Read: Dr. Nwando Achebe's best-selling book bridges feminism and African history

August 3, 2020 - Karessa Weir

Social scientist and Michigan State University historian, Dr. Nwando Achebe, also the incoming Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the College of Social Science, is the author of one of the bestselling new books in African History, General Gender Studies and Feminist Theory on Amazon.

The book titled “Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa” was also selected for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage African Politics Reading ListThe Monkey Cage blog, written by Kim Yi Dionne, placed the book on the schedule to be discussed August 14. Monkey Cage writer Laura Seay also reviewed the book, calling it "brilliant," "engaging," and "accessible."

Available from Ohio University Press, the book is an African-centered monograph considering the diverse forms and systems of female leadership in both the physical and spiritual worlds, as well as the complexities of female power in a multiplicity of distinct African societies. This is Dr. Achebe’s sixth book.

“From Amma to the goddess inkosazana, Sobekneferu to Nzingha, Nehanda to Ahebi Ugbabe, Omu Okwei, and the daughters or umuada of Igboland, ‘Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa’ documents the worlds and life histories of elite African females, female principles, and (wo)men of privilege,” according to the publisher. 

The book was also selected by The Wellness Feed, a premier lifestyle and news publication devoted to the wellness and eco-friendly scene,  as one of “7 Books to Celebrate and Learn about Black History and Culture,” June 19, 2020.

Dr. Achebe will be discussing her newest book at the Abuja (Nigeria) Literary and Arts Festival on Aug. 13 as well as at an online book talk hosted by the minority owned Detroit bookstore, Source Booksellers, at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17. You can also hear her in the upcoming New Books in Africa podcast. 

Dr. Achebe, the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History, is a multi-award-winning historian and teacher at Michigan State University. She is founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of West African History.

She has been tapped by Interim Dean Mary Finn to lead the College of Social Science’s activities that will enhance and maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture. She currently leads the Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity and Inclusion.