Authors and Participants

PAPER PARTICIPANTS AND CO-AUTHORS

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CONFERENCE DETAILS AND ABSTRACTS


PARTICIPANTS (in alphabetical order)

Hassana Alidou is Ambassador of the Republic of Niger to the United States, a post she has held since 2015. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, where she was a Thomas Jefferson Fellow. She has over 25 years of experience both in academia and as a consultant in the field of education in the Sahel, with a special interest in the education of children in their indigenous languages. She has also served as regional director for UNESCO in Abuja, Nigeria.

Ousseina Alidou is Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the study of women’s orality and literacy practices in African Muslim societies, African Muslim women’s agency and gender justice and on the politics of cultural production in African Muslim societies. She is the author of numerous works including Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger (University of Wisconsin Press).

Hannah Armstrong, the International Crisis Group’s Algeria consultant, is a writer and analyst on North Africa and the Sahel. She has held fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs, the New America Foundation, and the Fulbright program. Her reporting and commentary on the region has appeared in the International New York Times, London Review of Books, Le Monde, Financial Times, World Policy Institute and the US Institute of Peace. She has lived in the region since 2006 and currently resides in Algiers.

Cristina Barrios is a Senior Analyst in the African Department of the EU European External Action Service in Brussels. She has also served in the EU Institute for Security Studies. She specializes in Europe-Africa relations with a focus on security, political risk, state-building and development cooperation in the Sahel. She holds a PhD in political science from the London School of Economics.

Oladiran Bello is Director of the Lagos office of Good Governance Africa (GGA), a pan-African registered non-profit organization. His research expertise focuses on resource governance in Africa. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and has more than ten years of experience in research and policy advisory, including on governance and extractive sector reform; sustainable development; and international development cooperation (including in EU-Africa relations).

Tor A. Benjaminsen is a Professor and Human Geographer in the Department of International Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.  His research utilizes political ecology to understand environmental change and its governance.  He has published extensively on climate change and land-use conflicts, land tenure, environmental conservation and resistance and pastoralism in the drylands of Africa. He is currently Associate Editor of Political Geography.

Mamadou Bodian recently completed a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida. His dissertation was entitled The Politics of Electoral Reform in Francophone West Africa: The Birth and Change of Electoral Rules in Mali, Niger, and Senegal. He is currently a research affiliate with the UF Sahel Research Group as well as lecturer at the Université Hassane Seck in Ziguinchor, Senegal. He has carried out extensive comparative fieldwork on democracy and institutional reform in the Sahel, and has also published several articles on religion and democratization in the region.

Sylvie Bredeloup is Research Director at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), at the Université d’Aix-Marseille. She is also a member of the Research Laboratory on Population, Environment, and Development. She holds a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She is author of a number of books, articles, and a co-edited volume on the subject of African migration in and outside the continent, including La Diams’pora du fleuve Sénégal. Sociologie des migrations africaines.

Marie Brossier is Associate Professor of Political Science at l’Université Laval (Québec, Canada), where she is also a founding member of the Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche sur l’Afrique et le Moyen-Orient (CIRAM). She has written extensively on citizenship, elections religion, and education in Africa, with a particular focus on Senegal. She is the author of the forthcoming book: Transgresser l’ordre au Sénégal. Mobilisations socioreligieuses, institution familiale et engagement politique à Dakar (Paris, Karthala (2017).

Kamissa Camara is Senior Program Officer for West & Central Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). She oversees grant programs to civil society organizations in West and Central Africa, and works on programs on transitional justice, human rights, peace-building, democracy promotion, corruption and civil-military relations. She is also founder and co-chair of the Sahel Strategy Forum, which provides a platform to donors, program implementers, academics, civil society, and the private sector to promote democratic values, stronger accountability mechanisms, peace, security and development throughout the Sahel.

Suzanne Cotillon is a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center where she has been working within the West Africa/Sahel team since 2013. She is one of the main authors of the Landscapes of West Africa: A Window on a Changing World atlas, which documents and quantifies land use and land cover changes over the past 40 years and across 17 countries. She holds an engineering degree in Agronomy from the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse and a master’s degree in Geography from South Dakota State University.

