and Arthur Abraham, eds.  The Autobiography of an African Princess: Fatima Massaquoi. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. African Studies Quarterly 15, no. 1 (December 2014): 186-188.

Gibril R. Cole.  The Krio of West Africa: Islam, Culture, Creolization and Colonialism in the Nineteenth Century. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013. The International Journal of African Historical Studies 47, no. 1 (2014): 156-158.

Jeremy H. Smith.  The Staircase of a Patron: Sierra Leone and the United Brethren in Christ. Asbury Theological Seminary Series: The Study of World Christian Revitalization Movement in Pietist/Wesleyan Studies (No. 4). Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2011. The International Journal of African Historical Studies 45, no. 2 (2012): 301-303.

Christopher L. Miller.  The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2008. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13, no. 1 (2011): 154-156.

Peter Alegi.  African Soccerscapes: How a Continent changed the World’s Game. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010. African Studies Quarterly 11, no. 4 (Summer 2010): 118-121.

Arnold Hughes and David Perfect. A Political History of The Gambia, 1816-1914 . Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2006. The International Journal of African Historical Studies 41, no. 2 (2008): 330-332.

Grants and Awards

Fulbright US Scholar, Sierra Leone (2019)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship (2019)

Wilson Center Residential Fellowship (2019) - Declined

WVU Research and Scholarship Advancement Grant (2018)

WVU Humanities Center Grant (2018)

Wellcome Trust (UK) Medical Humanities Small Grant (2016)

WVU Research and Scholarship Advancement Grant (RSA) (2016)

Several faculty travel grants, professional development grants, and research travel grants (2006-2019)

MSU Compton Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Africa (2004)