History Department
History Department

Tshepo Masango Chery

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., 2012, History, University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor; Fellow, Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Chair in African American Studies
Tshepo Masango Chery



Dr. Tshepo Masango Chéry is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. She will join the faculty in African and African Diasporic Studies as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2013. She earned her PhD in history with a certificate in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching and research interests include: Southern African history, racial formation, religious activism, and black nationalism. 

Her first book project, Kingdoms of the Earth: Coloured Identity and Religious Activism in South Africa, reexamines the racial contours of black nationalism and religious activism, linking together the political ambitions of South African Ethiopianism, American Garveyism, and East African radicalism. Her work has been supported by the Fontaine Society, Annenberg Foundation, and the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies.


HIS 382L • Conversion/Colonization Afr

38917 • Spring 2016
Meets T 200pm-500pm GWB 1.138
(also listed as AFR 381, R S 383)

This course examines the relationship between religion and colonization on the African continent. We will explore the ways Europeans’ relied on conversion efforts as a strategy of colonialism, and the ways Africans resisted organized religion by reinterpreting, reappropriating, and ultimately transforming it to meet their own spiritual, social, and political needs as well as maintained their own indigenous religions.

The course has two objectives.  It will expand graduate students’ knowledge of the history of and scholarly debates about the relationship between colonization and religion in Africa, with special attention to Christianity.  The course will also help students develop and refine their own pedagogical approaches.  While we will draw heavily on history and religion, we will critically examine interdisciplinary approaches to these issues, particularly those rooted in African and Diasporic Studies.

Our discussions will also address pedagogical shifts that emphasize global studies and ethical reasoning by giving students an opportunity to think about the ways African content can be integrated into non-African focused courses that are global in nature while also exploring effective ways to facilitate highly controversial topics such as religion.

HIS 364G • Histories African Liberation

39693 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 306
(also listed as AFR 372G)

Is Africa free from all forms of colonialism? This course engages this question by examining the historical moment of African independence. It focuses on a variety of texts, both primary and secondary, from across the continent and beyond that embody the romantic visions, realistic compromises, and some of the tragic aftermaths of independence on the African continent. The course will explore themes that include an examination of the anti-colonial movement, the role of Pan-Africanism within nationalistic dialogues, the strengths and weakness of African nationalism after independence, as well as the challenges of nationalism in contemporary Africa.

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