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Cameroon: Meet Olivette Otele, UK’s first black woman history professor

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Cameroonian-born Olivette Otele was recently awarded a professorship and a chair in history at Bath Spa University, making her UK’s First Black Woman History Professor going by the BBC.

According to OkayAfrica, Dr. Olivette Otele, a colonial and post-colonial specialist,  earned a PhD in history from Universite La Sorbonne in France. Her concentration included “examining questions related to the transatlantic slave trade, slave societies, identities and post-colonial societies in the Atlantic world,” according to her personal statement on Bath Spa University’s website.

“I wanted to work on poetry/literature but a huge sense of injustice and the need to inquire into the roots of inequality took over,” she says, explaining what made her pursue a career in history, to The History Vault. “I was determined to make African-American historian and activist Anna Julia Cooper proud.”

She’s currently researching transnational history and the connection between history, collective memory and geopolitics in relation to British and French colonial pasts.

Dr. Otele hopes this award makes way for black women and women of color to shake more tables in academia and in history.



Published on 28.04.2020

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