Daniel Eizenga is a PhD candidate in Political Science and a research affiliate with the Sahel Research Group at the University of Florida. He has carried out extensive comparative fieldwork on the different pathways of democratization across the Sahel, notably in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Chad. He has published on democratization in Burkina Faso.

Sebastian Elischer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He is the author of Political Parties in Africa: Ethnicity and Party Formation (Cambridge University Press) and several articles about the relationship between institutions and identities across sub-Saharan Africa. He has carried out extensive fieldwork on state management of religion in Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

Alisha Graves is cofounder and Director of the OASIS Initiative (Organizing to Advance Solutions in the Sahel), a project of University of California, Berkeley. She is also President of the non-profit organization Venture Strategies for Health and Development. Graves lectures internationally on population and food security in the Sahel and is a research fellow for Project Drawdown. Previously, she worked to improve access to the life-saving drug misoprostol. Graves holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ketil Fred Hansen is Associate Professor of History at the University of Stavanger. He holds a PhD in African History from the University of Oslo. His research focuses on democracy and security in francophone Africa with a particular interest in Chad. He has published numerous articles on civil-military relations, rebellions, the political economy of oil, and politics in Chad.

Ernest Harsch is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs where he has taught courses on African development and political instability in the Sahel and is a research scholar affiliated with Columbia’s Institute of African Studies. He is the author of Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary (Ohio University Press) and has published extensively on social movements and protest in Burkina Faso.

Nancy Rose Hunt is Professor of History & African Studies at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on the history and anthropology of medicine in Africa (including matters of reproduction, childhood, humanitarianism, and madness), with increasing attention to subaltern and health politics on a global scale. Her most recent book is: A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo (Duke, 2016).

Abdourahmane Idrissa holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida. He teaches at the University of Niamey and runs a research and training program at LASDEL, a social science research center in Niger. From 2009-2011 he held a Global Leadership Fellowship at Oxford (UK) and Princeton universities. He is currently a fellow at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). He has carried out research and published on a wide variety of issues focused on the Sahel. His recent publications include a new edition of the Historical Dictionary of Niger.

Cédric Jourde is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Ottawa. His research specializations include the trajectories of political Islam and ethnicity in the Sahel, democratization of authoritarian regimes, and the cultural dimensions of politics. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters on political identity, ethnicity, and social status or caste in the Sahel, with a particular focus on Mauritania.

Abdoulaye Kane is Associate Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Florida. He holds a PhD from the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research. His research integrates the study of African migrants and their transnational practices with their impact on sending communities, notably in the Senegal River Valley. He is the author of numerous publications related to the transnational experiences of African migrants in Europe and in the United States, and co-editor of African Migrations: Patterns and Perspectives (Indiana UP), and Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa (Indiana UP).

David Lessault is a Research Fellow in the Migrations Internationales Espaces et Societés program (MIGRINTER) of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He also teaches at the University of Poitiers, France. His research is focused on the question of spatial mobility linked to family and territorial dynamics in African urban contexts. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on issues related to African urbanization processes and the socio-economic struggle of urban families.

Augustin Loada is Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Governance (CGG), a major research center in the field of governance and democratization and contributing to building capacities for democratic governance. In 2014-15 he served as Minister of Public Service in the transitional government of Burkina Faso. He has published extensively on democracy and governance in Burkina Faso and more widely in Africa.

Paul M Lubeck is Interim Director of African Studies and Senior Research Professor at The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. His recognized expertise analyzes the intersection of cultural politics and political economy in Muslim Nigeria. He has current research interests in the political economy of African development, industrial transformation, Islamist political movements, African business initiatives, and the role of ICT.

Gregory Mann is Professor of History at Columbia University and a co-editor of the Journal of African History. He has published extensively on the history of French colonialism in the Sahel. His most recent book is From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel: the Road to Nongovernmentality (Cambridge University Press).

Roland Marchal is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), based at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) of Sciences-Po, Paris. His research focuses on armed conflicts and power politics in Africa, as well as on French and other great power policy towards Africa. He has written and lectured extensively on conflict and on French policy towards Africa, and he is a frequent participant in policy discussions.

