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Ndubueze L. Mbah

Assistant Professor of History
Office: 564 Park Hall
Phone: (716)645-8415


Ph.D.  Michigan State University 2013
B.A. University of Nigeria 2007


HIS 143: Global Inequality and Power
HIS 213: African History: 1800-Now
HIS 218: African History to 1800
HIS 331: Christian and Muslim Communities in Africa
HIS 403: Comparative Slavery: Africa, America and the Caribbean
HIS 4**: Undergraduate Seminar – Topics in African History
HIS 506: The North and South Atlantic Core Seminar
HIS 549: Women, Gender and Sexuality in Africa


African History, South Atlantic, Slavery/Emancipation, Gender/Sexuality, Social/Cultural History

Current Research

I am working on a book entitled, “Emergent Masculinities: Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafra Atlantic Age,” which demonstrates how the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria made sense of, and domesticated broad changes in, the Atlantic world economy over 170-year period, through shifting local articulations of hegemonic masculinity. Bight of Biafra’s trans-Atlantic engagements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries transformed gender identities, ushering a shift from a pre-colonial period characterized by female breadwinners and more powerful female political institutions, to a proto-colonial period of male domination.


Book Chapters
“Matriliny, Masculinity, and Contested Gendered Definitions of Ethnic Identity and Power in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Nigeria,” in Gendering Ethnicity in African Women’s Lives, ed. J. B. Shetler (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015), 233-264.

Refereed Journals
“Performing Ogaranya: Kalu Ezelu Uwaoma, Male Slavery, and Freedom Politics in Southeastern Nigeria, c.1860-1940,” Journal of West African History, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring 2017)

“Female Masculinities, Dissident Sexuality and the Material Politics of Gender in Early Twentieth-Century Igboland,” Journal of Women’s History [Forthcoming]

“Judith Van Allen, ‘Sitting on a Man, and the Foundation of Igbo Women’s Studies,” Journal of West African History [Forthcoming]

Book Reviews
Review of Political Organization in Nigeria Since the Late Stone Age: A History of the Igbo People, by John. N. Oriji, Journal of West African History [Forthcoming].

Film Documentary: “Historical Ethnography with the Ohafia-Igbo: Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafran Atlantic Age.” Filmed, Directed, and Produced by Ndubueze Leonard Mbah (June, 2015).


  • Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowship, 2015-2016
  • The Wenner-Gren Foundation Engaged Anthropology Grant  2015
  • Civic Engagement Research Dissemination Fellowship, 2014
  • The Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2011
  • Harold G. Marcus Fellowship for Exceptionally Promising Scholars of African History, 2008-2013


  • African Studies Association
  • American Historical Association