Akin Ogundiran, professor and chair of the Africana Studies Department, has been inducted as a Visiting Fellow of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. This honor recognizes his preeminent status as a researcher and scholar of emergent societies and social complexity in Yorubaland, Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora during the past 700 years.
His induction followed being named a Yip Fellow in 2017. The Yip Fellowship, which provided room and board, enabled Ogundiran to conduct research on the archaeology of state formation and global commodity trade in West Africa with emphasis on the Oyo Empire, 1570-1830. He also gave a public lecture on this research, “Colonist Strategies in the Making of the Oyo Empire (West Africa), 1590-1790,” sponsored by Cambridge’s Center of African Studies.
Ogundiran noted Magdalene College is spearheading "ambitious research projects and teaching initiatives that will advance and expand our understanding of humanity’s deep-time to more recent history across the continent of Africa, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan regions; areas that as of yet have been understudied."
During the induction ceremony, the college president, Jane Hughes, read the names of the four Fellow inductees. The master of the college, Rowan Williams, the Baron of Oystermouth and former Archbishop of Canterbury, presented each fellow for the administration of a special oath that signifies they are officially joining a community of scholars. This tradition recalls the college’s medieval origins, having been established in the early 1400s.
“As a Fellow, I will have access to the college academic facilities and the entire University of Cambridge academic resources, including its libraries,” said Ogundiran. “I also was appointed as a Visiting Scholar of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, a position that allows me to collaborate with the institute’s researchers, participate in its academic activities and use the facilities for my research.”
Photo: Akin Ogundiran, second right, was inducted as a Visiting Fellow of Magdalene College.