Heidi Gengenbach

Heidi Gengenbach joined the History Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2013 after over a decade of research, teaching and consulting in the field of African agricultural, livelihood and gender history. Her doctoral dissertation, an interdisciplinary study of rural women’s oral and artefactual forms of history-telling in post-civil war Mozambique, received the Gutenberg-e Electronic Book Prize from the American Historical Association, and was published as an e-book by Columbia University Press in 2005. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in African History at SUNY-Buffalo, Harvard, Brown, and the University of Minnesota; She also taught Africa-themed seminars in the writing program at Boston University for two years. Her consulting work arises from a commitment to approaching African history both as an academic endeavor and as an important source of applied knowledge for Africa’s present development challenges and policy concerns. Most recently, she served as Academic Partner for a Gates Foundation-funded project with the Global Fund for Women, supporting the agricultural and food security programming of grassroots women’s groups in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Uganda. In other chapters of her career, she has worked for local non-profits focused on organic farming, hunger relief, youth mentoring, and legal advocacy for abused and neglected children. Her current book project, on the gendered meanings of the cassava “revolution” in Mozambique, represents the first phase of a long-term research and community-engagement initiative on local histories of food system interventions in post-conflict settings in central Mozambique, northern Uganda, and northern Ethiopia.

Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston

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