David Owusu-Ansah is Professor of African Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from McGill University, and a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Comparative Religions and Education from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. A former fellow of the Harry S. Truman Institute for International Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Owusu-Ansah teaches courses in African History, World Civilizations, and Historical Methods at James Madison University. Dr. Owusu-Ansah is past Director of History Graduate Studies at James Madison University and he is the former co-chair of the university’s Africana Studies Program and a Special Assistant to the President on Faculty Diversity. His research interests are Islam in Africa (with special emphasis on religious conversion) and the politics of religion.
In addition to numerous scholarly articles and chapters on Islam, Dr. Owusu-Ansah has authored the Islamic Talismanic Tradition in Nineteenth Century Asante (1991). He co-authored the Historical Dictionary of Ghana(1995) and is the sole author of the 3rd Edition of the Historical Dictionary of Ghana (2005). He was also a participant of the World Bank Institute (May 2005), as well as a participant in the Center for Civil-Military Relations State Partnership Education Program of the Ghana Armed Forces and the North Dakota National Guard (May 2005). His knowledge of the history of Islam in Africa as well as his scholarship on Ghanaian and African topics explain past radio interviews on such programs as the Voice of America and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities production “With Good Reason”—a program on National Public Radio.
With other colleagues, Dr. Owusu-Ansah continues to research, conduct field interviews, and write on Islam and Religious Tolerance in West Africa. He is currently engaged in research with colleagues in Ghana on a comprehensive study of Islamic education in that country. Also, as past president of the Ghana Studies Council (an international affiliate of the African Studies Association), Dr. Owusu-Ansah is known to his colleagues as a dedicated and fair-minded political observer of developments in Ghana.