Portrait of Pero Dagbovie

2018-19 Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program Fellow Pero Dagbovie

Pero Gaglo Dagbovie is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of History and Associate Dean in
the Graduate School at Michigan State University. He joined MSU’s Department of History in 2003 after he
worked for three years as an assistant professor at Wayne State University in the Interdisciplinary Studies
Program in the College of Lifelong Learning where he taught African and African American history and Logic.

A former Lilly Fellow (2005-2006) and recipient of the Teacher-Scholar Award (2007), he was the associate
chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of History, MSU from 2010 until 2015. In that role, he
revised the graduate admissions process, instituted a range of professional development programs, closely
moderated the progress of the program’s doctoral students, paid close attention to issues of diversity and
inclusion, increased the support and resources for doctoral students, played an active role on the department’s
Advisory Committee and the CSS’s and university’s Graduate Committees, and authored an extensive report
on the graduate program for the department’s 2015 external review.

Since 2105, he has been an Associate Dean in the Graduate School. In this capacity, he coordinates the King-
Chavez-Parks FFF Program, the TIAA-CREF Ruth Simms Hamilton Graduate Merit Fellowship, the Academic
Achievement Graduate Assistantships, and the Emergency Fellowship Program. He also the supervises the
program manager of the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) and serves as the co-advisor and
Co-PI for the NSF-funded Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Program, a program
that seeks “to improve pathways to the professoriate and success for historically underrepresented minority
doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education
research fields.” A former member of the Provost’s Office Diversity Team and a current member of the CSS
Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity and Inclusion, much of Dagbovie’s work focuses on planning and
implementing the Graduate School’s goals related to diversity and inclusion for graduate students. Since 2015,
he has authored the Graduate School’s extensive “Annual Report on Diversity.” In various roles, he has spent a
significant part of his career helping recruit underrepresented faculty and graduate students. He has
participated in national conferences and workshops on graduate education. As the senior member of the
Executive Committee for MSU’s African American and African Studies Program, he has played a leading role in
revising the program’s bylaws and graduate handbook and in charting its future directions in onerous times.

Dagbovie’s research and teaching interests comprise a range time periods, themes, and topical specialties,
including black intellectual history, the history of the black historical enterprise, black women’s history, black
life during “the Nadir,” the civil rights-Black Power movement, African American Studies, hip hop culture, and
contemporary black history. He has written numerous articles, essays, and book reviews in leading journals
within his field. He has authored five books. His forthcoming book, Reclaiming the Black Past: The Use and
Misuse of African American History in the 21st Century, will be published by VERSO Books in the fall of 2018.
Dagbovie was recently named the next editor (beginning in September 2018) of The Journal of African
American History, the leading and oldest scholarly journal (founded in 1916) of its kind. He is also active in the
field of African American Studies. Not only is he on the editorial board of the field’s oldest scholarly journal
(The Journal of Black Studies), but he recently participated in an invite-only “A Conversation with Scholars in
African American Studies” at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with about eighteen other leading scholars to
discuss the future directions in the field and how the foundation could best aid in this effort.

Dagbovie has been involved in public history and public history educational programs. He served as a scholar
consultant for the permanent exhibit, “And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and
Culture,” at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. Under the auspices
of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Capital Region, and the Organization of
American Historians, from 2008 until 2010, he served as the principal investigator for the Carter G. Woodson
Home, NHS and completed the historic resource study for the Woodson Home. He continues to work with the
NPS. He has participated in and lead workshops for secondary school teachers funded by the U.S.
Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dagbovie has lectured abroad and
throughout the nation. He actively mentors graduate students in the Department of History and the African
American and African Studies Ph.D. Program. Since 2009, he has served as the advisor of more than a dozen
graduate students who have earned doctoral degrees and are now working in academia.