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Voice of Black Studies Blog
Wednesday, June 03 2015

Julian Kunnie: Brief Academic Biography

Julian Kunnie is Professor of Religious Studies/Classics and Affiliate Faculty member in Middle Eastern and North African Studies and in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He is a former Director of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona, a former Director of African Studies at Kalamazoo College, and taught at Valparaiso University and the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Research Fellow at the Yunggorendi First Nations Center for Research in Higher Education at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia in 1999 and Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Maori and Pacific Studies at the University of Waikato in Ao Te Roa (New Zealand) in 2013 among various international academic distinctions. He has taught at Renmin University in Beijing for two summers and delivered lectures at Yunnan University in Kunming and at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in China. He has lectured and conducted research with scores of Indigenous peoples and communities in six continents, from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru in South America to Haiti, the Bahamas, the Caymans, and Cuba in the Caribbean, in places as diverse as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, India, and Taiwan, and all over Africa, Europe, and North America. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Islamic Perspective and Culture, a member of the board of the National Council for Black Studies, serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Public Enterprises, as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Diversity in Education, and a reviewer for the Journal of African Studies and Development. He is involved with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as representative of the Chiricahua Apache Alliance in Arizona.

Kunnie has produced five educational DVD’s, Umoya: The Spirit in Africa, that illustrates the dynamic growth of Indigenous Churches in Africa; Black and Brown: An Afro-Latino Journey that explores the African presence in Mexico in 2000 and 2006 respectively; We Belong to Mother Earth: Dineh Elder and Hataali Jones Benally Speaks in 2011; The Global Indigenous Peoples Performing Arts Festival, from Pingtung, Taiwan, following his research visit to Taiwan and China in August 2011; and Nicaragua: A Struggle for Nationhood, Independence and Justice in 2013.

Kunnie is the author of numerous articles in various internationally recognized journals and books including the African Studies Review, the Black Scholar, the Journal of African American History, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and the Journal of Pan African Studies. He is the author (with Nomalungelo Goduka) of Indigenous Wisdom and Power: Affirming our Knowledge Through Narratives (Ashgate, 2006), Is Apartheid Really Dead? Pan Africanist Working Class Cultural Critical Perspectives (Westview Press/Perseus Books 2000), and Models of Black Theology; Issues of Class, Culture, and Gender (Trinity Press International, Valley Forge, 1994). His articles have appeared in the Sunday Times, Sunday Tribune, City Press, Cape Times, Post Tribune in Indiana, and Arizona Daily Star. He is a regular commentator on Radio 786 in Cape Town and was featured recently on

Kunnie’s most recent book is The Cost of Globalization: Dangers to the Earth and Its People (McFarland, April, 2015). He continues to work on a prison research project that interrogates issues of race, class, and gender and is geared toward preventing the incarceration of youth, particularly those of color, entitled Enchained Humanity: A Comparative Study of the Infliction of Incarceration on Persons in United States and South African prisons. In 2012, Kunnie launched the Nyakweri Ecological Restoration and Preservation Project with Samwel Naikada from Transmara, Kenya, that is concerned with studying the impact of global warming and climate change on the Nyakweri Forest Preserve and trains students in areas of ecological sustainability through practical immersion and living in the Nyakweri forest, described at

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