AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
Academic Program at Centre College
Kiyona Brewster joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of sociology in 2017.
Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of race and ethnicity, gender, qualitative methods, family studies, and religion. Brewster’s ongoing research agenda involves understanding how gender and familial roles are defined and produced within predominantly African American Protestant and Evangelical communities of faith. She previously held teaching appointments at Northwestern University, DePaul University, and Triton College in Illinois. She is originally from Pennsylvania and when she is not reading social theory, she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors.
Brewster received a B.S. degree from Bennett College for Women, an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology and a certificate in gender & sexuality studies from Northwestern University in September of 2016, as well as a teaching certificate from the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching. She also has an M.A. in psychology from the University of Connecticut.
File last updated: 8/21/17
Jonathon Earle is associate professor of history and current chair of the African and African American Studies Program. He joined Centre’s faculty in 2012 as visiting assistant professor of history. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in religion and theology, respectively, he completed his doctoral studies in history at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, he was named a Centre Scholar.
At Cambridge, he facilitated tutorials, lectures and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate level, teaching on the history of modern Africa and historical methodology. At Centre, Earle has worked to develop a creative pedagogy, which often leads him to incorporate community-based learning into the heart of his courses. This includes offering regular studies abroad to eastern Africa (2014, 2015, 2019) and co-directing the Centre-in-London program in 2017. He has also worked with Centre students in Uganda and the United Kingdom.
At Centre, Earle has maintained an aggressive research agenda. His first book—on religious thought and historical imagination in late colonial Uganda (Cambridge University Press, 2017)—was a finalist for the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize (2018), which is the highest award given by the African Studies Association in East African Studies. His second book (co-authored with the award-winning J.J. Carney) explores the political biography of Uganda’s first elected prime minister, Benedicto Kiwanuka, and the history of political intimidation. It will be published with James Currey (Oxford) in 2020. In the past three years, he has also published four peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters with the Journal of African History, History in Africa, and Ohio University Press. His most recent chapter on African Intellectual History is published with Oxford University Press (2019).
Earle has presented at or organized no fewer than 16 conferences or workshops since Fall 2013. These venues include the African Studies Association, and the Universities of Cambridge, Makerere (in partnership with the School of Oriental and African Studies), and Yale. He was also a co-organizer for a workshop on Terrorism in Africa at the University of Oxford (2016), which was one of the first forums to date—comprised of scholars, policymakers and international development workers—to imagine interdisciplinary ways of understanding modern terrorism in Africa. He also helped conceptualize and co-organize a workshop on Emerging Approaches in Uganda Studies at University College London (2017), the results of which will be published next year with James Currey.
Earle is currently developing two new projects: one on the history of eastern African foreign policy prior to the First World War, and a second on the history of assassination in modern Uganda.
Earle is the recipient of numerous awards. For outstanding teaching, scholarship and service, he was appointed a Centre Scholar in 2016 and 2019, and he was awarded a Stodghill Research Professorship in 2017. He was named the Delta Delta Delta Professor of the Year in 2016.
File last updated: 7/15/19
Jean Faye joined the Centre College faculty in 2018 as assistant professor of environmental studies.
Faye’s research centers on his home country, Senegal, West Africa, and the wider Sahel region. He studies ingenious land use and farming practices that improve climate change resilience and food security among some of the poorest people on the planet. These practices include agroforestry, soil fertility and nutrient management, ecological management of plant diseases, and biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes.
Faye uses mixed-methods in his research, ranging from ethnographic approaches embedded in cultural-political ecology to soil science analysis. He uses a range of tools from environmental geography to understand soil and productivity, indigenous adaptive capacities, and livelihood resilience in the West African Sahel.
Faye’s teaching interests include: agroforestry (farms and forests); agroecology (sustainable agriculture); global environmental health, and soil science.
Faye earned a B.S. in conservation and resource studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in international studies and a Ph.D. in environmental studies from the University of Oregon.
Satty Flaherty-Echeverría joined the faculty of Centre College in 2016 as assistant professor of Spanish.
Her research and teaching interests include Afro-descendants’ literature and cultural production in the Caribbean and Latin America, African literatures written in Spanish and Portuguese, Colonial/Postcolonial literatures, Race and Black intellectualism in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds. She will be co-directing the 2018 Centre Term in Brazil.
Flaherty-Echeverría earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
File last updated: 8/30/2017
Peter Haffner joined the Centre College faculty in 2019 as assistant professor of art history.
Haffner’s research focuses on the production, sale, collection, and exhibition of art made in Haiti and its connections with tourism. By studying how artists and collectors operate in a specific system of production, collection, and display, his work provides insight into how people navigate the communicative capabilities of art. He uses an interdisciplinary approach that employs methodologies from curatorial studies, ethnography, theories of tourism, and art history.
Haffner received a B.A. in art history from Bard College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from UCLA.
