Malawi academic featured among great immigrants in US

A Malawian historian, literary critic, novelist, short-story writer and academic, Prof Paul Tiyambe Zeleza has been recognized as one of the “great immigrants” in the United States.

In the New York Times of July 4, the Independence Day of the United States, the Carnegie Corporation of New York has placed a full-page, color public service advert, celebrating the significant contributions of 43 immigrants to the country from around the world. Among them is Malawi’s own Paul Tiyambe Zeleza.

Zeleza is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and President’s Professor of History and African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Author of scores of articles and essays and more than twenty books, Zeleza  also blogs on The Zeleza Post .

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Fact file: Source – Wikipidea

Zeleza is also a renowned writer of fiction. He is the author of three books, two collections of short stories, Night of Darkness and Other Stories (Montfort Press, Limbe, 1976), and The Joys of Exile: Stories (Anansi: Toronto, 1994), and a novel, Smouldering Charcoal (Oxford: Heienemann, 1992).

He has also published critical essays on African literature and postcolonial criticism. Among the authors whose works he has examined are Edward Said and Yvonne Vera.

Zeleza is widely recognized as one the leading authorities on African economic history. His book A Modern Economic History of Africa won the 1994 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, the continent’s most prestigiousbook award. The jury citation noted:

Over the years, Zeleza has also established himself as a leading intellectual historian of Africa, with influential publications on the development of ideas and higher education institutions. His scholarly output and reputation also extends to gender studies, human rights studies and diaspora studies.

In 2003, he was appointed by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) to a nine-member advisory board to oversee the publication of “Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World”, a research study issued to mark the 10th anniversary of, and assess progress since, the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September 1995.

He is currently working on a project, “Africa and Its Diasporas: Dispersals and Linkages”, that seeks to trace the dispersal of African peoples globally (Asia, Europe, and the Americas), the formation of African diasporas in different world regions, and the linkages established between these diasporas and Africa over the centuries. The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from theFord Foundation.

Zeleza is frequently invited as a keynote speaker at international conferences and to give public lectures across the world. Among the numerous conferences where he has given keynote addresses are those organized by UNESCO in Paris in December 2003 and the Association of African Universities in Cape Town in February 2005.

In 1995, he was one of six African intellectuals invited by the Japanese government for a three-week tour of Japan, and he revisited several Japanese universities in 2004 at the invitation of the Japanese Association of African Studies. In Asia, he has also visited China and South Korea, and in Europe, he has been invited to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Britain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, while in the Americas he has been to several Caribbean islands, Venezuela and Brazil.

As for Africa, he has been invited to and visited more than twenty countries, from Egypt to South Africa. In 2006, he was appointed Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Historical Studies, the African Gender Institute, and the Center for African Studies at the University of Cape Town.

He attended college at the University of Malawi (1972–1976) where he received his BA with Distinction, majoring in History and English. He served as a Staff Associate at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College from 1976–1977 before he proceeded to Britain for his graduate studies. He earned an MA in African History and International Relations at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics and Political Science (1977–1978), then a Ph.D. in economic history at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova ScotiaCanada (1978–1982).

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