Eric Kesse 2022 Newcombe Fellow

Eric Kesse is a PhD student in the Department of History, working with Professor Nwando Achebe.  We are delighted to announce that Eric has been awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2022. The Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formally the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation) presenting the award named only 22 fellows nationwide in the fields of anthropology, history, government, sociology, and philosophy.  According to its webpage, “Citizens and Scholars prepares leaders and engages networks of people and organizations to meet urgent education challenges.” Eric Kesse was selected for the work on his dissertation research titled, “Living with Water: Environment, Slavery, and Spirituality in a West African Stilt-House Community – Nzulezo, c. mid-1700 – 1870s.”

Eric Kesse received his B.A. in African Studies from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and his MA in International Affairs from Ohio University. His research broadly centers on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African environmental history with particular attention to Africa’s water systems and bodies of water. He is interested in how African groups have forged complex relationships with bodies of water over time and how those relationships have shaped the history of the continent. His dissertation investigates the social and environmental history of Nzulezo, a stilt-house community located in the middle of the Amanzule River in southwestern Ghana.

In recognition of his past and ongoing scholarly works, Eric has received several awards and fellowships from reputable (inter)national funding organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education (offering Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship), the Otumfuo Educational Program (the King of the Asante Kingdom’s educational fellowship), as well as Michigan State University’s GJEC Research and Dissertation Completion Fellowships.

Congratulations, Eric Kesse!

Read the full class announcement here: 2022 Newcombe Fellows – Institute for Citizens and Scholars