Dr. Steffan Spencer

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Professional title

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Steffan A. Spencer is Assistant Professor of African History, and researches the Classical Ethiopian language of Ge’ez.  He received his MA and PhD degrees with distinction from Howard University in African History, and his BA from Northwestern University in Philosophy and Religion.  He formerly taught as a lecturer of both African and African-American Studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and as an instructor at Howard University and Bowie State University. 

Dr. Spencer’s current book project is entitled, “The Ethiopian Orthodox Book of The Trinity: A Homily from the Monastic Order of Daqiqa Estifanos (the Disciples of Estifanos).”  The manuscript is a historical analysis of the biblical narratives and rules for religious observances found within this 15th century Ge’ez (Classical Ethiopic) manuscript, whereby he produced the first digital reproduction, translation and transcription of this annual homily.  The book project builds upon his PhD dissertation, and the field work he conducted as a Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia.  An article by the same title is also in progress.

As a Public Historian, and in an effort to make his research accessible to a broader audience, he also produced a documentary short entitled Kissed By The Sun: A Study of Nile Valley Cultural Continuity, for use in the classroom and to share with the public, to vividly demonstrate the wonders of Nile Valley Civilizations.  To date the documentary short has been selected for film festivals and screenings at:  The Twin Cities Black Film Festival, The African World Film Festival, The California Film Awards, The African World Documentary Film Festival, The East Tennessee Film Gala, and was screened in partnership with TransAfrica Forum.

Courses Offered:

HIST 2515: Ancient to Pre-Modern African History

HIST 3615: Modern Africa

HIST 3550: Africa and Her Early American Diaspora

HIST 3695: Special Topics in Ancient African History

HIST 5905: History Seminar