Dr. Robert Maxon, one of the nation’s leading scholars of African history, will take responsibility for West Virginia University’s Africana Studies program on July 1.

“Bob Maxon is the principal expert on Africa at this university and one of the most respected in the entire country,”said Dr. Robert Blobaum, history department chair.”It’s the first time that Africana Studies has been headed by someone of his stature and experience.”

The Africana Studies program, located in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, is devoted to the academic exploration and analysis of the history and cultures of blacks in Africa and the African diaspora.

WVU offers a minor in Africana Studies which complements several major courses of study, including history, political science, social work, teacher education and international relations. It is also available as one of three minor fields of study leading to the new multidisciplinary studies degree.

Dr. Maxon earned his doctorate from Syracuse University and joined the faculty at WVU in 1969. He has twice served six-year terms as chair of WVU ’s Department of History. His teaching and research are primarily focused on modern East Africa, colonial Kenya and rural agrarian change in Kenya .

Among his highly-regarded publications are”An Economic History of Kenya”(1992),”East Africa : An Introductory History”(1994), the”Historical Dictionary of Kenya”(2000), as well as other books and numerous articles.

For more information, contact Robert.Blobaum@mail.wvu.edu , or 304-293-3811.