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Anita Plummer is an Associate Professor of African Studies at Howard University and  Associate Director of Research and Faculty Engagement at the Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership. Her research and teaching focus on African political economy, transnationalism, public diplomacy, and Sino-African relations. Her recent book, Kenya’s Engagement with China: Discourse, Power, and Agency  (Michigan State University Press, 2023) analyzes popular discourses on Kenya and China within contested political spaces.


Before joining the faculty at Howard University, she taught International Studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She was also a Mellon post-doctoral fellow in the Cultures in Transnational Perspective Program and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Political Science at the University of California Los Angeles. She was awarded a Carter G. Woodson Center Pre-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia where she researched Mandarin language in Africa.

Dr. Plummer is a co-convenor for the Africa-China Initiative’s Research Working Group titled “Demand, Disruption, and Transformation: African Agency in Digital Geopolitics.” Dr. Plummer has conducted field research in China, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, and Senegal. Her articles on China's engagements in Africa have been published in the National Political Science Review, the Journal of Asian and African Studies, Africa, the AfricaFocus Bulletin and Foreign Policy in Focus.

In addition to her work in academia, Anita has a passion for activism, community organizing, and international solidarity. She has co-coordinated seminars in South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique with students, teachers, and activists to dialogue on issues ranging from state-sanctioned violence/police brutality, liberation movements, and unfinished social justice agendas. She has served as a coordinating committee member of the U.S. Africa Network and on the South Region Executive Committee of the American Friend's Service Committee. She was a past co-convenor of the African Studies Association's Women's Caucus. She is a board member of the Black women's policy think tank, at the Forefront and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

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