Faculty | African American and African Diaspora Studies

Ethiopian and East African Studies Project


Hewan GirmaHewan Girma, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, AADS), Co-Coordinator, is a sociologist who is interested in Ethiopian history, mobility and culture. Her work has thus far been published in Social Problems, Sociology Compass, the Journal of Black Studies and the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies. She is currently working on her monograph Migrant Ethiopia, which examines how different class-based, gendered, and ethno-racial identities factor into the motivations and experiences of voluntary return and repeat migrants in Ethiopia.

Omar AliOmar H. Ali, Ph.D. (Professor, AADS/History/Honors), Co-Coordinator, is a historian of the global African Diaspora who looks at issues of power, black agency, and Islam in the Indian Ocean world. The author of Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery Across the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press) and Islam in the Indian Ocean World (Bedford/St. Martin’s), he curated the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library digital exhibit The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World. Dr. Ali also serves as Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at UNC Greensboro.

David AaronsDavid A. Aarons, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor Ethnomusicology) conducts ethnographic research focusing on Rastafarians who have ‘returned’ to Ethiopia from Jamaica and other parts of the world in the belief that Ethiopia is their Promised Land. He specifically investigates the ways in which these repatriated Rastafari use reggae music as a tool to assert that they belong in a country that has only recently developed a policy to process their residency status. He is the author of “Feeling Reggae Together in Ethiopia,” in Voices from Around the World.

Neelofer QadirNeelofer Qadir, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, IGS/English) is working on Afrasian Imaginaries: Global Capitalism and Labor Migration in Indian Ocean Fictions, which examines 20th and 21st century cultural texts from African and Asian Indian Ocean communities to argue that the these communities with their millennia long history of trade and exchange have important contributions to make in our understanding of structures and effects of capitalism. She is the author of “Migritude‘s Decolonial Lessons” in Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies and co-translated into Urdu of “The Upright Revolution” by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, appearing in Jalada Translation Issue.

Natacha NikokezaNatacha Nikokeza, LLM (Program Coordinator, CNNC) is originally from Burundi, where she studied law, and arrived in the U.S. with her family as refugees. She received her Master’s Degree in Law from Wake Forest University and has provided free services to undeserved populations, especially women. She has worked in Washington D.C. with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and at World Relief, a resettlement agency in High Point.  She joined the Center for New North Carolinians in 2017, coordinating programs at Legacy Crossing and Glen Haven, where she works with refugee families from East and West Central Africa.

Cerise GlennCerise Glenn-Manigault, Ph.D. (AADS/Communication Studies) explores issues of cultural identity and identity negotiation among black communities, culture and communication, occupational socialization and identification of diverse groups, organizational culture, and third wave/intersectional feminism in the African Diaspora. Dr. Glenn also served as the former Director of African American and African Diaspora Studies.

Elizabeth PerrillElizabeth Perrill, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Art History) specializes in South African contemporary art and ceramics and Zimbabwean stone sculpture. She served as a consulting-curator of African Art with the North Carolina Museum of Art and is committed to the use of focused life-histories as an ethical research model that can integrate artists’ contributions to the research process. Dr. Perrill also serves as Director of the Humanities Network and Consortium at UNC Greensboro.

Andrew MbuviAndrew Mbuvi, Ph.D. (Lecturer, Religious Studies) focuses on Biblical studies and hermeneutics and has taught a range of courses, including “Introduction to African Cultures and Theology” and “New Testament Exegetical Methods.” A former Duke University Divinity School fellow, he is the author of Temple, Exile and Identity in 1 Peter and “The Ancient Mediterranean Values of ‘Honour and Shame’ as a Hermeneutical Lens of Reading the Book of Job,” in the journal Old Testament Essays.

Becky MuichBecky Muich, Ph.D. (Honors/Classical Studies) is a classical philologist whose research focuses on the way warfare shapes narratives about ancient societies, specifically in the construction of gender. She researches Greek epic and tragedy, focusing on the Trojan War. She designed a course entitled “Africans in the Greco-Roman World” for the Honors College and is currently working on a documentary source book entitled Africans in the Greco-Roman World: Biographies in History and Myth. Dr. Muich also serves as Assistant Dean of Lloyd International Honors College.

Additional Faculty:

Kathleen S. MacFie, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, LLC/IGS)