Aly Mbaye is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Applied Economic Research at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. He has published extensively on economic development issues in West Africa, including international trade, employment, education and entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of The Informal Sector in Francophone Africa: Firm Size, Productivity, and Institutions, a pioneering study on the measurement and analysis of the informal sector in several West African countries, published by the World Bank.

Sarah McKune is Assistant Professor in Environmental and Global Health and former Director of Public Health Programs at the University of Florida. She earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology after nearly a decade of work on development projects throughout West Africa and the Sahel. For the past seven years, her research has focused on food security and nutritional status of women and children within the context of climate change, with recent focus on the role of animal source foods in reducing stunting of children under the age of two.

Fiona Mc Laughlin is Associate Professor and Chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Florida. She has published extensively on the sociolinguistics of language contact in urban West Africa as well as on the phonology and morphology of the Atlantic languages. She is the editor of The Languages of Urban Africa (Continuum 2009), and co-editor of Language Documentation and Endangerment in Africa (Benjamins 2015), and serves as Senior Editor for Sociolinguistics and Language Contact in Africa for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics.

Harouna Mounkaila is Professor of Geography at the Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, where he directs the “Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherche Migration, Espaces, Sociétés” (GERMES). He is a specialist on migration in Niger, and has published a number of works on this topic. His current research is focused on the development of migration policies in Niger, and on the stakes of migration for farming in Niger.

Lisa Mueller holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Macalester College. She is the author of numerous publications on protest and democratization in sub-Saharan Africa with a particular focus on Niger.

Boubacar N’Diaye is Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at the College of Wooster. He has published extensively on democracy, civil-military relations, and security governance in Africa, notably in Mauritania and the neighboring Sahel.   His recently completed book manuscript is entitled Mauritania’s Colonels.

Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan is Professor of Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Emeritus Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). He is also the cofounder of LASDEL (Laboratoire d’Etudes et de Recherche sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le Développement Local) and an Affiliated Professor at the Université Abdou Moumouni in Niger. He has lived and conducted research in Niger and across the Sahel since the 1960s, and has published very extensively on governance and the anthropology of the state in the region.

Malcolm Potts is an obstetrician and reproductive scientist and is the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. He is co-director of the Berkeley International Group (BIG) with Dr. Julia Walsh and co-founder of the OASIS Initiative (Organizing to Advance Solutions in the Sahel). Potts has published ten books and more than 200 scientific papers. His books include Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Evolution of Human Sexuality; and Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World.

Chris Reij is a Sustainable Land Management Specialist and a Senior Fellow of the World Resources Institute in Washington. He has worked on the West African Sahel since the late 1970s. His research has focused on restoration of degraded land in semi-arid regions, farmer innovation in agriculture, long-term trends in agriculture and environment and analysis of successes in agriculture and land management in Africa. He is a co-editor of Sustaining the Soil (Routledge) and co-author of Farmer Innovation in Africa, A Source of Inspiration for Agricultural Development (Routledge).

Felwine Sarr teaches Economics at the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal where he is the Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche en Economie and coordinator of the Faculty of Civilisations, Religions, Arts et Communications. He is the author of several articles and essays on development economics, macroeconomics and finance in Africa as well as religion and philosophy. He is the founder of the publishing company Jimsaan and is the author of Dahij (2009), 105 Rue Carnot (2011), Méditations africaines (2012) and Afrotopia (2016).

Rüdiger Seesemann is Professor of Islamic Studies and Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). He is also a research affiliate with the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA) at Northwestern University. He has published extensively on Sufism, Islam and modernity, Islamism, and Islamic education in Africa, including the book The Divine Flood: Ibrahim Niasse and the Roots of a Twentieth-Century Sufi Revival (Oxford University Press).

Renata Serra is Senior Lecturer in the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. A development economist, she has carried out extensive research and international consultancy on agricultural development policies, political economy, gender and child labor issues, especially in the context of Mali and other Francophone West African countries.

Benjamin Soares joined the University of Florida as Professor of Islamic Studies in 2017. He was previously Senior Researcher at the African Studies Centre in Leiden and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on religious life in West Africa from the early 20th century to the present. His publications include Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation (New Mexico). He currently co-edits Africa (London).

