Dr. Kofi J. S. Gbolonyo

AFST Program Co-Chair
Instructor: AFST 250A

Lecturer, African Studies and Music (Ethnomusicology)
Director, UBC African Music and Dance

Dip Ed Winneba, Gh., BA Legon, Gh., PhD & MA Pittsburgh

Office: BuTo 604

Dr. Kofi J. S. Gbolonyo joined the UBC School of music and the African Studies Minor program as a Visiting Assistant Professor in September, 2009, soon after completing his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a Graduate Certificate in African studies, at the University of Pittsburgh. Since joining UBC faculty, he has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Ethnomusicology and African Studies, founded and directs the UBC African Music and Dance Ensemble.

Kofi Gbolonyo is a scholar, educator, and performer whose primary research, expertise, and educational interests are in West African traditional music and dance, Ewe indigenous knowledge, language and culture, Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy, multicultural music education, Ghanaian brass band and choral music. His scholarship focuses on indigenous knowledge and cultural values in the musical practices of the Ewe and Fon of West Africa.


Dr. Suzanne James

AFST Program Co-Chair
Instructor: AFST 370A

Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literatures

BA (Honours) UBC, MA UBC, PhD SFU

Office: BuTo 309

Dr. Suzanne James chairs the African Studies Minor program and teaches African, Canadian and Children’s Literature. As well as teaching at UBC for the last 12 years, she has taught in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Romania. Suzanne lived in rural Zimbabwe from 1982-85, and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between 1991-94 and 1998-2005. Her areas of academic specialization include African women’s writing, post-apartheid South African writing, contemporary Canadian fiction, children’s literature and queer criticism.


Dr. Joash Gambarage

Instructor: AFST 308, AFST 350, AFST 352A, SWAH 101, SWAH 102

Sessional Lecturer, Department of Linguistics

BA (ED), M.A (Linguistics) University of Dar es Salaam; PhD (Linguistics) UBC

Dr. Joash J. Gambarage is originally from Tanzania and he immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 2010, joining the UBC Linguistics Department as a doctoral student. Dr. Gambarage earned his Ph.D in linguistics in 2019 from UBC. His area of research is syntax, semantics, syntax-semantics, applied linguistics, and language documentation.

He is the winner of the 2021 UBC Public Engagement Award for Sessionals, Post-Doctorals and Graduate Students mainly due to his work with the Swahili Community in BC. You can read more about his community work here.


Dr. Calisto Mudzingwa

Instructor: AFST 450R

Sessional Lecturer

BA, BA (Honours), MPhil UZ; MA RRU, MEd & PhD UBC

Dr. Calisto Mudzingwa immigrated to Canada from Zimbabwe in 2004. Currently, besides teaching at UBC, he works for a non-profit organization that helps immigrants resettle in Canada. Dr. Mudzingwa is an active member of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in Vancouver.  His research interests include Immigrants and the Canadian Labour Market, Canadian Immigration Policies, Migration, Internal Displacements, and African Diaspora, focussing on Southern Africa.


Dr. Nuno Porto

Instructor: AFST 410

Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory

BA Lisbon, MLitt and PhD Coimbra

Nuno Porto received his PhD from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He holds a joint appointment with the Museum of Anthropology where he is Curator for African and South American collections.

Before joining UBC in 2012, Nuno taught at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, on subjects related to theory in social anthropology, material culture, critical museology, visual culture, photography and African studies. His work has been published in four different languages in ten different countries.


Dr. David Morton

Instructor: AFST 312, AFST 313

Associate Professor, Department of History

Office: BuTo 1104

BA (History) Yale, PhD (African History) University of Minnesota

Dr. David Morton is a historian of southern Africa, African urbanism, and decolonization, with specific expertise in informal settlement and the histories of Mozambique and its capital Maputo.

Affiliated Interdisciplinary Programs Administration

Jason Lieblang

Director of First-Year and Interdisciplinary Programs for Arts


Carmen Radut 

First-Year & Interdisciplinary Programs Administrator



Kelly Chan

First-Year and Interdisciplinary Programs Coordinator