Hosting Authors

Kris Holloway

MU African Interdisciplinary Studies Hub hosted Kris Holloway for three days in March of 2019. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali. She is co-author of Shores Beyond Shores: from Holocaust to Hope (2018). She has delivered hundreds of presentations, and Monique and the Mango Rains remains a favorite “common read” and is used in 150+ college and university courses. Additionally, Holloway served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. She holds a MPH from the University of Michigan where she focused her research on maternal and child health. Holloway is President of CISabroad, a leading education abroad organization that has sent thousands of students to study and intern abroad. Holloway’s book Monique and the Mango Rains will teach audience at Mizzou about life in Mali. In addition to her book, Holloway will speak about global education and service. MU has several programs, like MU Office of Service-Learning Global Internship and Service & Global Engagement in the College of Education, that encourage students to gain a broader understanding of different cultures, make meaningful contributions to communities they serve, and enjoy meaningful international experiences. Holloway will be able to engage with attendees in a global service conversation about her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer and what it means to serve.On a light note, Kris is the proud mom of two sons who have studied and volunteered abroad in Norway, Portugal, Nepal, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Thailand, and Costa Rica. She is a confirmed Francophile, a devoted (if slow) runner, and loves camping, board games, and chocolate, preferable together. She lives in Northampton, MA with John and their giant black poodle.

Dr. Jonny Steinberg

MU African Interdisciplinary Studies Hub hosted Dr. Jonny Steinberg for two days, in February, 2016. Dr. Jonny Steinberg is currently an Associate Professor of African Studies in the School of International Areas Studies (SIAS) at Oxford University

Dr. Steinberg is a South African writer and scholar. He was born and raised in South Africa and educated at Wits University in Johannesburg, and at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a doctorate in political theory. He has worked as a journalist at a South African national daily newspaper, written scripts for television drama, and has been a consultant to the South African government on criminal justice policy. He is the author of several books about everyday life in the wake of South Africa’s transition to democracy. Two of them, Midlands (2002), and The Number (2004) won South Africa’s premier non-fiction award, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Steinberg’s books also include Three-Letter Plague (Sizwe’s Test in the United States), Thin Blue (2008), Little Liberia: An African Odyssey in New York (2011), and A Man of Good Hope (2015). In 2013, he was among the inaugural winners of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prizes, awarded by Yale University. Three-Letter Plague was a Washington Post Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, among others.

Our event was hosted during Black History Month. The theme was Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory. Dr. Steinberg’s work addresses the broad theme. In his book, A Man of Good Hope, Dr. Steinberg tells the story of Asad Abdullahi. Asad fled Somalia, spent his childhood and young adulthood migrating across Africa and finally settled in the United States as a refugee. Asad’s life can easily be placed within a long history of African movement, both within the continent and across the Atlantic.


Dr. Steinberg delivered a Black History Month lecture titled The Vertiginous Power of
Decisions: an African journey. Based on two years of intensive fieldwork with Asad Abdullahi, a young
and itinerant Somali man, this presentation will explore a paradox about forced migration. Asad has been
“kicked around like a stone”, in his own words, having had to flee several homes over the last two
decades. And yet, the course of his life has been shaped in no small part by his own decisions. This is
precisely because circumstances have unmoored him from the sorts of firm and enduring institutions that shape human trajectories. Herein lies the paradox: a forced migrant’s life is often radically decisional. Dr.
Steinberg argues that Asad is acutely aware of his paradox, which his awareness thereof issues in a distinctive mode of action, one that is profoundly future ­orientated and yet dispenses with calculations of
probability. In his presentation, he aims to explore the phenomenology of this non­actuarial thinking, the internal conflicts it engenders, and the conceptions of self that it embodies.
While on our campus, Dr. Steinberg had lunch with Law School students. He gave a presentation to visiting scholars in Fritz Cropp’s class in School of Journalism. Additionally he did a book reading in Ellis Library, attended a meeting with African Student Association.