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Nana Osei-Opare

Dr. Nana Osei-OpareAssistant Professor of History
Email: koseiopare@fordham.edu
Office: Dealy Hall 639
Phone: 718-817-1114
Twitter Account: @NanaOseiOpare

Nana Osei-Opare (2019), Assistant Professor of History, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles. African History; Ghana; Africa-Soviet Relations and the Cold War; Marxism, Socialism, Labor; Race and Citizenship, and Black Political and Intellectual thought. (Global)

Education

Ph.D. in History, 2019 
University of California, Los Angeles

C.Phil, 2019 
University of California, Los Angeles

M.A. in History, 2011 
Stanford University

A.B. with honors in History, 2011
Stanford University

 

Research Interests

Nana Osei-Opare is a historian whose research and teaching interests focus on Ghana, Black Marxists, Marxist-Leninism and socialism, labor, global Black political and intellectual thought, Africa-Soviet relations, and the Cold War/neocolonialism. He is also affiliated with the African and African American Studies Department and Peace & Justice Studies. From 2022 to 2023, Osei-Opare will be a Mellon Fellow for Assistant Professors at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies at the School of Historical Studies. From 2023 to 2024, he will be a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. In 2020, the Fordham Rosehill United Student Government awarded Osei-Opare the Beacon Exemplar Award “in recognition of outstanding dedication to inspiring, supporting, & motivating students.” It is the highest award that the United Student Government can bestow upon an instructor at Fordham. In 2022, he was invited as the keynote speaker for Fordham’s Black Graduation. 

Osei-Opare is working on a manuscript tentatively titled Socialist De-Colony: Soviet & Black Entanglements in Ghana’s Decolonization and Cold War Projects. Socialist De-Colony is the first monograph to unpack, rethink, and tie Ghana’s Cold War and political-economic projects within larger socialist and Marxist debates from multiple ideological and geographic vantage points. During this adventure, the Soviet Union played the part of both an ideological and economic enabler and barometer of what could and might be. Consequently, Socialist De-Colony is the first monograph to study systematically how Ghana-Soviet relations influenced, enabled, and disrupted Ghana’s twin socialist and decolonization projects. Unlike the Soviet, Yugoslavian, and Chinese socialist projects and visions, he argues that what made the Ghanaian project unique was its explicit attempts to decolonize and delink its economy and its political formation away from imperial and colonial powers and not the vague world capitalist economy. Socialist De-Colony argues that in the chaos of the Cold War and African decolonization, Ghanaians tried to forge a socialist state-capitalist society that would navigate the perils of fundamentally transforming a colonial economy and creating a new citizenry and African in the world. Ghana’s Cold War and socialist projects were contradictory and contested. The book’s title, “Socialist De-Colony,” underscores the reality that decolonization and the crafting of socialism were ongoing projects that were never complete, nor, perhaps, could they be. 

Osei-Opare’s work has appeared in the Journal of African History, the Journal of West African History, The Washington PostUfahamu: A Journal of African Studies, African Studies Quarterly, and History: The Journal of the Historical Association

In 2020, the Fordham Rosehill United Student Government awarded Osei-Opare the Beacon Exemplar Award “in recognition of outstanding dedication to inspiring, supporting, & motivating students.” It is the highest award that the United Student Government can bestow upon an instructor at Fordham. In 2022, he was invited as the keynote speaker for Fordham’s Black Graduation. 

He received a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors at Stanford University. His honor’s thesis, “The Continued Fight Against Neo-Colonialism: A Case Study of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah & Patrice Lumumba,” was the recipient of the James Birdsall Weter Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @NanaOseiOpare.

Courses Taught

Fall 2021 
HIST 1600: Understanding Historical Change: Africa
HIST 3946: African Economies and Humanitarianism 
HIST 4310: Africa, Race, and the Global Cold War

Spring 2022
HIST 5650: Approaches to Global, Transnational, & Intellectual Histories

2022-2023 & 2023-2024
On Leave
 

I am also interested in doing one-on-one tutorials, supervising theses, and serving on dissertation committees with interested students.

