Faculty Bio

Ismail Rashid

Professor of History

Ismail Rashid grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone and has been teaching at Vassar College since 1998. He received his B.A. Hons in Classics and History from the University of Ghana, M.A in Race Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada and Ph.D. in African History from McGill University. His primary teaching interests are precolonial and modern African history, African Diaspora and Pan-Africanism, and International Relations. His research interests include subaltern resistance against colonialism,  public health, and conflicts and security in contemporary Africa.

Among his recent books are West Africa’s Security Challenges (2004 with Adekeye Adebajo),The Paradox of History and Memory in Postcolonial Sierra Leone (2013)(with Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley) and  Understanding West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic: Towards a Political Economy(2017) (with Ibrahim Abdullah).  Some of his published papers include: “Epidemics and Resistance in Sierra Leone During the First World War,” Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol 45, No 3, 2011, 415-439;  “Islamist Militancy in West Africa,” Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 13, 2013,  169-190, and “Sierra Leone: The Revolutionary United Front,” inCriminalized Power Structures: The Overlooked Enemies of Peace, (2016) edited by Michael Dziedzic.

Rashid also mentors graduate African students and rising faculty colleagues in various Africa universities through his voluntary service as an Adjunct faculty for African Leadership Center of King’s College London and the University of Nairobi; Chair of the Advisory Board of the African Peacebuilding Network of Social Science Research Council (APN-SSRC); and Vice President of the West African Research Association (WARA). He is also one of the two editors of Afrika Zamani, the journal of African History produced by the Council for Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar, Senegal.