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N‘Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba

Professor

Overview

N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba is a Professor of African and African Diaspora education, Comparative and International education, Social institutions, African social history, and the study of Gender, in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University.  She is also a member of other Cornell graduate fields: Education; Global Development (International Development; International Agriculture and Rural Development) and the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA). She joined Cornell in 1991, both as a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow and Ford Foundation/Africana Studies Fellow. She served as Director of the Cornell Program on Gender and Global Change (GGC) and  Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of Africana Studies.

Assié-Lumumba earned her PhD in Comparative Education (Economics and Sociology of Education with Pi Lambda Theta Honors) from the University of Chicago in 1982, two Master’s and two BAs (Licence) in Sociology and History from Université Lyon II (now Université Lumiere)  in Lyon (France) between 1973 and 1975.

She is the current President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES, first term: 2016-2019 and second term 2019-2022), the Vice-President of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of UNESCOS’s Inter-governmental programme for the Management of Social Transformations (MOST), and past President of Comparative and International Education Society (CIES).

She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Ali Mazrui Center for Higher Education Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa, 2016-2021), and Visiting Professor at the Abidjan Business School-École de Commerce (ABSEC) at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). Her past positions include as Extraordinary Professor in the Education Policy Studies Department at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa, a Carnegie Diasporan Fellow at the University of Ghana (Department of sociology), Visiting Professor in the Center for the Study of International Cooperation in Education (CICE) at Hiroshima University (Japan), Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Research Affiliate at the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance of the University of Houston (Houton, Texas, USA), Chercheur Associé at Centre de Recherches Architecturales et Urbaines (CRAU) at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). Prior to joining Cornell she was a Resident Fellow in the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris (France), Administrative faculty member and Administrative Director in the Lomé (Togo) CIRSSED doctoral program for training researchers and administrators in education for francophone countries in Africa, visiting in the planning unit of the Ministry of National Education of Mali in Bamako (Mali), Bard College and Vassar College (New York, USA).

She has been active in research networks including CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa) and Association of African Women for Research and Development (AAWORD). She is co-founder and Associate Director of the Pan-African Studies and Research Center in International Relations and Education for Development (CEPARRED), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire).

Assié-Lumumba has published extensively articles in peer-reviewed journals and books on higher education, equity, gender, ICT for/and education and knowledge production and has been engaged in policy analysis for social transformation.

Books: Her authored, edited and co-edited include: Re-visioning Education in Africa: Ubuntu-Inspired Education for Humanity (Palgrave 2018), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Retrospect – Africa’s Development Beyond 2015 (London Springer 2015), Femmes et Enseignement Supérieure en Afrique: Réconceptualisation des capacités humaines fondées sur le genre et renforcement des droits humains à la connaissance, (Paris, Harmattan, 2013);  MUJERES EN ÁFRICA: Educación y Poder, El Acceso a los Estudios Superiores (Madrid, IEPALA Editorial, 2010); A Spanish edition of Women and Higher Education in Africa: Re-conceptualizing Gender-Based Human Capabilities and Upgrading Human Rights to Knowledge (Abidjan, CEPARRED, 2007); Translation of the same book in French has been published by l’Harmattan in Paris. Other translations, in Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese are in progress. Higher Education in Africa: Crises, Reforms, and Transformation (Dakar, CODESRIA, 2006). Cyberspace, Distance Learning, and Higher Education in Developing Countries: Old and Emergent Issues of Access, Pedagogy, and Knowledge Production (Netherlands and Boston, Brill, 2004). African Voices in Education (Cape Town, Juta, 2000). Les Africaines dans la Politique: Femmes Baoulé de Côte d’Ivoire (Paris, L’Harmattan, 1996).  

Forthcoming Books:

-Editor, African Renaissance in the 21st Century and the Education Factor: Critical Knowledge and Fusion by Choice, Africa World Press, Trenton (New Jersey), 2020 

-Co-Editor with Muna Ndulo, Education and the Development of Human Capital: Outcomes for Equity and Governance in Africa, Palgrave Macmillan, New Yrok, 2020

-Co-editor with Carole Boyce Davies, Pan African Connections: Personal, Intellectual, Social, Africa World Press, Trenton (New Jersey), 2020

-Editor, African Higher Education in Transition: Recurrent Impediments, Emerging Challenges and New Potentialities, CODESRIA, Dakar

Assié-Lumumba is energetically engaged in several ongoing research projects and other publication projects. 

