Amina Mama is currently the director of the Women and Gender Studies program at UC Davis. Professor Mama was the first Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women's Leadership at Mills College in Oakland, California. She previously held fulltime positions at academic institutions in the Netherlands (The Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, from 1989-1991), Britain (The Development and Project Planning Centre at the University of Bradford) and South Africa, where she served for ten years as the Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Cape Town's African Gender Institute. Whilst at the University of Cape Town she initiated the flagship graduate program in Gender Studies and led a series of continent-wide research, curriculum development and publication projects. Amina Mama serves as the founding editor of Africa's first continental feminist scholarly journal 'Feminist Africa'.
In the course of her career she has engaged in policy advocacy and community activism, development consultancy, and has previously held positions at The Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, (from 1989-1991) and the University of Bradford’s Development and Project Planning Centre (1992-1994). She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational & Applied Psychology from Birkbeck, College, University of London, a Master of Science in Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London and a Bachelor of Science (with Honours) in Psychology from University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Amina currently Chairs the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women, and serves on the United Nations Committee for Development Policy, the Development Policy Council of Sweden, and the Board of Directors of the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana. She is the founding editor of Feminist Africa and an active participant on the editorial and advisory boards of ten key academic journals in the areas of feminist studies, development studies and human rights, Signs, Feminist Review, International Journal of Feminist Politics, Meridiens, and Caribbean Review of Gender Studies.
Key Awards include appointment as a Visiting Associate Member at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford for three months in 1998, and Visiting Professor in Residence at Wellesley Centre for Women and the Five Colleges for six months in 2002. She was appointed as the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity for 2003-2004, and to the Board of CERES, the Dutch Universities consortium for Doctoral Studies in Development.
1987, Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational & Applied Psychology, Birkbeck, College, University of London. Thesis title "Race and Subjectivity: A Study of Black Women"
1981, Master of Science in Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London
1980, Bachelor of Science (with Honours) in Psychology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Amina’s interests are feminist theory, activist research methodologies, and women’s movements, international development studies, militarism, social transformation, organizational development and change, and politics of knowledge. She has led and conducted gender research in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. Her most recently completed research projects were Mapping African Sexualities (in collaboration with Takyiwaa Manuh, University of Ghana) and Gender and Institutional Culture in African Universities (in collaboration with Teresa Barnes, University of the Western Cape). She is currently working with colleagues to develop a transnational feminist project on militarism, conflict and women’s activism.
Main publications include 3 books - ‘Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity’ (Routledge 1995) which in 2002 was listed as one of Africa’s 100 Best Books in the twentieth century, Engendering African Social Sciences (co-edited and pub by CODESRIA 1997, French edition 2004), and The Hidden Struggle: Statutory and Voluntary Sector Responses to Violence Against Black Women in the Home (Runnymede 1989, repub by Whiting and Birch 1996). Birch 1996), 20 book chapters, and numerous articles published in academic and scholarly journals including: African Studies Review, the Journal of Higher Education in Africa, Africa Development, the International Journal of Feminist Politics, AGENDA, Institute for Development Studies Bulletin, International Journal of Critical Psychology, and Development in Practice, Feminist and Scholar Online and Feminist Review.