Our Team


Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Professor of African and Gender Studies, University of Ghana – Legon

Professor Ampofo is Professor of African and Gender Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. An activist-scholar, she is a member of, and has worked with many organisations in Ghana and abroad, addressing African Knowledge systems; Identity Politics; Gender-based Violence; Women’s work; Masculinities; and Gendered Representations in Popular Culture (music and religion).  She is the Founding Vice-president of the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) and Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has recently published “Reviewing Studies on Africa, #Black Lives Matter, and Envisioning the Future of African Studies” African Studies Review (59)2: 7-27 (2016). She seeks to understand where some of our “gender trouble” has come from and the new “gender troubles” being invented.  Earlier work looked at reproductive health issues, critiquing Euro-centric notions (that infantilized African women). Follow her via Twitter at: @adomakoampofo.

Penda Ba

Associate Professor, Political Science, Université Gaston Berger | Co-Founder, Interdisciplinary Research Group on Inequalities and Vulnerabilities (GRIV)

Pr. Mame-Penda BA est Maître de conférences agrégée en science politique à l’Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Sénégal). Elle est la première femme dans l’espace CAMES à obtenir l’agrégation en science politique. Pr. BA est actuellement la directrice scientifique du Master II de science politique et dirige le Laboratoire d’Analyse des Sociétés et Pouvoirs / Afrique-Diasporas (LASPAD). Elle est aussi co-fondatrice du Groupe de Recherche interdisciplinaire sur les Inégalités et les Vulnérabilités au Sénégal (GRIV). Pr. Ba est chargée de la mise en place de l’Institut d’Études Politiques de l’Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (UGB). Ses champs de recherche couvrent l’analyse des politiques publiques, les études sur le genre, la sociologie politique du religieux ainsi que la sociogenèse et les dynamiques de l’Etat en Afrique.

Professor Mame-Penda Ba is Associate Lecturer in Political Science at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis (Senegal). Dr. Ba is currently the Scientific Director of the Master II of Political Science and heads the Laboratory of Analysis of Societies and Powers / Africa-Diasporas (LASPAD). She is also co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Inequalities and Vulnerabilities in Senegal (GRIV). Dr. Ba is responsible for the establishment of the Institute of Political Studies of the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis (UGB). Her fields of research include public policy analysis, gender studies, political sociology of religion, and sociogenesis and state dynamics in Africa.

Cilas Kemedjio

Director, Frederick Douglass Institute for African American Studies, University of Rochester

Professor Cilas Kemedjio, Associate Professor of French and Francophone studies at the University of Rochester is also the director for the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies. Kemedjio is an expert on Francophone African and Caribbean literatures, French theory, and the French novel during the 20th century. He is the author of De la Négritude à la Créolité. Édouard Glissant, Maryse Condé et la malédiction de la théorie (Hamburg: LIT Verlag, 1999) and guest editor of a special issue of Présence francophone (No. 62, 2004) on Postcolonial Mythologies.

Simangaliso Kumalo

Director of the Religion and Governance Programme, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal and President Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary, Pietermaritzburg

Professor Simangaliso Kumalo is the Director of the Religion and Governance Programme, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal and President Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary, Pietermaritzburg. He holds a BTh degree from University of Natal, Bachelor of Theology Honours, University of Natal, Masters of Theology, University of South Africa and a PhD from jointly the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Duke University in the US.

Cecelia Lynch

Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine

Professor Lynch is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Irvine. She is an expert on international relations, religion and ethics, social movements and civil society and has researched and published extensively on topics related to peace, security, international organization, globalization, humanitarianism, and religion. In 2006, she was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon New Directions Post-doctoral Fellowship for her current research on Islamic and interfaith religious ethics in world crises. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in New York City.

Toussaint Kafarhire Murhula

Assistant Professor of International Relations, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi

Professor Toussaint Kafarhire Murhula is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Facultes Saint Pierre Canisius/College Alfajiri; a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in Theology, Ethics and Social Theories from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University; a Master’s degree in International Relations and PhD in Political Science from Loyola University of Chicago. Learn more about Father Dr. Murhula in an in-depth interview with CIHA Blog here.

Editorial Assistants/Luce Graduate Fellows

Edwin Asa Adjei

PhD candidate, African Studies, University of Ghana-Legon

Edwin Asa Adjei is a PhD candidate at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. He is also an editorial assistant with the Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa (CIHA) blog. He is the executive assistant for the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA). He has research interests in children’s literature and gender.

Acho Gerald Anji

Master’s student, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi, Kenya

Acho Gerald Anji, a Cameroonian national studying at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), works on questions related to (1) underdevelopment facing the African continent, and (2) conflicts and security challenges facing Africa. Gerald believes that Africa can be a peaceful continent if more people-centered policies are put in place rather than state-centered ones. Acho obtained his BA in Political Philosophy in 2014 in Cameroon.

Bangirana Albert Billy

PhD student, Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PhD  in Theology student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Albert researches on Sexual Surveillance and Students’ Moral Agency focusing on Catholic Moral Theology and HIV prevention in a South African Higher Education Context. He serves as an Academic Development Officer in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics where he doubles as a CIHA Blog representative at the Ujamaa Management Board and a CHART Committee member. He also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg.

