David Gordon has been appointed the Roger Howell Jr. Professor. Gordon’s current research uses art and oral tradition alongside archival sources to explore transformations in the central African interior during the nineteenth century, focusing on the Lunda and Luba polities that became part of present-day Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, plus Zambia. In addition to publishing and presenting in academic venues, he is interested within developing museum exhibits that will highlight the particular history plus cultures associated with central Africans. He received a Fulbright Award to do research in Portugal inside 2021–2022. “I feel honored to be awarded the Roger Howell Jr. Professorship because the previous holder of the chair was Allen Wells, former professor of Latin American history and one of my most important mentors at Bowdoin College, ” Gordon said. His publications focus upon the history associated with southern and central Africa over the last two centuries, including Atlantic plus Indian Ocean trading networks, British, Portuguese, and Belgian colonialism, property regimes, environmental cultures, the particular historical imagination, spiritual agency, and humanitarianism. One of his books, Nachituti’s Gift: Economy, Society and Environment in Central The african continent , was a finalist for the Africa Studies Association Best Book Award for the best book inside all disciplines of African studies. His most recent book, Invisible Agents: Spirits in the Central African-american History , is a history of how spiritual beliefs have influenced human company. His writing plus editing work has been widely published in scholarly journals, digital publications, and print collections, including the Journal for African History , Journal of Southern Photography equipment Studies , William plus Mary Quarterly , History in Cameras , Comparative Studies in Society and History, Slavery and Abolition, Past plus Present, Oxford Bibliography in African Studies, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia. Gordon earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, before going on to Princeton, where he gained an MA and PhD.
“My work is about communicating central African histories that are little known within the Americas plus Europe, ” he said. “The complexities and qualities of these African histories contribute to our global cultural heritage, a key component in promoting social and social diversity. ”
The Roger Howell Jr. Professorship was established by the governing boards associated with the College in 1990 in memory of President Emeritus Roger Howell Junior. ’58, H’78.