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Faculty Directory

The Michigan State University African Studies Center has close to a hundred Core Faculty with experience on Africa, probably one of the largest in the nation. The Center features many scholars in social science, agricultural economics, African languages, the arts and humanities, education, health and medicine and many other fields.

The faculty members are listed alphabetically by college and departmental affiliation, noting geographical areas of Africa experience, and teaching and research interests.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the African Studies Center's Core Faculty, please fill out the Membership Request form

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Anne Ferguson Department: International Studies & Programs Dean
Countries/Research: Malawi; Zimbabwe; Nigeria; Tanzania; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Zambia
Email: fergus12(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Anne Ferguson, GenCen Co-Director and Professor of Anthropology, does research and teaching on development studies, gender, agricultural and environmental change, and medical anthropology. Her early work in El Salvador in medical anthropology centered on the impacts of multinational pharmaceutical firms' business practices on health care provided at pharmacies, and on the integration of these companies' products into lay and alternative medical practices.In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ferguson shifted her research focus to Southern Africa, where she has studied development initiatives in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, and water sector reform. Currently, her research centers on the gender dimensions of Malawi's new water and land reform policies. Much of Dr. Ferguson's research has been carried out in collaboration with colleagues at MSU and at the University of Malawi. Support for her research has come from the McArthur Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Yomaira C. Figueroa Department: English
Email: yomairaf(at)msu.edu

Masako Fujita Department: Anthropology Social Science
Countries/Research: Kenya
Email: masakof(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Masako Fujita is a biological anthropologist specializing in contemporary human variation in micronutrient storage and metabolism. Masako's research focuses on the health and evolutionary implications of mother and offspring nutrition. Masako's research is a combination of epidemiological, biomarker and ethnographic methods to investigate biocultural pathways to malnutrition, particularly clarifying why some nutritional deficiencies and health issues persist today despite public health intervention efforts. Masako's work also evaluates the applicability of clinical nutrition and health research methods to anthropological studies in resource-poor, non-clinical settings.

Stephen P. Gasteyer Department: Sociology
Countries/Research: Mali
Email: gasteyer(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Stephen P. Gasteyer is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. Dr. Gasteyer’s research focuses on the nexus between water, land, community development. Specifically, his research currently addresses: 1) community capacity development and civic engagement through leadership training; 2) the political and social processes that enable or hinder community access to water and land resources, specifically (but not exclusively) in rural communities; 3) the class and race effects of access to basic services (water, sanitation, food, health care);  4) community capacity, community resilience and water systems management; 5) the impacts of greening in economically depressed small cities; 6) the community aspects of bioenergy development; 7) international social movements and community rights to basic services; and  8) facilitating cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary partnerships to address water and land resources management.

Margo Glew Department: Teacher Ed
Email: glewmarg(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Margo Glew is coordinator of global initiatives and coordinator of the Global Educators Cohort Program, supporting efforts to enhance the teacher preparation program with global perspectives so that more teachers are prepared to educate students for success in a global society. Her academic interests include global education and second language acquisition and instruction. Her recent research involves working on a multi-national project to assess global-mindedness among undergraduate preservice teachers.

Rob Glew Department: CASID (Director)
Countries/Research: Burkina Faso; China; Ghana; Malawi; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Tanzania; Senegal and South Africa
Email: glew(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Robert Glew is the director of the Center for Advanced Study of International Development and associate professor at Michigan State University. Dr. Glew has 25 years of experience working in African societies on issues of international development in the areas of coping and livelihood strategies, health, political and social change, education, and identity politics. He has taught courses on international development, cultural change, and socio-cultural diversity.

Michael D. Gottfried Department: MSU Museum
Email: gottfrie(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Michael Gottfried has been at MSU since 1997, and is currently an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the MSU Museum. Mike has also served as Director of MSU's Center for Integrative Studies in General Science since 2006. His research focuses on marine fish evolution in high-latitude southern hemisphere settings, the paleobiology of the giant fossil 'megatoothed' sharks, and the evolution and biogeographical relationships of vertebrate faunas from the ancient southern supercontinent of Gondwana. Mike has conducted field expeditions in Madagascar, Tanzania, South Africa, and New Zealand, and at many sites in the USA, in connection with his research. His work on the evolution of giant fossil sharks has led to involvement in several documentary films, including segments on the Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week' programming, and most recently as part of the 'Prehistoric Predators' series on National Geographic Television.

Michael Marcellus Green Department: MATRIX
Countries/Research: Senegal
Email: greenmi8(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Michael Green is Director of MATRIX Digital Media Lab and has been with Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University since 2010. He holds a Master of Science in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. His B.A. from Michigan State University is in Media Arts & Technology, where he specialized in Documentary Studies. Michael has worked on several Africa related projects while at Matrix, serving as a project manager, media producer, and Principal investigator. Some of these projects include: Africa Past and Present podcast (known commonly as Afripod), Exploring Africa website, Goree Island Archaeological Digital Repository with University of Dakar, Mën Na Nekk multimedia project with ImagiNation Afrika, developing the African Studies Association’s annual conference podcast (known as ASAPOD). His extensive work in Senegal has included technological workshops and trainings to empower partners and foster mutually beneficial collaborations.

Maji Hailemariam Department: Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology
Email: debenama(at)msu.edu

Salah Hassan Department: English
Countries/Research: Morocco; Mali
Email: hassans3(at)msu.edu

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Biography: In addition to his position in English, Salah Hassan is core faculty in the Muslim Studies Program and in Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities at MSU. His areas of research and teaching include postcolonial literature and theory, mid-20th century anticolonial intellectual movements, literatures of empire, and Arab and Muslim North American studies. His research projects have recently been oriented around the representation of Arabs and Muslims in the media and also projects of Arab and Muslim self-representation. He is the founder of the Muslim Subjects website and blog (muslimsubjects.org), and coordinator of the following projects on that site: "Migrations of Islam," "American Halal," and "Journal/Islam." Muslim Subjects was established with grant that he received from the Social Science Research Council in 2011. He co-curated RASHID & ROSETTA, an international online art exhibit on the theme of the Rosetta Stone, and is co-editor of a special issue of MELUS (Winter 2006) on Arab American literature. He co-produced the short documentary film, "Death of an Imam" and is currently producing a series of documentary films on Muslims in the US.