Adebanwi, who is a professor at the University of California, Davis, United States, will also be a Fellow of St Anthony’s College, Oxford, effective July 1 and the next Director of the African Studies Centre of Britain’s oldest university.
The Rhodes Professorship in Race Relations is named for Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, mining magnate and politician in South Africa who served as Prime Minister of Cape Colony from 1890-1896. The professorship was established by the Rhodesian Selection Trust Mining Company in 1954.
Based on the position announcement, the Rhodes Professor is adjudged “a scholar of international distinction with an outstanding record of research publications in the field of African (sub Saharan) Studies and a proven track record of leadership in research and teaching.”
Adebanwi, 47, is the first black African scholar to be appointed to the endowed Chair since it was created more than 60 years ago. His predecessors are Professor Kenneth Kirkwood, who occupied the chair for 32 years, Professor Terence Ranger, and Professor William Beinart, who retired from the position in 2015.
Adebanwi holds a BSc in mass communication from the University of Lagos, M.Sc and Ph. D. in political science from the University of Ibadan, as well as MPhil and Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge.