James Hodapp (Moderator)
James Hodapp is an Associate Professor of English in the liberal arts program and the chairperson of the Africana studies minor at Northwestern University in Qatar. His research on African literature and film has appeared in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, English Studies in Africa, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, African Literature Today, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, The Global South, and English in Africa, as well as in other journals and anthologies. He is the editor of Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (2020) and Graphic Novels and Comics as World Literature (2022) from Bloomsbury Academic Publishing.
Michael Degani is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and the Juliet Campbell Fellow in Social Anthropology at Girton College. He researches the politics of energy, infrastructure, and design in Africa and beyond, and is the author of The City Electric: Infrastructure and Ingenuity in Postsocialist Tanzania (Duke University Press, 2022). His work has been funded by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, and has appeared in American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Limn, Signs and Society, and Afrique Contemporaine amongst others. His current project looks at the growing number of small hydroelectric dams owned and operated by religious sisterhoods in Africa.
Veronica Jacome is an Assistant Professor of Energy Geography at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Prior to joining Temple University, Dr. Jacome was a University of California’s President Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Barbara working with environmental sociologist David Pellow, and a Chateaubriand Fellow at Mines ParisTech in the Center for Advanced Mathematics. Her research covers energy systems with a focus on electric power grids evaluation and history, the political economy of energy development, theories of Global South, and Science and Technology Studies.
Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi is a Professor and UNESCO Chairholder on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at the College of Law. He is also Chancellor’s Fellow and Director of the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute), Afe Babalola University, Nigeria. A prolific and highly regarded scholar, Professor Olawuyi has practiced and taught law in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Professor Olawuyi has published close to 100 articles, book chapters, and books on petroleum law, energy, and international environmental law. Professor Olawuyi serves on the executive committees and boards of several organizations. He is Vice Chair of the International Law Association; co-chair of the Africa Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (2016-2019); and member of the Academic Advisory Group of the International Bar Association’s Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy. Professor Olawuyi is a regular media commentator on all aspects of natural resources, energy and environmental law.
Michelle Pressend, currently the TRAJECTS – Transnational Centre for Just Transitions in Energy, Climate and Sustainability Academic Coordinator of the African Regional Hub based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She lectured Environmental Sociology at UCT in the past five years. She designed and lectured a course in African Feminist Studies at UCT focused on the gender and the politics of development. She has worked as a researcher, policy analyst, and activist on environmental and socio-economic justice primarily within the non-governmental sector for over twenty years. She also served in national government during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Her research approach engages with soil and land history/memory and what can be learned from the changes in the land to address the social-ecological crises differently to the dominant techo-scientific ‘fixes’.