Alioune Sow is Associate Professor of French and African Studies at the University of Florida. He is currently working on a book project on Malian cultural production and its relation to political power and transitional processes, focusing on testimonies, memoirs, and confessional narratives. His research also includes the study of the interplay among migration, diasporic experiences, theater practices, and transformations of genres in France and West Africa. His most recent publications include co-edited issues of Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, and of Etudes Littéraires Africaines.

Gray Tappan is a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey, EROS Center.  He has worked on the West African Sahel since the early 1980s, in the fields of bio-geography, land use management, and long-term natural resource monitoring.  He has led projects in West Africa that use remote sensing and socioeconomic data to characterize landscape changes and land management practices, including successes in land restoration.  He is a major contributor to a new atlas: Landscapes of West Africa: A Window on a Changing World.

Vernelle Trim is a Deputy Director in the Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State. She manages the Sahel Unit in the West African Affairs Office, which includes Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso.  A member of the Foreign Service since 1998, Ms. Trim has had several tours in Washington and overseas, including in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Davidson College, and a Masters in International Relations from The George Washington University.

Leonardo A. Villalón is Professor of Political Science and African Studies at the University of Florida, where he also currently serves as the Dean of the International Center. He is the author of numerous works on democratization and on religion in the Sahel, including Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal (Cambridge University Press). He is currently co-editor of the Journal of Modern African Studies.

Olivier Walther is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Southern Denmark and a visiting professor at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Lausanne. His research in the Sahel focuses on social networks and cross-border trade, cross-border cooperation, and the spatial patterns of transnational terrorist organizations. He is the Africa editor of the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

Bruce Whitehouse is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lehigh University. He has conducted research and published extensively on migration, development, marriage, demography, and Islam with a particular focus on Mali. His widely-read blog, Bridges from Bamako, offers commentary and analysis on contemporary developments in Mali.

Wendy Wilson-Fall is Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Lafayette College, and a former Director of the West African Research Center in Dakar. Her work has addressed themes of identity, local history, and social space, and she has carried out extensive research on Sahelian pastoralists across the region. She has published a number of works on these topics in relation to Sahelian pastoralist communities, as well as within African diasporas.

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim is a PhD candidate in Political Science and a research affiliate with the Sahel Research Group at the University of Florida. He has carried out extensive comparative fieldwork on the politics of Islamic contestation and on jihadi movements and new religious dynamics in the Sahel, notably in Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

PAPER CO-AUTHORS (not presenting)

Nouhou Abdoul-Moumouni holds a PhD in demography from the University of Geneva. He serves as Niger Country Director for the OASIS Initiative (a project of University of Californie, Berkeley and Venture Strategies for Health and Development). He has previously worked with National Statistics Institutes (Niger and Mali) and with the World Food Program. He is currently involved in innovative work on demographic issues in West Africa through the DEMOSTAF (Demography Statistics for Africa) project.

Florence Boyer is a Geographer and a Senior Researcher within the Unité de Recherche Migrations et Société, of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Paris. She is a specialist on internal migration as well as cross-border migration within the Sahel. She has carried out extensive research in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, examining the insertion of Sahelian migrants into capital cities.

Suzanne Cotillon is a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center where she has been working within the West Africa/Sahel team since 2013. She is one of the main authors of the Landscapes of West Africa: A Window on a Changing World atlas, which documents and quantifies land use and land cover changes over the past 40 years and across 17 countries. She holds an engineering degree in Agronomy from the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse and a master’s degree in Geography from South Dakota State University.

Fatou Guèye is Professor of Economics at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Senegal). She has been actively involved in research work on the informal sector in West and Central Africa, undertaken by the Centre de Recherches Economiques Appliquées (CREA) of Cheikh Anta Diop University for over 12 years. She has also conducted research on various aspects of economic development.

Denis Retaillé is Professor of Geography and Director of the ADES research unit (Aménagement, Développement, Environnement, Santé) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at the Université of Bordeaux III.  His work has focused extensively on the understandings of space in the Sahel and the Sahara, and he has published extensively on these topics.