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Wale Adebanwi

Director of the African Studies Centre, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations

I joined the African Studies Centre in July 2017. I am a political scientist and anthropologist. My research and teaching have focussed on the processes of the social mobilisation of interests and power, particularly as these manifest in and through ethnicity, nationalism, race and racialisation, culture, democratic politics and social thought.

I have two doctoral degrees from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Cambridge (UK) - the latter as a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar - and have taught at universities in Nigeria and the United States. Since 2016, I have been co-editor of AFRICA: Journal of the International African Institute and was co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies until June 2017.

I have published three sole authored books on media and nationalism (Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning, UPR, 2016), ethnicity and cultural politics (Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency, CUP 2014), and corruption and democratic politics (Authority Stealing: Anti-Corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria, CAP, 2012). I have also (co-)edited seven books, the latest of which is The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa: Beyond the Margins (James Currey 2017).

I am currently working on two research projects, the first of which focusses on the intellectual engagement with, and domestication of, the European Enlightenment project in the newspaper press in late 19th century and early 20th century Nigeria, while the second project focusses on (de)racialisation in post-apartheid South Africa through toponymic practices.