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MemberChika O. Okeke-Agulu

Chika Okeke-Agulu specializes in indigenous, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. He previously taught at The Pennsylvania State University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, writes for Huffington Post and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka. In 2007, Professor Okeke-Agulu was appointed the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History at Williams College, and Fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (2008). He was a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow (2010). Among his many awards and prizes are: Honorable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication (triennial) Award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2017); The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English during the preceding year (African Studies Association, 2016); Distinguished Alumnus Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts (The College of Arts, University of South Florida, Tampa, 2016); Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016); and Outstanding Dissertation (triennial) award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2007); National Council of Arts and Culture Prize for Best Art Student, University of Nigeria (1990); Indira Gandhi Memorial Prize for Best Graduating Student of the University of Nigeria (1990); Valedictorian and Class President of the 1990 graduating class,      University of Nigeria (1990). Okeke-Agulu serves on the board of directors of College Art Association, the advisory board of the Center for the Study of Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the executive board of Princeton in Africa. He is on editorial board of African Studies Review and on the advisory boards of Journal of African American Studies, and Journal of Igbo Studies

MemberKalle Kananoja

…ican Natural Medicine in Early Modern Angola.” Portuguese Studies Review 23:2 (Special issue “Angola – Then and Now”), 45–69.

2013         “Pai Caetano Angola, Afro-Brazilian Magico-Religious Practices, and Cultural Resistance in Minas Gerais in the Late Eighteenth Century.” Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage 2:1 (Special issue “Atlantic Approaches on Slave Resistance in the Americas”), 19-39.

2010         “Healers, Idolaters and Good Christians: A Case Study of Creolization and Popular Religion in Mid-Eighteenth Century Angola.” International Journal of African Hi…

Kalle Kananoja is an expert on the history of medicine in precolonial Atlantic Africa and the early modern African diaspora. He has published extensively on Angolan and Afro-Brazilian religious and medical history. Most recently, he has co-edited Healers and Empires in Global History: Healing as Hybrid and Contested Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and a special issue on “Namibia: History, Memory, Society” for the Nordic Journal of African Studies. Kalle Kananoja works as a Lecturer in African studies (fixed-term) at the University of Helsinki. Since completing his PhD at the Åbo Akademi University (2012), he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the European University Institute (Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow 2012–2013), King’s College London (Visiting Research Associate 2013–2014), as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher (2013–2016) and CORE Fellow at the Collegium of Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki (2016–2017). He has taught courses on culture and health in global history, slavery and the Atlantic slave trade, modernisation in Africa, and research methods in African history. He is currently PI in charge of a Finnish Cultural Foundation funded project (2018–2019), which explores early modern networks between the Netherlands and Sweden  in a global history framework. Kananoja’s book manuscript, Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa: Cross-cultural Medical Encounters 1500–1850, explores health, disease and medical knowledge in precolonial Atlantic Africa. It deals with African and European perceptions of health, disease, and healing in tropical Africa. The book highlights cross-cultural medical exchanges and argues that local African knowledge was central to shaping European responses to illness. Medical interaction between Africans, Europeans residing in Africa for extended periods, and Eurafricans, in turn, shaped natural history collections in European centers of learning, but the true value of medico-botanical knowledge lay in its applicability in day-to-day health concerns among those who lived and settled in Atlantic Africa.

MemberAlexsandra Mitchell

Alexsandra Mitchell is a Brooklyn-based international research scholar whose work explores the African Diaspora, spirituality, and the arts. She presently serves as a reference librarian and an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.  Prior to joining the staff here in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division, Alexsandra was a lecturer at New York University’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study, and worked with institutions such as National Geographic Television, The Library of Congress, The West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal, The New York Historical Society, and The Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, New York. Her many fellowships and awards include a National Diversity in Libraries Conference travel award, The Academy Awards Documenting Cinema Film Librarians Conference travel award, and two University of Virginia’s Rare Book School scholarships. Alexsandra is curator of the Schomburg Center’s, “Live From the Reading Room: Correspondence” podcast series, ‘Live From the Archive’ programming series, and The Schomburg Center’s community archives program, ‘Everyday Archives’, and a first year doctoral student in Cornell University’s Africana Studies program. . She is co-author of Research Techniques and Strategies for the Study of Black Writings, Rowman & Littlefield and a contributor to Pushing the Margins: Women of Color and Intersectionality in Library and Information Science, both forthcoming.