Wisconsin has long been one of the leading African history programs in the world. The History Department as a whole is ranked among the top ten in the country, and the African Studies Program is one of the country’s few National Resource Centers. The University's Library resources, under the direction of Emilie Songolo, are also among the best in the country. Wisconsin has now trained over one- hundred African historians, including many of the leading figures in the field along with a host of rising younger scholars and an unprecedented number of winners of the Herskovits Prize for the best book in African Studies.
Our current faculty consists of Florence Bernault in colonial and modern Central, and West African history; James Sweet in African Diaspora history; Neil Kodesh precolonial, East African, and medical history; Emily Callaci in modern East African history; Michael Chamberlain in North Africa and the Middle East; Jan Vansina, emeritus, in Central Africa; and Thomas Spear, emeritus, in Eastern Africa. Recently, Gregg Mitman, Pablo Gomez, and Rick Keller in History of Medicine and Bioethics have joined the Department of History and added their expertise on Africa and the Caribbean.