Prof. 'Femi Vaughan

Olufemi (Femi) Vaughan was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. He obtained his D.Phil in politics from the University of Oxford in 1989 where he studied with three distinguished Africanists, historian Terence Ranger, political historian Anthony Kirk-Greene, and political sociologist Gavin Williams. He is the Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies & History at Bowdoin College, and serves as a senior editor and co-editor of major Africanist research publications, including the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in African History(Sources, Methods, Historiography), and Rutledge Handbook on Contemporary Nigeria. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Africa Program. Prior to his tenure at Bowdoin College, Femi Vaughan was on the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook for 18 years where he was professor of Africana Studies & History, and affiliate professor of Political Science and Comparative Literary Studies, associate provost of the University, associate dean of the Graduate School, chair of the Africana Studies Department, director of International Studies, and director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies.

Femi Vaughan’s research interest is distinctively interdisciplinary covering a wide range of humanistic social science fields in African Studies and African Diaspora Studies, notably African political and social history (with a regional focus on West Africa), comparative politics of African states, and African Migrations and Globalization. He is the author and editor of ten books, over fifty scholarly articles, and many reviews, including Nigerian Chiefs: Traditional Power in Modern Politics, 1890s-1990s (University of Rochester Press, 2000), which won the Cecil B. Currey Book Prize from the Association of Third World Studies in 2001, and Religion and the Making of Nigeria published this month by Duke University Press. His scholarly articles have been published in leading Africanist and disciplinary journals such as Journal of African History, African Affairs: the Journal of the Royal African Society, Journal of Asian & African Studies, Politique Africaine, Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, and the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society.

Femi Vaughan is a dedicated teacher and mentor. At Stony Brook, he established the curriculum in African studies and African diaspora studies in six academic programs: Africana Studies, History, Political Science, International Studies, Undergraduate College of Global Studies, and a study abroad program in Oxford. At Bowdoin, Femi Vaughan’s appointment to the faculty included the responsibility to work with colleagues across campus to rebuild Bowdoin’s Africana Studies Program. In this context, he led three core disciplinary and interdisciplinary tenure-track appointments and five postdoctoral appointments in African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies, helped design an innovative curriculum in Africana Studies, and established an extensive affiliated faculty in Africana Studies that drew on the teaching of many colleagues across campus. His lecture courses and seminars at Bowdoin College generally reflect his research interests, namely Africa Since the 1880s: Conquest, Colonialism, Independence; Christianity and Islam in West Africa; History of African & African Diaspora Thought; African Migrations and Globalization; Research in African & African Diaspora History. At Stony Brook, Femi Vaughan directed several PhD dissertations in African history, and served on many dissertation committees in the Department of History. At Bowdoin College, Femi Vaughan has directed several honors theses, and has served on several honors theses projects. He currently serves on a PhD dissertation committee in the Department of African & African American Studies at Harvard University.

Femi Vaughan’s has been an active citizen of Stony Brook and Bowdoin where he chaired and served on many college-wide and department committees. He is currently the chair of a presidential committee on diversity and inclusion at Bowdoin. Femi Vaughan is active in professional organizations, has served on review teams of several Africana Studies departments, and evaluated many promotion dossiers. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, including a State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, a Stony Brook University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, a Stony Brook Dean of Arts & Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a Bowdoin Student Government recognition for teaching excellence. Femi Vaughan was a Woodrow Wilson National Fellow in 2007 and a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Fellow in 2013.


Published Books