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Aribidesi Usman

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Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Biography: 

Aribidesi (Desi) Usman is an associate professor of African and African American studies in the School of Social Transformation since 2001. Usman's research is based in Africa, especially Nigeria. He is interested in issues concerning settlement evolution, sociopolitical and economic organization, the nature of power relations that existed among societies prior to 1900, and how local communities responded to, affected, and became part of the regional and global historical development (e.g., state expansion, the Atlantic economy).

Education: 

Ph.D. Anthropology, Arizona State University 1998

Publications: 
  • Aribidesi Usman. The Yoruba Frontier: A Regional History of Community Formation, Experience, and Changes in West Africa. (2012).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Precolonial African Iron Metallurgy: Methodology, Socio-cultural context and Decline. Perspectives on African Environment, Science and Technology (2012).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Precolonial African Metallurgy: Methodology, Sociocultural Context, and Decline. Perspectives on African Environment, Science and Technology (2012).
  • . . Review of: Current Archaeological Research in Ghana. Oxford, Archaeopress, BAR International Series 18476, Cambridge Monograph in African Archaeology, 2008 (2010).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Being an indigenous African archaeologist. Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists (2010).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Toyin Falola on Yoruba History. The Man, The Mask, The Muse (2010).
  • Aribidesi Usman and Toyin Falola. Movements, Borders, and Identities in Africa. (2009).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Empires and Their Peripheries: A Case of Oyo and the Northern Yoruba. The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa: Essays in Honor of Robin Law (2009).
  • Usman Aribidesi. The Nineteenth Century Black Atlantic. The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (2008).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Ancient Stone Sculptures in parts of Africa. Africa and the Academy: Challenging Hegemonic Discourses on Africa, edited by Gloria T. Emeagwali (2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Ancient Stone Sculptures of Africa. Africa and the Academy: Challenging Hegemonic Discourses on Africa (2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Ila Kingdom Revisited: Recent Archaeological Research at Ila-Yara, Osun State. Yoruba Identity and Power Politics (2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Ila Kingdom Revisited: Recent Archaeological Research at Ila-Yara, Osun State. Yoruba Identity and Power Politics (2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Urban trajectory and sociopolitical formation on the Yoruba frontier: a report of recent field work at Ila-Iyara, Central Nigeria. (2006).
  • Aribidesi Usman, J Aleru, R Alabi. Sociopolitical formation on the Yoruba northern frontier: A report of recent work at Ila-Iyara, North Central Nigeria. Journal of African Archaeology (2005).
  • Aribidesi Usman, R Speakman, D Glascock. An initial assessment of prehistoric ceramic production and exchange in northern Yoruba, North Central Nigeria: Results of ceramic compositional analysis. African Archaeological Review (2005).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. Crisis and Catastrophe: Warfare in Precolonial Northern Yoruba. Precolonial Nigeria (2005).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Fragments of stone sculptures from Igbomina, Central Nigeria. Antiquity, Project Gallery (2004).
  • Aribidesi Usman. On the frontier of Empire: Understanding rampart walls in northern Yoruba, Nigeria. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology (2004).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Ceramic Seriation, Sites Chronology, and Old Oyo Factor in Northcentral Yorubaland, Nigeria. African Archaeological Review (2003).
  • Aribidesi Usman. The Ethnohistory and Archaeology of Warfare in Northern Yoruba. Journal of African Archaeology (2003).
  • Aribidesi Usman, Toyin Falola, Steven Salm. Early Urbanism in Northern Yorubaland. Nigerian Cities (2003).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A (Author) . Early Urbanism in Northern Yorubaland. Nigerian Cities (2003).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. The Nupe People. Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement (2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A (Author) . The State of Cultural Resource Management in Nigeria. Nigeria in the Twentieth Century (2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi A. State-Periphery Relations and Sociopolitical Development in Igbominaland, North-Central Yoruba, Nigeria. (2001).
  • Aribidesi Usman. A view from the periphery: northern Yoruba villages during the Old Oyo Empire, Nigeria. Journal of Field Archaeology (2000).
Research Activity: 
  • Usman,Aribidesi A*. A STUDY OF REGIONAL INTERACTION AND CERAMIC DISTRIBUTION IN NORTHERN YORUBALAND, NIGERIA (14-19TH CENTURIES A.D.). WENNER-GREN FDN(11/15/2002 - 1/31/2004).
