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    I teach in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH), an undergraduate-only college within Michigan State University (MSU). I am also a core member of the MSU African Studies Center.

    My research primarily focuses on the history of the southern African country of Lesotho. I write about the history of development, independence, nationalism, decolonization, and the history of the border between Lesotho and South Africa. My first book, entitled Dreams for Lesotho: Independence, Foreign Assistance, and Development came out in 2018 from the University of Notre Dame Press.

    I also research and create digital projects on local history in the Lansing, MI area with my students. The links to my sites on Malcolm X in Lansing and Urban Renewal in Lansing are below.


    PhD Washington University in St. Louis (African and World History)

    BA Grinnell College (IA)


    Other Publications


    Dreams for Lesotho: Independence, Foreign Assistance, and Development University of Notre Dame Press, 2018.

    Articles (See CORE for copies of all articles):

    2018: Passports, Citizenship, Residency and Asylum: The Meanings of Decolonisation in Lesotho Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

    2017: Introduction: Localizing the History of Development in Africa International Journal of African Historical Studies 50:1 (2017): 1-9

    2017: Self-Help Development Projects and Conceptions of Independence in Lesotho, 1950s-1970s International Journal of African Historical Studies 50:1 (2017):11-33

    2015: Homemakers, Communists, and Refugees: Smuggling Anti-Apartheid Refugees in Rural Lesotho in the 1960s and 1970s Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies 13 (2015): 183-209

    2014: Development, Politics, and the Centralization of State Power in Lesotho, 1960-75 Journal of African History 55:3 (2014): 401-421


    African Studies Association (ASA)

    African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE)

    Association of Concerned Scholars of Africa

    Friends of Lesotho (FOL)

    The Africa Network

    Historical Society of Greater Lansing

    John Aerni-Flessner

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