Dr. Akin Ogundiran is Chancellor’s Professor, and Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology & History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte where he also served as chair of the Africana Studies Department from 2008 to 2018. He previously taught in the Department of History at Florida International University, Miami and served as director of the institution’s African-New World Studies, 2006-2008. His teaching career began in Nigeria where he taught at the University of Benin, among others.
His research interests focus broadly on the archaeology of emergent communities, social complexity, and cultural history in the Yoruba world. His earlier research efforts sought to understand the impacts of global/regional social, political, and economic processes on community formations; and how social actors created knowledge, communities, and identities with objects and the landscape, 1000-1800 AD. Ogundiran is currently leading a research project on the political economy and settlement ecology of the Oyo Empire focusing on the landscape history of the empire’s metropolitan area (Oyo-Ile) and one of its colonies (Ede-Ile). He has also facilitated collaborative projects on the archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora. In addition, he has written on historiography, Black Intellectual Thoughts, social sustainability, and cultural heritage issues.
Dr. Ogundiran has received support for his research from the National Humanities Center, Carnegie Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, National Endowment for the Humanities, Boston Humanities Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and the National Science Foundation-supported programs, among others. In spring 2018, he was a Yip Fellow in Magdalene College, University of Camridge.
He has authored, edited, and co-edited several publications, including Archaeology and History in Ilare District, 1200-1900 (Cambridge Monograph in African Archaeology 55, 2002); Precolonial Nigeria (Africa World Press, 2005); Archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora (Indiana University Press, 2007); Power and Landscape in Atlantic West Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2012); and Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic (Indiana University Press, 2014), which won Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015.
He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of African Archaeological Review, and he is on the editorial board of several journals and book series.
Ogundiran has also convened major conferences and symposia including the Haitian Constitutional Reform (2007), African Culture and Development (2007), Orisa Music and Dance: Discourses of Modernity and Transnationalism (2008), Materialities and Meanings of Rituals in Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora (Society of Historical Archaeology Annual Conference, January 2009, Toronto), Presidency of Barack Obama (2010), the New African Diaspora in the US (2011), and Moral Economies (2014). He also curated two exhibitions – one on stamps, and the other on his archaeological research in the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, Nigeria.
Dr. Ogundiran has been recognized for his research, service, and teaching. He is the recipient of the 2006 University of Texas Africanist Award for Research Excellence. In 2007, he was awarded a Certificate of Special United States Congressional Recognition for Excellence in Service. He was presented with the TOFAC Research, Leadership, and Service Award at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in 2013. In 2018, Nigeria’s Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, a Category II affiliate of UNESCO, presented him with its Award of Excellence. He is a member of the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Delta (Honor Society for International Scholars).
Selected Keynotes and Public Lectures: