Steve Howard

Bio
Steve Howard’s research over the last two decades reflects a deep commitment to understanding the ethical, cultural, and political challenges facing African scholars, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.  His recent leadership in focusing the OU academic community’s attention on critical issues of health and development in Africa has inspired new research and curricular innovations on the part of faculty from several colleges.Steve Howard has more than 30 years of experience in collaborating with African institutions and scholars.  Dr. Howard’s experience in program management includes his administration of the U.S. Department of Education designated National Resource Center (NRC) for African Studies at Ohio University since 1994.  The success of the Center was reflected in the renewal of NRC funding in 2006 with a new four-year grant of $2.1 million. As Director of the African Studies Center, Dr. Howard provides leadership for Africa programming across the University.  He administers an MA and BA degree granting unit of 31 faculty members across 6 Colleges of the University.  At the Center, he is responsible for supervising 3 staff members and 15 graduate student employees.  He also serves as an academic advisor to 35 degree candidates.  He currently supervises university linkages in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Swaziland.

In 1998, Steve Howard founded the Institute for the African Child, an interdisciplinary research and training program to promote the progressive development of children and their families across the African world.  As founder and Director of the Institute, he is responsible for fundraising, faculty and staff coordination, conference planning, and summer workshop development between 5 colleges at Ohio University. He convenes an annual conference and edits a Working Papers Series.

From Center for the African Studies, Ohio University web site

Abstract

Wrestling and Life in Borno

The Kanuri are the largest ethnic group in northeast Nigeria, the dominant culture in old Borno. Like so many of the cultures of the Sahel, in a band from Senegal to Sudan, the Kanuri are passionate about the sport of wrestling.
This paper describes the place of wrestling in contemporary, rural Kanuri culture, and particularly its role as the centerpiece of festival and ceremonial occasions. Wrestling’s traditional function as a recruitment and training tool for the guards and soldiers of the Emirate has developed into a marketing tool, stimulating the rural economy. The paper is based on field work in northeast Nigeria in 2007.

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