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EIHS Lecture: Little Ice Age and the Oyo Empire: An Unfinished Process of Recovery in West Africa, ca. 1420-1840

Akinwumi Ogundiran (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Thursday, April 14, 2022
4:00-6:00 PM
1014 Tisch Hall Map
Presented with support from the African Studies Center.

This lecture is presented in hybrid format: in-person in 1014 Tisch Hall and virtual via Zoom webinar (register:

This lecture highlights the crisis and aftermath of the Little Ice Age in West Africa, with emphasis on the ramifications it had for (1) the emergence and decline of the Oyo Empire and (2) the entanglement of the empire and the Bight of Benin in the early modern commercial revolution. The entire history of the Oyo Empire was shaped by the quest to cope with the erratic climatic regime of the Little Ice Age. What were the opportunities and limitations of these coping strategies, what Professor Ogundiran calls the unfinished process of recovery?

Akin Ogundiran is Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology, and History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professor Ogundiran’s scholarship has focused primarily on the deep-time cultural history of the Yoruba world, Atlantic Africa, and the African Diaspora. His research has been supported by the National Geographic Society, American Institute of Archaeology, and American Philosophical Society, among others. He is also a past fellow of the National Humanities Center. Professor Ogundiran's latest book is The Yoruba: A New History (Indiana University Press, 2020).

This event presented by the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
Building: Tisch Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: africa, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, African Studies Center, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), Science, Technology & Society, Department of History