Jul 21, 2008

During the Spring 2007 semester, Dr. Peter Cole, Associate Professor of History at WIU, took a temporary leave of absence from WIU to live and work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He served as the Assistant Director for the Culture & Society in Africa Program sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). He also served as a Visiting Professor of History at the University of Dar es Salaam.

While living in Dar, Prof. Cole also helped rewrite the text of several exhibitions at the National Museum. He spent ten days in South Africa, presenting his research at the University of Western Cape, near Cape Town, and the University of Johannesburg. He also traveled through parts of Tanzania, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and visited Madagascar.

Combining his ongoing research interest in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) with his newfound interest in Africa, Dr. Cole is now collaborating with a South African labor historian to compare how the IWW organized workers of color in the USA and in South Africa. The two scholars will present their research at a major international labor history conference in Johannesburg and at an African-American history conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Cole returns to Western this Fall to resume his full-time teaching responsibilities in the History Department, where he looks forward to enriching his teaching with new transnational perspectives stemming from his experiences in Africa.

More History Department News