Join us for this installment of our popular Chat & Chowder series, featuring Emmanuel K. Akyeampong, Faculty Director of the Harvard University Center for African Studies, to discuss his new book, Independent Africa: The First Generation of Nation Builders. Professor Akyeampong will be joined in conversation by Scott Taylor, Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.
Chat & Chowder programs are an excellent opportunity to engage with expert speakers and to network with other globally-oriented participants in an informal environment. Each event features a presentation, audience Q&A, dedicated time for networking, and (of course!) a selection of chowders and beverages.
Thanks to the generous support of The Lowell Institute, Chat & Chowder is now free of charge for all participants (Zoom live-streams remain free as well). We sincerely appreciate The Lowell Institute’s commitment to our mission, as well as the support of our venue, Foley & Lardner LLP. Please consider helping sustain this work by making a contribution here.
This program will be streamed to Zoom from 6:15 to 7:15. To attend virtually, please register here.
Advance registration is required. We cannot accommodate walk-ins for the in-person program.
Emmanuel Akyeampong is the Ellen Gurney Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, as well as the Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard University Center for African Studies. He joined the History faculty at Harvard upon receiving his Ph.D. in African History from the University of Virginia in 1993. He received his master’s degree at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in 1989, where he concentrated on English labor history, and his bachelor’s degree in History and Religions from the University of Ghana at Legon in 1984.
Professor Akyeampong’s publications include Themes in West Africa’s History (2005), which he edited; Independent Africa: The First Generation of Nation Builders (2023); Between the Sea and the Lagoon: An Eco-Social History of the Anlo of Southeastern Ghana, 1850 to Recent Times (2001); and Drink, Power and Cultural Change: A Social History of Alcohol in Ghana, c. 1800 to Present Times (1996). He was a co-chief editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., for the Dictionary of African Biography, 6 Vols. (2012).
Professor Akyeampong has been awarded several research fellowships, and from 1993 to 1994, he was the Zora Neale Hurston Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities at Northwestern University. He was named a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2002, and was nominated to be a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Ghana. At Harvard, Professor Akyeampong is a faculty associate for the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a member of the executive committee of the Hutchins Center. As a former chair of the Committee on African Studies, he has been instrumental, along with Professor Gates, in creating the Department of African and African American Studies.
Scott Taylor is Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies and Professor of International Relations.
Dr. Taylor’s research and teaching interests lie in the areas of African politics and political economy, with a particular emphasis on business-state relations, private sector development, governance, and political and economic reform. He is the author of Politics in Southern Africa: Transition and Transformation (Lynne Rienner, 2011)(with Gretchen Bauer); Culture and Customs of Zambia (Greenwood Press, 2006); Business and the State in Southern Africa: The Politics of Economic Reform (Lynne Rienner, 2007); and Globalization and the Cultures of Business in Africa: From Patrimonialism to Profit (Indiana University Press, 2012), as well as of articles in numerous political science and area studies journals.
Dr. Taylor has consulted widely in the field of international development, on issues of political economy and governance and democracy and elections. He has served as a consultant for numerous organizations, including USAID, DfID, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Carter Center, as well as for private companies. He has held positions as visiting researcher at the University of Zambia, the University of Zimbabwe, and the Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Norway. Dr. Taylor has traveled widely throughout Africa and served as an election observer in a number of African countries, including Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Dr. Taylor previously taught at Smith College and most recently at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he was also Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the International Advisory Board for the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR), and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Dr. Taylor’s specializations include Africa, Governance and Politics and International Development.
Independent Africa explores Africa’s political economy in the first two full decades of independence through the joint projects of nation-building, economic development, and international relations.
Drawing on the political careers of four heads of states: Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania, Independent Africa engages four major themes: what does it mean to construct an African nation-state and what should an African nation-state look like; how does one grow a tropical economy emerging from European colonialism; how to explore an indigenous model of economic development, a “third way,” in the context of a Cold War that had divided the world into two camps; and how to leverage internal resources and external opportunities to diversify agricultural economies and industrialize.
Combining aspects of history, economics, and political science, Independent Africa examines the important connections between the first generation of African leaders, and the shared ideas that informed their endeavors at nation-building and worldmaking.
WorldBoston’s Chat & Chowder series features key authors on international affairs in an engaging setting. In addition to discussion of a featured book (usually sold at a significant discount), the program offers the opportunity for discussion among members and guests – and of course a selection of chowders and beverages. This Chat & Chowder will be hosted in-person (from 6:00 to 7:30PM ET) and live-streamed to Zoom (from 6:15 to 7:15 PM ET only).