Martha Saavedra has been with the Center for African Studies since 1993. She received a PhD and MA in a Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in International Studies from Rhodes College. She has taught at St. Mary’s College of California, Ohio University, the Escuela de Estudios Universitarios Real Madrid, and at UC Berkeley, including in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Graduate School of Journalism. Her research has ranged from agrarian politics and ethnic conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, to representations of Africa in Chinese popular culture, and to gender, development, and sport in Africa. She currently has projects on women's football around the Indian Ocean, and African athletic migration to the European Union. She has been on the editorial boards of Soccer and Society; Sport in Society; and Impumelelo: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Sports in Africa. A veteran of Title IX battles, she has played soccer for most of her life and coached boys teams for over 15 years.
Selected Research and Publications:
Co-authored with Peter Alegi, Amy Bass, Adrian Burgos Jr., and Brenda Elsey, “Teaching Forum on Sport and Politics.” Radical History Review, Special Issue 125 on Historicizing the Politics and Pleasure of Sport, May 2016
“Fin de siècle? Commanding the Court in Senegalese Women’s Basketball.” In Women and the Politics of Sport, Homa Hoodfar, editor. A publication of Women Living Under Muslim Law. 2015.
"Derartu Tulu," "Maria Mutola," and "Kenenisa Bekele" in Dictionary of African Biography. Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Emmanuel Akyeampong. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
With Susann Baller, « La politique du football en Afrique : mobilisations et trajectoires », in Politique Africaine, no. 118, June 2010. (Also available on cairn.info.)
Co-editor with Julia Strauss, China and Africa: Emerging Patterns in Globalization and Development, Cambridge University Press, 2010, including two chapters: “Introduction: China, Africa and Internationalization.” and “Representations of Africa in a Hong Kong Soap Opera: The Limits of Enlightened Humanitarianism in ‘The Last Breakthrough.’” This is a special issue, 199, September 2009, of The China Quarterly.
With Marianne Meier. “Esther Phiri and the Moutawakel effect in Zambia: an analysis of the use of female role models in sport-for-development.” Sport in Society Vol. 12, no. 9: 1158-1176, November 2009.
"Dilemmas and Opportunities in Gender and Sport-in-development." Chapter 6 in Sport and International Development, ed. Roger Levermore and Aaron Beacom, Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
“Women, Islam, Gender, Sports and the Female Body: Sub-Saharan Africa” (long version) A Mulher em África: Vozes de uma Margem sempre Presente, Editors: Inocência Mata & Laura Padilha, Lisboa: Edições Colibri / CEA-FLUL (Centro de Estudos Africanos da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa.), 2007.
“Women, Gender, Sports and the Female Body: Sub-Saharan Africa,” in The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Volume 3: Family, Body, Sexuality and Health. Editor: Suad Joseph. Brill Academic Publishers, 2006.
“Gender and Sports,” in A Companion to Gender Studies, eds. Philomena Essed, Audrey Kobayashi, and David Theo Goldberg. Blackwell Press, 2005.
“Football Feminine: The Development of the African Game,” in Soccer, Women, Sexual Liberation: Kicking off a New Era, Editors: F. Hong and J.A Mangan, Frank Cass: London/Portland OR, 2004. First published as a special edition of Soccer and Society, Vol. 4, Nos 2/3. Autumn/Fall 2003.
“Ethnicity, Resources and the Central State: Politics in the Nuba Mountains, 1950 to the 1990s,” in, Kordofan Invaded: Peripheral Incorporation and Sectoral Transformation in Islamic Africa, 1785-1995, edited by Michael Kevane and Endre Stiansen; E.J. Brill: Leiden, 1998.