G. Ugo Nwokeji
Department: African American Studies
Professor Nwokeji’s research deals with the cultural history and political economy of Africa since 1500, with particular focus on international commerce in the Nigerian Niger Delta and its hinterland. This research is placed in the contexts of the Atlantic world and globalization, the latter of which encapsulates and synergizes the range of his teaching and research interests in slavery, migration, slave emancipation, as well as colonial and postcolonial political economy, including concerns with oil and gas. Having recently completed studies on petroleum and the Atlantic slave trade (either published or forthcoming), he has turned attention to a new project (“The Slave Trade, Oil, and Globalization in the Niger Delta”). The new project brings the slave trade and the hydrocarbon economy together in the context of globalization in a region that has had deep and continuing involvement with the “world exchange system” since the very inception of this system and which has shaped and is shaped by globalizing forces. This study is expected to illuminate the role which involvement in the world exchange system has played in influencing the character of polities, identities, class, and intergroup relations over time and in the differential responses of different “indigenous” peoples to their incorporation into postcolonies in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Professor Nwokeji was educated at the University of Port Harcourt, Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Toronto. He was an assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut for four years prior to coming to Berkeley in 2003. Since 1999, he has also held either visiting professorship or fellowship in the following institutions—Emory University, Yale University, Harvard University, and Zentrum Moderner Orient (Center for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin, Germany).