Khadidiatou Dia

PhD student, Religion Studies, Gaston Berger University, Senegal

Je me nomme Khadidiatou DIA, Je suis doctorante et assistante de recherche au LASPAD (Laboratoire d’Analyse des Sociétés et Pouvoirs/Afrique-Diaspora). Je suis vacataire au Centre d’Etude des Religions de l’Université Gaston Berger où je dispense des cours sur Religions, famille et sociétés. Mes centres d’intérêt tournent autour de la question du genre en rapport avec les sociétés musulmanes. Plus spécifiquement, mes travaux portent sur le voile, la polygamie, la sexualité, et actuellement ma thèse a pour objectif d’étudier les dynamiques de conjugalité et les logiques de construction du modèle familial, chez la population jeune musulmane au Sénégal.

Khadidiatou Dia is a PhD student and research assistant at LASPAD (Laboratory of Analysis of Societies and Powers / Africa-Diaspora). She is a temporary researcher at the Center for the Study of Religions at Gaston Berger University where she offers courses on Religions, Family and Society. Her interests revolve around the question of gender in relation to Muslim societies. More specifically, her work focuses on the veil, polygamy, sexuality, and currently her thesis aims to study the dynamics of conjugality and the logics of construction of the family model, among young Muslim people in Senegal.

Huguette Kazeneza

Master’s student, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi, Kenya

Huguette Kazeneza is a Burundian MA Student at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations in Nairobi-Kenya. She is interested in peace agreements and diplomacy. She decided to pursue the MA Program because of her experiences in war and conflicts in her home country (Burundi). She hopes to contribute to peace building in her country and in Africa’s great Lakes region. Huguette holds a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the Gregorian University (Rome) where she also developed a particular interest in religion and African culture(s).

Abena Kyere

PhD student, African Studies, University of Ghana-Legon

Abena is a PhD student at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. Her PhD work centres on interrogating the sociocultural positioning of women in religion, especially Christianity, with special emphasis on the clergy wife. Abena’s research interest spans gender and religion, popular culture and African oral literature. She is currently attached to the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, University of Ghana, for experiential learning.

Jolene McCall

PhD student, Sociology, University of California, Irvine

Jolene McCall is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Jolene holds a Master’s in education and in sociology and her research interests include globalization, the environment, education, and culture. Previously, Jolene served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger from 2007 through 2009 and later she spent time working with an NGO in Kenya.

Gerald Obini

Master’s student, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi, Kenya

Gerald Obini, a Ugandan by nationality, is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Peace Studies and International Relations from Hekima University College, Nairobi, Kenya. Gerald holds a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy from Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy. Prior to joining HIPSIR, Gerald worked as an Assistant Program Officer for Justice, Peace and Human Rights Commission (JPHRC), Arua Diocese.

Angela Okune

PhD student, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

A PhD student in the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology, Angela works on the politics of knowledge production in technology and development in Africa. In her previous position, as Research Lead at iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for the tech community, Angela provided strategic guidance for the growth of tech research in the region. Follow her on Twitter at @honoluluskye and learn more about her work at angelaokune.me.

Cyprian O. Omoding

Master’s student, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi, Kenya

Cyprian O. Omoding is a Kenyan human rights defender and peacebuilding practitioner.  Having underwent training on a human-rights based approach to poverty by the Franciscan International Network, he is passionate about family and marriage counseling and the de-radicalization of Kenyan youth. He holds two bachelor’s degrees: a BA in Sacred Theology from Tangaza University College and a BA in Social Science and Philosophical Studies from Philosophy Centre Jinja. Cyprian has worked as a National Coordinator for Pax Romana Africa in social networking and transformation of Catholic professionals in Kenya. He also works as field officer for the Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscan Africa/Franciscan International on human rights, conflict transformation and peace-building.

Awa Cheikh Seck

PhD student, Political Science, Gaston Berger University, Senegal

Je m’appelle Awa Cheikh Seck je suis diplômée de Science politique et fais mon Master 2 dans le même domaine.  Depuis 2016, je travaille au LASPAD en tant que assistante de recherche, intervenant notamment dans l’organisation et la planification d’événements scientifiques. Depuis janvier 2017,  je suis assistante du programme Re-profiling Street food in Africa, Saint-Louis, Senegal qui fait partie du Humanities Across Borders de l’International Institute for Asian Studies de Leiden. J’ai un grand intérêt pour les questions relatives aux humanités et identités dans le contexte des guerres, crimes de masse, etc.

Awa Cheikh Seck is a graduate student in Political Science at Gaston Berger University. She works at LASPAD Laboratory of Analyses of Society and Power-Africa/Diaspora (LASPAD) and also provides research support to the “Re-profiling Street Food in Africa” program in Saint-Louis, Senegal as part of the Humanities Across Borders of the International Institute for Asian Studies of Leiden. Seck is interested in questions related to humanities and identities in the context of mass crime and war.