This spring, Africanist historians from our program represented WVU at several conferences. A number of faculty and graduate students attended the the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes Afrixan Studies Conference held at the University of Pittsburgh on March 24, 2018. The theme was "Creativity, Innovation, Resilence: Rethinking Challenges and Opportunities in Africa."
Several attendees from the WVU History Department were accepted to present. Dr. Robert Maxon, professor of history who specializes in Modern East Africa and colonial Kenyan history, presented a paper titled, "Kenya's Elusive Quest of Political Inclusion: Multiracialism, Majimbo, and Beyond."
Graduate students Gift Kayira and Paul Banda also presented. Paul Banda's paper, titled 'Decolonizing the BSAC in Nyasaland: Economic and Developmental Implications, 1944-1967,' is part of his on-going research on the businesses that were owned by British businessmen in the former British Protectorate of Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi). The British South Africa Company (BSAC) was one of such businesses/companies. Gift Kayira presented a paper he co-authored with Banda titled,“The Contested Nature of the Decolonization Process in Malawi, 1940s -1994.” The paper examines how the post-colonial state in the former British colony of Malawi struggled to meet the multiple interests of the diverse groups (including chiefs, women, the youth and workers) that participated in the decolonization process in the late colonial period.
Also attending were Professor Tamba M'bayo and graduate students Bright Alozie, Michael Hogan, Muoki wa Mbunga, and Ian Ferguson. Graduate Students had the opportunity to meet the keynote speaker, Dr. Moses Ochonu, the Corlenuis Vanderbilt Professor of History in the Department of History at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.
Additionally, Bright Alozie presented at the Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies, 2018 Annual Meeting at the University of Maryland at College Park on April 7-8, 2018. Alozie presented a paper titled, "Space and Colonial Alterity: Interogating British Residential Racial Segregation in Nigeria, 1899-1919." His paper was judged within the top three papers presented at the conference and is being considered for the Graduate Student Best Paper Award to be announced on May 7. Alozie was also honored to have Professor Dane Kennedy, Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History and International Affairs from George Washington University, as chair of his panel. Dr. Kennedy was previously a presenter of our annual Callahan Lecture.