  • Usman,Aribidesi A*. A STUDY OF REGIONAL INTERACTION AND CERAMIC DISTRIBUTION IN NORTHERN YORUBALAND, NIGERIA (14-19TH CENTURIES A.D.). WENNER-GREN FDN(10/8/2002 - 10/8/2002).
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 358Yoruba Atlantic
AFR 358Yoruba Atlantic
ASB 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
AFR 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 300Precolonial Africa
ASB 310Precolonial Africa
ASB 336African Art
AFR 336African Art
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
AFR 300Precolonial Africa
ASB 310Precolonial Africa
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 493Honors Thesis
AFR 498Pro-Seminar
AFR 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 336African Art
AFR 336African Art
AFR 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
ASB 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
ASB 484Internship
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 493Honors Thesis
AFR 498Pro-Seminar
AFR 499Individualized Instruction
AFR 580Practicum
AFR 592Research
AFR 598Special Topics
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 300Precolonial Africa
ASB 310Precolonial Africa
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 493Honors Thesis
AFR 498Pro-Seminar
AFR 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 336African Art
AFR 336African Art
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 493Honors Thesis
AFR 498Pro-Seminar
AFR 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 300Precolonial Africa
ASB 310Precolonial Africa
ASB 336African Art
AFR 336African Art
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 493Honors Thesis
AFR 498Pro-Seminar
AFR 499Individualized Instruction
AFR 590Reading and Conference
AFR 592Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 394Special Topics
AFR 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
ASB 466Peoples and Cultures of Africa
AFR 492Honors Directed Study
AFR 598Special Topics
Presentations: 
  • Aribidesi Usman. "A report of recent fieldwork in the Niger-Benue Confluence, North Central Nigeria." The Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA) 21st biennial conference, June 20th to 23rd, 2012. Victoria College, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Society of Africanist Archaeologists 21st biennial conference (Jun 2012).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Gendered Poverty. The 10th Annual Africa Conference on Women, Gender, and Sexualities in Africa. UT Austin (Mar 2010).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Urban Trajectory and Settlement Growth in the Yoruba Hinterland, North Central Nigeria. Windows from the present to the past: the archaeology of Africa and the Diaspora, Howard Univ. D.C (Feb 2010).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Ironworking Technology in Precolonial Africa: Methodology, Innovation, and Decline. Conference on Science, Technology, and the Environment in Africa (Mar 2009).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Insider-Outsider Diasporan Perspectives: Rethinking Conventional Paradigms for Knowledge Production about Africa,. African Studies Association 51st Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (Nov 2008).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Urban Trajectory and Settlement Growth in the Yoruba Hinterland. Conference on African Urbanities: Blurring Boundaries, Tying Networks. Goethe Univ, Frankfurt, Germ (Oct 2008).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Urbanization and Sociopolitical Development in Northern Yoruba, Central Nigeria. 73rd Annual Meeting of Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Mar 2008).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Understanding Urban Development and Sociopolitical Formation on the Yoruba Frontier, Nigeria. African Studies Association 50th Annual Meeting, New York (Oct 2007).
  • Aribidesi Usman. Cultural Resource Management in Nigeria. African Cultures and Development -AFRICANDO 2007, FIU, Miami (Sep 2007).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Urban Trajectory and Sociopolitical Formation on the Yoruba Frontier, Nigeria. African Studies Association 48th Annual Conference (Jun 2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Urban trajectory and sociopolitical formation on the Yoruba frontier: a report of recent field work at Ila-Iyara, Central Nigeria. 18th Biennial Conference of Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Calgary (Jun 2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Migrations, Ethnogenesis, and Settlement Dynamics in Precolonial Yorubaland, Nigeria. Conference on Movement, Migrations, and Displacements in Africa. The University of Texas at Austin (Mar 2006).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Sociopolitical Formation on the Yoruba Frontier, Nigeria. African Studies Association 48th Annual Meeting (Nov 2005).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Early Historical Development in Northern Yorubaland: Perspectives from Oral Tradition and Archaeology. 47th Annual Meeting of African Studies Association (Nov 2004).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Exploring the Periphery: Recent archaeological research on the Yoruba frontier, Central Nigeria. Brown Bag Presentation (Mar 2004).