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Bright Gyamfi

Assistant Professor

My interest in history was sparked by an American Ghana-based elementary school teacher and fueled by watching Liberty’s Kids as a child living in North Carolina. After taking an undergraduate African history course, what had started as a mere spark developed into a strong passion, hence my decision to become a historian. Today, I am a scholar of West African and African Diaspora intellectual history, nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Black internationalism, and economic development. I write on African intellectuals who worked to transform and radicalize the study of Africa in academic and intellectual centers around the Atlantic. I have received research fellowships and grants from several organizations and institutions, including the Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright-IIE. My work has appeared in the Journal of African American History, African Studies Review, Africa is a Country, and The Conversation. I hold a BA in History (Honors) and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in History from Northwestern University. Before joining UC San Diego, I was a Presidential Fellow at Northwestern University.
 

My book manuscript, “Embers of Pan-Africanism: Nkrumahist Intellectuals and Pan-Africanism 1960-1980,” examines why and how radical ideas emerge and how they change over time. Moreover, it explores how insurgent ideas are sustained after the collapse of a radical government. Specifically, I explore how Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah’s overthrow affected the trajectory of Nkrumahism, a strand of Pan-Africanism and an ideology for African decolonization. 

I love basketball, soccer, and college football, and I also enjoy traveling for archival and oral research. 

Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Africa-Diaspora Orbit: Anani Dzidzienyo’s Contributions to African/Black Studies and Black Liberation,” African Studies Review 66, 2 (2023), 464-89. doi:10.1017/asr.2022.97.

From Nkrumah’s Black Star to the African Diaspora: Ghanaian Intellectual Activists and the Development of Black Studies in the Americas,” The Journal of African American History Special Issue on Reconceptualizing the History of Black Internationalism 106, 4 (2021), 682-705.

Book Review(s)

“Jeffrey S. Ahlman. Living with Nkrumahism: Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana.” African Studies Review 2021, 1-3. doi:10.1017/asr.2020.134.

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications         

(with Kwasi Konadu) “Black Lives Matter: How far has the movement come?”  September 8, 2021. https://theconversation.com/black-lives-matter-how-far-has-the-movement-come-165492

“Pioneiros em Estudos dos Negros,” translated by Jose Luiz Pereira da Costa, March 10, 2021. http://www.dacostaex.net/bright.pdf

“Pioneers in Black Studies,” March 2, 2021. https://africasacountry.com/2021/03/pioneers-in-black-studies

“What Does it Mean to be a Black Scholar in 2020,” July 12, 2020. https://www.brightgyamfi.com/post/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-black-scholar-in-2020

“AfriSem Conference Addresses Decolonizing African Studies,” Program of African Studies News and Events, 30, 1 (2019), 4.