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Tamba M’bayo, Ph.D.

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. 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. Two months of research in Sierra Leone, where he interviewed Ebola survivors in 2016, was followed by a month-long archival research at the British National Archives in London in the summer of 2017. Then, in the summer of 2018, Dr. M’bayo spent five weeks conducting research at the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine Archives and the Wellcome Trust Archives, also in London. 

Courses 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 393: Myth and Culture in Pre-colonial Africa
  • HIST 320: Pre-colonial Africa
  • 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.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

 “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.

“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 internationale (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2013), 23-50.

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

“Bou El Mogdad Seck, 1826-1880: Interpretation and Mediation of Colonialism in Senegal,” in African Agency and European Colonialism: Latitudes of Negotiations and Containment, edited by Femi J. Kolapo and Kwabena O. Akurang-Parry (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 Biodun Jeyifo, 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.   

“Benin (Republic of)/Dahomey: Colonial Period.” In Kevin Shillington, ed. Encyclopedia of African History (New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2005), 137-139.

“Environment.” In Melvin Page, ed. Colonialism: An International Social, Cultural, and Political Encyclopedia. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC Clio, 2003), 190-191.  

Selected Book Reviews:

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. Searching for Normal in the Wake of the Liberian War. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2014. African Studies Quarterly 15, 4 (September 2015): 183-184.

Vivian Seton, Konrad Tuchscherer, and Arthur Abraham, edited. The Autobiography of an African Princess: Fatima Massaquoi (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), African Studies Quarterly 15, 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, 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, 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, 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, 2 (2008): 330-332.

Other Publishing Activities

Translation, French to English, in collaboration with Nicole Livar: Review by Catherine Coquery-Vitrovitch of Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. H-Africa. <> (March 2002).

Grants and Awards

West Virginia University Research and Scholarship Advancement Grant (2018)

West Virginia University 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 (2006-2016)

MSU Compton Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Africa (2004)