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Ila Kingdom Revisited: Recent Archaeological Research at Ila-Yara. International Conference on Yoruba History and Culture (Mar 2004).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. African Culture. Rotary Club of Tempe 1280 (Mar 2004).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Ogun Deity, Iron Working, and Northern Yoruba Factor. 45th Annual Meeting of African Studies Association (Dec 2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Military factor in the making of West African regional systems: Example from northern Yorubaland, Nigeria. Society of Africanist Archaeologists 16th Biennial Conference (May 2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. The State of Cultural Resource Management in Nigeria: Problems and Suggestions. International Conference on Nigeria in the 20th Century (Mar 2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. African Art and Culture. Black History Month, organized by the National Society of Black Engineers (Feb 2002).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Archaeological Investigations in Northern Yoruba, Nigeria: A Regional Approach. 100th Annual Meeting of American Anthropological Association (Nov 2001).
  • Usman, Aribidesi. Esie stone figures revisited: new evidence from Igbomina, Nigeria. African Studies Association (Nov 2001).
Service: 
  • Curriculum Committee, member (2012 - Present)
  • Promotion and Tenure, member (2011 - Present)
  • Church of the Master, Presbyterian (USA), Mesa, Arizona, Guest Speaker on 'African History and Culture with focus on Ethiopia (2010 - Present)
  • Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, reviewer (Beyond the House of Slaves: Finding a Place for Local Archaeology in Goree Island Tourism) (2010 - Present)
  • African Studies Review, manuscript reviewer (The transformation of Rural Settlement: The Impact of the Railway on Madobi Town of Kano Emirate C. 1919-1940) (2009 - Present)
  • National Geographic, Grant proposal reviewer (Archaeological research at Abomey, Benin Republic by Cameron Monroe) (2009 - Present)
  • Curriculum Committee, member (2009 - Present)
  • Curriculum Committee, member (2009 - Present)
  • Journal of Archaeological Science, manuscript reviewer (Chemical Characterization of some potsherd pavements from the ancient Ife kingdom, southwestern Nigeria) (2009 - Present)
  • Graduate Certificate in African Diaspora, coordinator (2009 - Present)
  • Graduate Certificate in African Diaspora, Coordinator (2009 - Present)
  • Graduate Certificate in African Diaspora, Coordinator (2009 - Present)
  • Barrett Honors College, Member of interviewers (2008 - Present)
  • Barrett Honors College, Member of interviewers (2008 - Present)
  • Personnel Action Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Personnel Action Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Personnel Action Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Personnel Action Committee, member (2008 - Present)
  • Graduate Certificate in African Diaspora, Coordinator (2008 - Present)
  • Graduate Certificate in African Diaspora, Coordinator (2008 - Present)
  • Ad Hoc Committee (Departmental Review Committee), member (2006 - Present)
  • Personnel Action Committee, member (2006 - Present)
  • Faculty Academic Senate, Representing African and African American Studies in the CLAS Faculty Senate (2006 - Present)
  • Faculty Senate, Representing African and African American Studies at the University faculty senate meetings (2005 - Present)
  • Barrett Honors College, Member of interviewers (2004 - Present)
  • Barrett Honors College, Member of interviewers (2004 - Present)
  • The University of Arizona, Tucson (College of Fine Arts, School of Art), Co-Chair of Olawole Famule's Doctoral Committee (2004 - Present)
  • Curriculum Committee, member (2004 - Present)
  • Current Anthropology, Reviewer (Yoruba-like Ceramics from the Rainforest of Southern Cameroon -ms#050409) (2004 - Present)
  • Africa Update (On-line Journal), Guest Editor (2004 - Present)
  • Text and Performance Quarterly, Reviewer (Deviants and Outcasts: Power and Politics in Bori Ritual Performances) (2004 - Present)
  • Rotary Club of Tempe 1280, Speaker on African Cultures and Societies (2004 - Present)
  • Scholarship Committee, Chair (2001 - Present)
  • CLAS Excellence Committee, member (2008 - 2009)
  • Curriculum Committee, member (2008 - 2009)
  • Graduate Studies Committee, member (2008 - 2009)
  • Personnel Action Committee, Chair (2008 - 2009)
  • CLAS Excellence Committee Project Initiative, member (2008 - 2009)
  • The Barret Honors College, Interviewing ASU applicants for Fulbright and NSEP scholarships to Africa and participating in the official campus evaluation process of their applications (2006 - 2006)
  • S.T.A.R.S. Association, Arizona State University, S.T.A.R.S. Academic Quiz Bowl Moderator (2006 - 2006)
  • Fulbright Scholarship Interviewer, Member (2004 - 2005)
  • The Barrett Honors College, Interviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Current Anthropology, Article reviewer (The Eastern Periphery of the Yoruba Cultural Sphere: Ceramics from the Lowland Rainforests of Southwestern Cameroon) (2005 - 2005)
  • Curriculum Committee, Chair (2001 - 2004)
  • Director Search Committee, member (2003)
  • Scholarship Committee, member (2003)
  • Search Committee, Member (2002 - 2002)