Award and Honors

She has received many honors and awards including:

-The 2017 Ali A. Mazrui Outstanding Publication/Book & Educational Activies Award offered by the New York State African(a) Studies Association (NYASA)

The 2010 Distinguished Africanist Award, offered by the New York State African(a) Studies Association (NYASA)

-Frank Scruggs Faculty Fellow, Cornell University, 2012-2015

-Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (life-time appointment) since 2006

-The “Foreign Expert in Education and Development” Professorial Fellowship by the Japanese Ministry of Education, 2003

-Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, 1991/1992

-Ford Foundation/Cornell Africana Studies Fellow, 1991/1992

-Resident Fellow of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), Paris (France), 1990

-Pi Lambda Theta (National and International Honor and Professional Association in Education)

Her article, “Educational and Economic Reforms, Gender Equity, and Access to Schooling in Africa” published in 2000 in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology, won the 2001 “Joyce Cain Award for Distinguished Research on African descendants” offered by Comparative and International Education Society to recognize “an outstanding article that demonstrates academic rigor, originality, and excellence, and contributes to a better understanding of the experiences of African descendants.”

Language

  • English, French, Baoulé (Akan/Twi): fluent
  • Spanish: reading proficient
  • Portuguese: basic reading skill

Keywords

african and african diaspora education

Departments/Programs

  • Africana Studies and Research Center

Graduate Fields

  • Africana Studies
  • Education
  • International Development
  • Public Affairs

Research

Assié-Lumumba’s teaching and research interests include: higher education; information and communication technologies; educational innovations; knowledge production; human resource development; education finance; equality of educational opportunity; gender and education; family and social institutions/structures; African history with a focus on the European expansion and the colonial and contemporary periods. Her ongoing research projects include: generations of African intellectuals; Gender and Disciplinary Clusters in African Universities; Education and African Renaissance; ICT, Global Agencies and Democratization of Education in Africa; Higher Education, Migration and African Women in North America; Differing Patterns of Gender Imbalance in Higher Education in Africa and the African Diaspora; and Ubuntu Epistemology and Humanist Education on a Global Scale.

She has worked in, and traveled to, more than 50 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe and throughout the African continent where she is familiar with social contexts and is involved with institution building and social transformation. She has served as a senior advisor for numerous national and international development agencies, organizations including various units of the United Nations system, foundations, and youth organizations.

She has worked in, and traveled to, more than 50 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe and throughout the African continent where she is familiar with social contexts and is involved with institution building and social transformation. She has served as a senior advisor for numerous national and international development agencies, organizations including various units of the United Nations system, foundations, and youth organizations.

Courses

Spring 2020

Fall 2020

Publications

Harnessing the Empowerment Nexus of Afropolitanism and Higher Education: Purposeful Fusion for Africa’s Social Progress in the 21st Century,” Journal of African Transformation, Vol. 1 N.2 2016, 51-76.

“Evolving African attitudes to European education: Resistance, pervert effects of the single system paradox, and the ubuntu framework for renewal” International Review of Education-Journal of Lifelong Learning, Volume 62, Issue 1, February 2016, pp. 11-27.

Co-editor with Nathan Andrews and  Ernest Nene Khalema and contributor to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Retrospect - Africa's Development Beyond 2015, Springer, London, 2015.

Editor of, and contributor to, Women and Higher Education in Africa: Reconceptualizing Gender-Based Human Capabilities and Upgrading Human Rights to Knowledge (Abidjan: CEPARRED, 2007); Spanish version MUJERES EN ÁFRICA: Educación y Poder, El Acceso a los Estudios Superiores (Madrid: IEPALA Editorial, 2010); French version Femmes et Enseignement Supérieure en Afrique: Réconceptualisation des capacités humaines fondées sur le genre et renforcement des droits humains à la connaissance (Paris, Harmattan, 2013) and translations are in progress for Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese versions.

“Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Half a Century of Post-colonial Education for Development in Africa” in The Owl of Minerva on a Baobab Tree, Schooling, and African Awakening: Half a Century of post-colonial Education for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa special issue of African and Asian Studies 12 (2013) 1-2 with Ali A. Mazrui and Martial Dembélé, pp.1-12.

“Cultural Foundations of the Idea and Practice of the Teaching Profession in Africa: Indigenous Roots, Colonial Intrusion, and Post-colonial Reality” Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44 (S2) pp. 21-36, 2012.

Peer-reviewed journals advisory board service including as guest-editor of Special Issues:

Editor/Guest Editor

-Guest Editor with Samir Amin (posthumously) and Martial Dembélé of a special issue of Bandung: Journal of the Global South on the theme “Ubuntu, World Epistemologies, and Humanist Education” (forthcoming 2020)

-Guest Editor with Birgit Brock-Utne, joan.Osa Oviawe of special issue of International Review of Education on the theme “Rediscovering the Ubuntu Paradigm in Education” Volume 62, Issue 1, February 2016

-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Education and International Relations in Africa/Revue d’Éducation Comparée et des Relations Internationales en Afrique (renewal process in progress)

-Guest Editor with Pak Nung Wong of a special issue entitled “Small Powers in World Politics: Asian & African Perspectives” of African and Asian Studies, 13 (2014) 1-2

-Guest-Editor with Ali A. Mazrui and Martial Dembélé of a special issue entitled “The Owl of Minerva on a Baobab Tree, Schooling, and African Awakening: Half a Century of post-colonial Education for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa” of African and Asian Studies 12 (2013) 1-2

-Guest Editor of a special issue on “Africa-Asia University Dialogue for Basic Education” of the Journal of International Cooperation in Education, published by the Center for the Study of International Cooperation in Education (CICE) at Hiroshima University Vol. 11, No. 3, 2008

-Guest Editor and contributor, with Margaret Sutton, special issue of Comparative Education Review on Global Trends in Comparative Research on Gender and Education, v. 48, no. 4, 2004, pp. 345-490

-Guest Editor of a special issue of African and Asian Studies on: Cyberspace, Distance Learning, and Higher Education in Developing Countries: Old and Emergent Issues of Access, Pedagogy and Knowledge Production, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2003, pp. 361-610.

Recent Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals and Peer-reviewed Chapters in Books (since 2010)

-“Freire and Africa: A focus and impact in Education,” with Yusef Waghid and José Cossa, in in Torres, C.A. (ed.) The Wiley Handbook on Paulo Freire, Oxford: Wiley Publisher, 2019, pp. 149-166 “The Idea of the University in the Evolving Higher Education Landscape in Africa” in Barnett and Michael Peters (eds.) The Idea of the University: Contemporary Perspectives, Bern, Peter Lang, 2018, pp. 273-291

-“The African University Tradition: A Historical Perspectivein Manja Klemenčič (ed.) Mass and Elite Higher Education Systems in 21st Century section of the Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Springer, 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_10-1) planned publication with page number available by in 2020 (https://www.springer.com/us/book/9789401789042)

-“Conceptualizing Gender and Education in Africa from an Ubuntu Frame” in Emefa Amoako and N’Dri Assié-Lumumba, Re-visioning Education in Africa: Ubuntu-Inspired Education for Humanity, Palgrave, New York, 2018, pp. 67-84

-“Towards an Ubuntu-Inspired Continental Partnership on Education for Sustainable Development in Africa: African Union Commission Agenda 2063 Education Strategy” with Emefa Amoako in Emefa Amoako and N’Dri Assié-Lumumba, Re-visioning Education in Africa: Ubuntu-Inspired Education for Humanity, Palgrave, New York, 2018, pp. 229-246

-“Dialogical Possibilities in Comparative Education: Ubuntu Perspectives in the Global Context of Educational Processes,” World Voices Nexus: Chronicle of the WCCES, V.1 N. 1,2017, http://www.worldcces.org/article-1

