Abou B. Bamba teaches Africa-related courses in the Africana Studies program and the History Department. Originally from Ivory Coast, Prof. Bamba was fascinated by foreign cultures early in life. This interest initially led him to concentrate on the study of foreign languages (English and Spanish) in college. Subsequently, he earned a Master's degree in American Studies from the Université d’Abidjan-Cocody in Ivory Coast. In the United States, he earned a certificate in Geographic Information Science (Geosciences) and a PhD in History, both from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Prof. Bamba has conducted historical investigations in Ivory Coast, the United States, and France. His research has externally been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the JFK Foundation, the LBJ Foundation, and the French Embassy in the United States. His current work focuses on post-1945 transnational histories of modernization, U.S.-Africa relations, migration/expatriation, and the search for the "good life".
African Miracle, African Mirage: Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2016.
“‘Mightier Than Marx’: Hassoldt Davis and American Cold War Politics in Postwar Ivory Coast.” International History Review 41, 6 (2019): 1123-1144.
“Producing an Imperial Bridgehead: The Making of Abidjan in Ivory Coast, 1908-1955.” World History Connected 13, 1 (February 2016).
“Conspicuous, Yet Invisible: Whiteness, Migration, and the French Residents of Ivory Coast, 1950-1985.” Journal of Modern European History 13, 4 (2015): 549-565.
“An Unconventional Challenge to Apartheid: The Ivorian Dialogue Diplomacy with South Africa, 1960-1978.” International Journal of African Historical Studies 47, 1 (2014): 77-99.
“Transnationalising Decolonisation: The Print Media, American Public Spheres, and France’s Imperial Exit in West Africa.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 11, 4 (Fall 2013): 327-49.
“At the Edge of the Modern? Diplomacy, Public Relations, and Media Practices during Houphouët-Boigny’s 1962 Visit to the U.S.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 22, 2 (Summer 2011): 219-238.
“Mémoires épistémiques et pouvoir d’experts dans une postcolonie africaine: Le cas de l’usage des savoirs africanistes par l’ORSTOM en Côte d’Ivoire.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 44, 1 (Summer 2010): 1-34.
“Rebirth of a Strategic Continent? Problematizing Africa as a Geostrategic Zone.” African Geographical Review 29, 1 (June 2010): 91-100.
Introduction to the study of the history and culture of various regions and groups in Africa. This course focuses on both the actual history and culture and how these have been portrayed from different intellectual perspectives. Topics covered include, African philosophical beliefs; an examination of the slave trade, the participants and its impact; political traditions and systems in Africa; economic systems and the impact of, and resistance to imperialism.
A critical examination of the literary, filmic, historical, and memorial representations of Africa. The course traces and analyzes the politics that informs the cultural constructions of Africans as people who live in particular spaces and times. The course compares various African(ist) literary, cinematic, and historical traditions and maps out the areas of convergence and differences as far as the representation of Africa is concerned. Engaging with history as a discipline, it highlights alternative ways in which intellectuals and laypeople have laid claim to the interpretation of the African past. Finally, moving away from Euro-centrism, the course emphasizes cultural productions of African writers, film directors, and public historians to show that Africans are not just subjects of history; they are equally agents of historical representation in its various guises. AFS 262 and HIST 273 are cross-listed. Offered as staffing permits.
A critical examination of the evolution of foreign aid provision and volunteering in Africa. The course analyzes the international and transnational politics of assisting Africans in their quests for a better life. The course also examines the various ways in which aid provision and volunteering have constructed Africa as the ultimate “paradigm of difference.¿? It assesses the impact of aid and volunteering on African societies and investigates the possibility of alternative approaches to aid provision. The course finally explores how Africans have historically been instrumental in the development/modernization of their respective societies. AFS 375 and HIST 375 are cross-listed. Offered as staffing permits.
Introduction to the history of the modern world (app. 1750-1930). Focus is on the comparative global history of Asia, Africa, and Europe during this period. Course examines economic, political, and cultural interactions between these three continents, and includes some history of the Americas to round out the picture of world history. Themes include global economics (slave trade, industrial revolution(s), world markets), imperialism, nationalism, and world war. Course is intended as an introductory history class for all students and fulfills one of the Humanities requirements. Course also fulfills the global history requirement for majors. Offered annually.
Study of African history from the pre-colonial era to the 1880s covering traditional societies, state formations, Africa's relationship to the world economy, and European exploration and conquest. Offered annually.
Study of African history from the 1880s examining developments leading to the colonization of Africa, changes in African societies under colonial rule, African responses to colonialism, African nationalist movements, and post-colonial socioeconomic and political experiments. Offered annually.
Study of the evolution of the interactions between people and the environment in Africa. Using the early 19th century as its starting point, the course examines the ways in which Africans (and others) not only managed Africa’s natural resources over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries and how they perceived the ecological system around those resources, but also explores various struggles to control the environment in Africa. The course equally inquires into the ways in which outsiders have created and propagated myths regarding Africans in connections with their environments. Offered as staffing permits.
Study of the impact of European colonial rule on African cultures, African responses to colonialism, and the impact of the colonial experience on contemporary African nations. Course also examine various methods of African resistance to colonial rule. Offered as staffing permits.
A critical examination of the rise and evolution of the shared, but also contested, history between France and the nation-states that once formed France’s empire in Africa south of the Sahara. The course will begin by briefly introducing the French colonial expansion in Africa in the late 19th century and mapping out its geographic contours. Offered as staffing permits.
The purpose of this seminar is to familiarize senior history majors with the debate about the decline of the European colonial empires in Africa. Basically, the course will provide perspectives for the assessment of the years 1940-1960 in Africa. The wider goal is to acquaint students with both European and African conditions which contributed to the rise of African anti-colonial sentiments and the ultimate forcing of the major colonial powers out of Africa. The heart of the seminar is the research paper. Students will choose one of two topics: whether or not (a) World War II served as a catalyst not a cause of the independence movements in Africa; (b) Africa's economic dependency on the former colonial powers has had the effect of limiting political independence in most African nations. For his/her topic each student will select an African country and leader. Offered every other year.