Oil history/energy history: African, comparative global, origins and manifestations of the “Resource Curse”
External Faculty Fellowship from the Humanities Research Center at Rice University. 2011.
University Teaching Excellence Award. 2007.
Finalist for the Melville J. Herskovits Award. 2004.
“From Kerosene to Avgas: International Oil Companies and their Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1890s to 1945,” inEnvironment and Economics in Nigeria,edited by Toyin Falola and Adam Paddock (New York: Routledge Press, 2012).
“U.S. Oil Companies, The Nigerian Civil War, and the Origins of Opacity in the Nigerian Oil Industry, 1964-1971” Journal of American Historyvol. 99, no. 1 (June 2012): 155-165.
"Oil, Politics, and Development in the Formation of a State: The Congolese Petroleum Wars, 1963-68,"International Journal of African Historical Studies, 41:2 (2008), p.169-202.
"Of Ancestors and Earth Spirits: New Approaches for Interpreting Equatorial African Politics, Religion, and Art." Chapter in LaGamma, A. (ed.)Eternal Ancestors: Central African Reliquary Art(Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2007).Honorable Mention, Association of Art Museum Curators, “Outstanding Exhibition Catalog,” 2008.
The Pygmies Were Our Compass: Bantu and Batwa in the History of West Central Africa, Early Times to c. 1900 (Heinemann, 2003). Finalist for the Herskovits Award, CHOICE Outstanding Title (2004).
Grants and Funded Research
Has received support from the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright-Hayes Foundation, and the Belgian-American Educational Foundation.