-“Salient Features in Mazrui’s Thought on Education in Africa: Critical Reflections” with Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo in D. Ndirangu Wachanga (ed.) Growing Up in a Shrinking World:  How politics, culture and the nuclear age defined the biography of Ali A. Mazrui, Africa World Press, Trenton, New Jersey, 2017, pp. 169-182

-“Africa-India Connections in Historical Perspectives: The Evolving Role of Higher Education in the Contemporary South-South Cooperation and Development Agenda” African and Asian Studies, 16 (1-2) 2017, pp. 62-80

-“The Ubuntu Paradigm and Comparative and International Education: Epistemological Challenges and Opportunities in our Field” Comparative Education Review Vol. 61(1) February 2017, 1-21

-“Hilary Rodham Clinton and the 1995 Beijing International Conference on Women: Gender and the Nexus of Global and Domestic Power Dynamics”Dinesh Sharma (ed.) The Global HillarNew York, London: Routledge, 2016, pp. 78-93

-“Harnessing the Empowerment Nexus of Afropolitanism and Higher Education: Purposeful Fusion for Africa’s Social Progress in the 21st Century” Journal of African Transformation, Vol. 1 N.2 2016, 51-76

-“Evolving African attitudes to European education: Resistance, pervert effects of the single system paradox, and the ubuntu framework for renewal” in International Review of Education-Journal of Lifelong Learning, Volume 62, Issue 1, February 2016, pp. 11-27

-“The Making of Culture and Definition of Cultural Spheres and Boundaries in Post-Colonial Africa: the Role of Education in Acquiring and Exercising Agency” in Yusef Waghid Editor of the special issue on Knowledge(s), Cultures and African Philosophy of Knowledge Cultures, 4, (4) 2016: 7-20

-“Millennium Development in Retrospect: Higher Education and the Gender Factor in Africa’s Development Beyond 2015” in

-“Land Tenure, Evolving Capitalism, and Social Formations in Côte d'Ivoire: The Nation-State, Shifting Boundaries, and Domestic Policies in the Global Context” in Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo (ed.) Land Reforms in Africa, New York, London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 75-95

-“Behind and beyond Bandung: Historical and forward-looking Reflections on South-South Cooperation” in Bandung: Journal of the Global South, 2:11 (25 Jul 2015)

-“Higher Education, Temporality, and Consequences of Armed Conflicts on Social Progress in Africa: Selected Case Studies” in Yusef Waghid (Guest Editor) The Europa World of Learning, 64th edition (WOL 2014), Routledge, New York, 2013, pp. 16-21

-“Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Half a Century of Post-colonial Education for Development in Africa” in The Owl of Minerva on a Baobab Tree, Schooling, and African Awakening: Half a Century of post-colonial Education for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa special issue of African and Asian Studies 12 (2013) 1-2 with Ali A. Mazrui and Martial Dembélé, pp.1-12

-“Cultural Foundations of the Idea and Practice of the Teaching Profession in Africa: Indigenous Roots, Colonial Intrusion, and Post-colonial Reality” Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44 (S2) pp. 21-36, 2012

Contributing Author (with responsibility for the chapter on “Human Capacity” (pp. 114-141) to The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011

-“Higher Education as an African Public Sphere and the University as a Site of Resistance and Claim of Ownership for the National Project” in Africa Development, Vol. XXXVI, No.2, 2011, pp. 177-208.

-“The Idea of the Public University and the National Project in Africa: Toward a Full Circle, from the 1960s to the Present” with Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo in Craig Calhoun and Diana Rhoten (eds.) Knowledge Matters: The Public Mission of the Research University, New York, Columbia University Press, 2011

-“Salient Features in Mazrui’s Thought on Education in Africa: Critical Reflections” with Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo in Seifudein Adem (ed.) Public Intellectuals and the Politics of Global Africa: Essays in Honour of Professor Ali Mazrui, London, Adonis & Abbey Publishers (2010)

-“African Universities, Imperatives of International Reach, and Perverse Effects of Globalisation” In Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung et al (eds.) Internationalisation of Higher Education and Development. Zur Rolle von Universitäten und Hochschulen in Entwicklungsprozessen. Vienna: ÖFSE. 33-49, 2010

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