Project Coordinator. Website. “Equiano's World - Gustavus Vassa and the Abolition of the British Slave Trade”. SSHRC (since 2016)
The project focuses on the abolition movement and the ways in which this remarkable man has been remembered in history. The subject of the project is the life of Olaudah Equiano, alias Gustavus Vassa, the African, whose Interesting Narrative, published in 1789, has been credited as being influential in the abolition of the British slave trade, implemented in 1807. His autobiography went through nine editions in the early 1790s, the heady days influenced by Revolutionary France on those interested in British Parliamentary reform, the abolition of the slave trade, and the ending of slavery. Vassa was arguably the most influential person of African descent in London, at a time when the black community numbered perhaps 20,000, making London one of the largest “African” cities in the world at the time.
Project Coordinator. Website and database. Islamic Protest and National Security in Africa - IPTSA. SSHRC (since 2017)
The IPTSA project highlights one of the most serious problems of the contemporary world order - ideologically and religious motivated violence. Terrorist movements like Boko Haram represent a challenge to an understanding of contemporary Islam, distorted economic and political development, and the injustices of the international world order. The resonance between local conditions and trans-national problems raises serious issues of public policy and national security. The researchers and partners assembled for this project want to engage in a dialog of enquiry that attempts to determine strategies of response and initiate policies of change and at the same time make accessible new knowledge on Boko Haram that relates to historical and political context, religious and ideological underpinnings, economic and social impact It is hoped that scholarly research will inform public policy in ways that promote political stability and social justice not only in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Tchad but also globally.
Director. Multimedia Digital Humanities Project and Public History Engagement. Projeto Baquaqua. Ministry of Culture (since 2013)
Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua was born free and as many other Africans enslaved in the Americas had a hometown, a family and in his youth suffered from the violence of war. He was enslaved and exported through the slave close to Ouidah (Whydah) and sent to Brazil in a slave ship. After escaping slavery, he attended school at New York Central College, from where he wrote many letters to noted abolitionists. In 1854 he completed his autobiography in Chatham, which was published in Detroit. Baquaqua’s memories are a particularly important narrative of the African diaspora. As with other biographical accounts, it permits us to hear the voice of the individual beyond the the slavery context. Project Baquaqua provides the opportunity to imagine, understand and learn from the isolation of otherness that those called slaves had to endure through empathy and projection.