I am an assistant professor of African History and the Director of the Program in Africana Studies at Drexel University. At Drexel, I will offer courses in African History, economic history and the history of Arab and African interactions.
I am now working on a manuscript entitled Accounting for Decolonization: The Origins of the Sudanese Economy, 1945-1964. I study the history of development planning in the territory, which became Sudan, as a lens to look at the interplay of decolonization, economic development and the process of state formation in post-WWII Africa.
My interest in the elites’ role in managing economic development grew out of my experience growing up and watching my mother and father work in the City Halls of the first black mayors in New Orleans and in Detroit. Watching my parents debate the extent to which these two relatively poor cities should either assert their independence or seek to cooperate with the outer suburbs, helped me to understand that even if political boundaries appear settled on maps, economic boundaries remain contentious, and open for debate. Thinking about Africa in light of my own experiences has allowed me to relate stories of development and change to students from a wide range of backgrounds.
I have also begun working on a new project tentatively titled Elite Retreat: Sudanese Bureaucrats, Intellectuals, Traders and the Search for an Alternative to the State which follows the decisions of these three groups of elites to alternatively attempt to reform or abandon the state project during the two decades between the popular Sudanese revolts of 1964 and 1984/85.
Prior to coming to Drexel, I taught in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Pennslyvania and in the History Department at Princeton University.