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July 21, 2015

Welcoming new director of African Studies Center

Jamie Monson has been named director of Michigan State University’s African Studies Center and will take over leadership in August.

Her background is deeply rooted in East African environmental history and the relationship between development, resource use and landscape change in Africa. A recognized researcher and scholar, Monson’s efforts have established her as a pioneer in China-Africa development studies.

Her book, “Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania,” explores the TAZARA railway, which was built with Chinese development aid. Monson’s more recent project follows Chinese farmers in Tanzania and Zambia and examines their use of social media.

Monson spent the last six years as department chair and professor of African history at Macalester College and she currently shares time as a visiting professor of African studies at Zhejiang Normal University in China.

She has extensive experience in fostering and developing collaborative relationships among partner institutions in Tanzania, Botswana, China and the United States.


By: Kristen Parker