 

 

Selected Publications

Book Manuscript: 

Socialist De-Colony: Soviet & Black Entanglements in Ghana’s Decolonization and Cold War Projects (under preparation).

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

​​“Ghana and Nkrumah Revisited: Lenin, State Capitalism, and Black Marxist Orbits,” Comparative Studies in Society and History (Resubmitted)

“‘If You Trouble a Hungry Snake, You Will Force It to Bite You’: Rethinking Postcolonial African Archival Pessimism, Worker Discontent, and Petition Writing in Ghana, 1957-66,” Journal of African History 62(1)(2021).

“‘Uneasy Comrades: Postcolonial Statecraft, Race, and Citizenship, Ghana-Soviet Relations, 1957-1966,” Journal of West African History, 5(2) (Fall 2019), pp. 85-112. 

“Terrorism and Racism, Twin Sisters?” Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2016, pp. 33-40.

“Communism and the Tutelage of African Agency: Revisiting Mandela’s Communist Ties,” Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, Volume 38 (1) (December 2014), pp. 69-90.

 
Book Reviews:

Marcello Musto, Another Marx: Early Manuscripts (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), History: Review of New Books, Vol. 49, No. 5, (September 2021), pp. 120-122.

The Quest for Scientific Equity in Postcolonial Ghana,” Abena Dove Osseo-Asare, Atomic Junction: Nuclear Power in Africa after Independence (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Journal of African History, Vol. 62, Issue 2, (July 2021), pp. 303-305.

Steven Friedman, Race, Class, and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid in African Studies Quarterly, Volume 16, Issue 3-4. January 2017, pp. 193-195.
 
Barry Gilder, Songs & Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance in Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, Volume 38, Issue 1, December 2014, pp 289-291.
 
Carmela Garritano, African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History in African Studies Quarterly, Volume 14, Issue 3, March 2014, pp. 128-129.


Other Publications:

Co-written with Thom Loyd, “Anti-Black racism is upending easy narratives about the exodus from Ukraine,” The Washington Post, March 3, 2022.

Forthcoming, “Into the Pantheon,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly: International Journal for the Analysis of Health.

Ghanaian Racial Citizenship in the Soviet Union and U.S., 1957-1966,” History: The Journal of the Historical Association, December 21, 2021.

When It Comes to America’s Race Issues, Russia Is a Bogeyman,” Foreign Policy Magazine, July 6, 2020.

Around the world, America has long been a symbol of antiblack racism,” The Washington Post, June 5, 2020.

Books that I Teach,” Black Agenda Report Book Forum, December 11, 2019.  

“‘Mahama-OO!’ President John Mahama’s Woes,” The African Collective, August 25, 2014.

Securing Ghanaian Economic and Energy Independence and Prosperity,” The African Collective, June 19, 2014.
 
African Agency: Nelson Mandela and the South African Communist Party,” The African Collective, June 18, 2014.

Term-Limits for Winners and Losers: Constitutional Democracy & Republicanism,” The African Collective, April 21, 2014. 


Online Media, Podcast, and Print Appearances

The Ghana-Soviet Connexion with Nana Osei-Opare,” The Slavic Connexion, Center for Russian, East Eurasian Studies, and Eurasian Studies, University of Texas, Austin, April 12, 2021.

Starr FM, Ghanaian Radio Station, May 21, 2020

“Professor Exposes Students to Truths of African History,” The Fordham Ram, March 11, 2020.

Radio interview with “Black Agenda Radio,” February 5, 2020.

Podcast Interview with “A Correction: A Podcast,” December 24, 2019

Starr FM, Ghanaian Radio Station, Fall 2019.

"Teaching Assistant Work Goes Beyond the Discussion Room,” Daily Bruin, May 10, 2016.

Curriculum Vitae

Available upon request.