Lori Hartmann joined the Centre College faculty in 1999. She was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” teaching award in 2000, and a Kirk Teaching Award in 2003. Since 2009 she has held the Frank B. and Virginia B. Hower endowed chair in international studies. During the CentreTerms of 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2015 she took groups of students to Cameroon to study politics and civil society in that Central African country. And In 2006-07 and 2012, she was the director of Centre College’s program in Strasbourg, France.
She is currently serving as the interim director of the center for global citizenship.
Hartmann’s scholarly interests have focused on African politics, women and development in West Africa, and the political economy of development. In 2013, she co-published an article with former Centre student Brian Klosterboer in African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review on the prospects for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has published several articles on the topic of women and development, including: “Pounding Millet during School Hours: obstacles to girls’ formal education in Niger” in the European Journal of Development Research (2011); “The Rural-Urban dynamic and implications for development: perspectives from Nigerien Women” in Journal of Contemporary African Studies (spring 2004) and “A Language of their own: Development Discourse in Niger” in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (Winter 2004). Hartmann has also published works on pedagogical issues, for example, “Neoliberalism: a useful tool for teaching critical topics in political science” appeared in PS: Political Science and Politics (Oct 2009). In 2002 her article “War as Metaphor” appeared in Peace Review: Journal of Social Justice.
In 2015-16, Hartmann spent a year in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Fellow at Wollo University conducting a comparative study of Nigerian and Ethiopian literature, with an aim of understanding how that literature reflects a sense of nationalism or national identity. Read more about her research here. Upon her return in the fall of 2016, she took over a three-year term as faculty president.
She holds a B.A. from Denison University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Denver. She was an Ambassadorial Graduate Rotary Scholar at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, West Africa; and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa.
File last updated: 08/07/19
African politics — Women and development in West Africa — Democratic transitions in Africa — Peace Corps
Former Peace Corps volunteer in Tahoua, Niger, West Africa. An Ambassadorial Graduate Rotary Scholar in Senegal, West Africa. Articles published in journals including Africa Today.
Chantell Smith Limerick joined the Centre College faculty in 2016 and is assistant professor of Spanish.
Limerick’s research interests include Contemporary Latin American Narrative, Afro-Hispanic Studies and African Diaspora Studies. Her most recent presentations and publications investigate African diasporic writers from as early as the 16th century to contemporary times. Her dissertation project, entitled “(Re)writing the Nation in the American African Diaspora,” compares and contrasts works of historical fiction written by women of color in the U.S. and Latin America.
Limerick earned a B.S. in secondary education language arts and secondary education Spanish at The University of Alabama, an M.A. in Hispanic studies at Auburn University, and a Ph.D. in romance languages at the University of Georgia.
File last updated: 6/26/17
Tara Strauch joined Centre’s faculty in 2015 as assistant professor of history. Her fields of interest include America to 1877, the American Revolution, religious culture, political culture, identity, and the Atlantic world.
She received a B.A. in history and classical languages from The College of Wooster, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of South Carolina.
Johann Van Niekerk joined Centre’s faculty in 2015 as assistant professor of music. He is an active conductor, pianist, educator, writer and collaborative artist, originally from South Africa.
He earned his DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, his M.M. from Temple University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He hails originally from the Republic of South Africa and has lived in the United States since 2009.
File last updated: 9/28/15
Ian Wilson joined the Centre College faculty in the fall of 2003 as a visiting instructor of German and Humanities. He was awarded Centre’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2004 and in 2005 received the Kirk Award for excellence in teaching. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2009, and again in 2015, a two-year appointment recognizing teaching excellence, scholarship, and contributions to the Centre community.
He teaches courses in German language, literature, and culture, African American literature, and the first-year Humanities sequence. He has taken groups of students abroad during three CentreTerms and one summer and directed the Centre-in-Strasbourg program twice: in 2008-09 and in 2015-16.
His current research project focuses on evolving notions of space and place in contemporary German-language literature. He is also developing a book on approaches to teaching W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz with his Centre colleague Christina Svendsen. He is co-editor of the volume, Cosmopolitanism Reconsidered: Jürgen Habermas, Germany, and the European Union (Routledge, 2016). He has published articles on Samuel Beckett, Elfriede Jelinek, W. G. Sebald, and John Edgar Wideman; he was also a contributor to a German Studies Review forum on Germany and the Euro Crisis (2013) and An Encyclopedia of African American Literature (2005, Greenwood Press). Other scholarly interests include the Holocaust, monuments and memorialization, critical theory, and intersections between literature and other arts, especially photography and film. He has given papers at conferences of the Modern Language Association, the German Studies Association, the Austrian Studies Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the Southern Comparative Literature Association, and at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference.
He was previously a teaching fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he taught courses in German, comparative literature, and German-language sections of courses in history and international studies. He was also a graduate teaching consultant at UNC-CH’s Center for Teaching and Learning.
Wilson is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Phi Alpha German national honor society. In 2000-01, he conducted research at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften in Vienna, Austria as a Fulbright Scholar. He received another Fulbright for the summer of 2012. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in comparative literature and German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
To read about his CentreTerm course “Introduction to the Cultural History of Central Europe,” click here.
File last updated: 8/3/17