Caitlin Barker

Year in Program: 2

Committee: Nwando Achebe (co-chair), Jamie Monson (co-chair), Aminda Smith, Charles Keith

Research Languages: French, Hausa, Mandarin Chinese

Educational Background: B.A. Political Science, Kenyon College, 2013


I am a doctoral student studying modern African history, with a particular interest in China-Africa relations during the Cold War. My research will focus on the ideological connections between Maoist China and left-wing political groups in Cameroon and Niger during the 1950s and 1960s.

After graduating from Kenyon College in 2013 with a B.A. in political science, I taught American history at Hefei No. 8 Senior Middle School in Hefei, China. I then served as a Peace Corps Community Health Volunteer in the Eastern Adamawa region of Cameroon, before returning to Hefei to teach English at Anhui Agricultural University.

My research is supported by a University Distinguished Fellowship from the Michigan State University Graduate School, and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education for the study of Hausa and Mandarin Chinese.