Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda receives the I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship in History

Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda, professor within Appalachian State University’s Department of History, has been chosen to receive the I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship in History based on his teaching, research and service for a three-year term.

The I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship will assist Kitunda with his research for his new books, titled “The History of the Kamba Diaspora in East Africa, 500 BCE-2000 CE” and “The History of Salvinia Molesta in Lake Naivasha, Kenya since 1900.”

For “The History of the Kamba Diaspora in East Africa, 500 BCE-2000 CE” Kitunda plans to conduct archival work in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Uruguay and Paraguay. He will also interview descendants of these immigrants in these countries and perform research in the local archives and libraries. He hopes this book will shed light on diaspora studies, ethnographic practices, military histories, migration and evolution of languages and identities to help bridge the histories of ethnographic study around the world.

“The History of Salvinia Molesta in Lake Naivasha, Kenya since 1900” is based on the invasive foreign plant salvinia molesta, and the origins of its arrival in Lake Naivasha. Kitunda will use herbarium specimens and records to reconstruct the movement of the salvinia molesta from the Amazon river basin through European botanical gardens to Lake Naivasha, using research methods other historians have rarely applied.

“Receiving the Greer award will be extremely rewarding and will boost my scholarly profile in spectacular ways. First, it raises my morale and second, it will provide the much-needed release time and funds for my research...I hope to accomplish a lot in teaching, service and research,” said Kitunda.

Kitunda received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and joined Appalachian in 2005 as an assistant professor of history. His areas of study include African history, environmental history and world history.

Kitunda has published a variety of books on African culture including “The Wit and Wisdom of Akamba: A Collection of East African Proverbs,” “Akamba Migrations towards the Diaspora and the Search for Longevity in East Africa since the 1480s” and “Kamba Proverbs from Eastern Kenya: Sources, Origins and History” (which is planned to be released in November).

 The I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship in History, established in 1977, is named after Dr. Isaac Garfield Greer and is the oldest distinguished professorship at Appalachian. Kitunda is the 22nd recipient of this long-established professorship. The accolade provides funding for research and is offered every three years to a full professor who excels in teaching, research and service.

“I am delighted and grateful to my colleagues in the Department of History for voting me as the recipient of this distinguished award...This award will be a great boost to my scholarly standing in the department, university and in my field.”


About the Department of History
The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which encourages history majors to develop a comprehensive approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at https://history.appstate.edu.

By James Johnston
Nov. 1, 2021

Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda, Department of History, photo submitted
Published: Nov 1, 2021 1:22pm