Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D. (D. Phil) Politics, University of Oxford (1989)
B.A., M.A., Government & Politics, St. John’s University (1981 and 1983)
M.A. (hon.) Amherst College (2018)  

Teaching Interests 

I teach courses that cover a wide range of issues in African studies across the humanistic social sciences. These issues include African political and social history since the nineteenth century; Atlantic slavery and African societies; politics and economics in colonial and postcolonial Africa; religion and state formation in Africa; African migrations and globalization; African diaspora studies.

Awards and Honors

John Simon Guggenheim Fellow

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship

Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Fellowship

Ford Foundation fellowship

Distinguished Scholar's Award, Association of Global Studies

State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Woodrow Wilson Global Scholar

Research Interests

Over the years, my research has revolved around the following major issues in African historical, political, and sociological studies: state-society relations in Africa; colonial African societies; politics and society in post-colonial African states; traditional political and social structures in modern Africa; African migrations, transnationalism, and globalization; religion and state formation in Nigeria; literacy, kinship, and elite consolidation in modern Nigeria. 

Selected Publications

Olufemi Vaughan, Letters, Kinship, and Social Mobility in Nigeria,  Univerity of Wisconsin Press, 2023.

Olufemi Vaughan, Religion and the Making of Nigeria, Duke University Press, 2016, pp. x-311 (Nigerian Studies Association Book Prize, 2017).

Olufemi Vaughan, Nigerian Chiefs: Traditional Power in Modern Politics, 1890s-1990s, University of Rochester Press, 2000, pp. v-293 (Cecil B. Currey Book Prize, Association of Global South Studies, 2001). Paperback edition, 2006.

Olufemi Vaughan, Chiefs, Power, and Social Change: Chiefship and Modern Politics in Botswana, 1890s – 1990s, Africa World Press, 2003, pp. v-218. 

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor with Tom Spear, editor-in-chief) Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources, Oxford University Press, 2019, 1707 pages

Waldo G. Leland Prize: American Historical Association, 2021

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) Legitimacy and the State in Twentieth-Century Africa, Macmillan Press, 1993, pp. vi-284.

Olufemi Vaughan (editor) Tradition and Politics: Indigenous Political Structures in Africa, Africa World Press, 2005, v-406.

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) West African Migrations: Transnational and Global Pathways in a New Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 1-280.

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) Transnational Africa & Globalization, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 1-266. 

Olufemi Vaughan, "Sharia Politics, the 1999 Constitution, and the Rise of the [Nigerian] Fourth Republic," Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics, edited by Carl Levan & Patrick Ukata, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 239-256.

Olufemi Vaughan, "Chieftaincy Politics and Communal Identity in Colonial Western Nigeria, 1893-1951," Journal of African History, 44, 2003, pp. 283-302.

Olufemi Vaughan, "Assessing Grassroots Politics and Community Development in Nigeria," African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society, 94, 1995, pp. 501-518. 

Olufemi Vaughan, (co-author) "Muslim Women Rights in Northern Nigeria," Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Africa Program Occasional Papers) 2015, pp. 1-7.

Olufemi Vaughan, "Chieftaincy Politics and Social Relations in Nigeria," Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 29, 3, 1991, pp. 308-327.

Olufemi Vaughan, "Communalism, Legitimation, and Party Politics at the Grassroots: The case of the Yoruba," International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 7, 3, 1994, pp. 419-440.

Olufemi Vaughan, "The Politics of Global Marginalization," Journal of Asian and African Studies, 29, 3-4,1994, pp. 186-204.

Olufemi Vaughan, "Les Chefs Traditionnels Face au Pouvior Politique" Politique Africaine, 32, 1988, pp. 44-56.

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Co-editor, Oxford Research Encyclopedia in African Historiography: Sources and Methods, Oxford University Press

Associate Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopedia in African History, Oxford University Press

Co-editor, Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Nigeria, Routledge 

Co-Project Director, Nigeria Policy Initiative, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Member, Advisory Board, Africa Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Editorial Team, Nigerian-Brazilian Public History Project 

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Vaughan CV [2022].pdf 191.09 KB