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Stephanie Shonekan

Dean Shonekan

Dean, College of Arts and Humanities
Professor, Ethnomusicology, Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Affiliate Faculty, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Stephanie Shonekan is professor of ethnomusicology and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. From 2003-2011, she was a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and was also the director of the Black World Studies Program and the associate director of the Cultural Studies Program. From 2011-2018, she was a faculty member at the University of Missouri in the Black Studies Department and the School of Music. She became chair of the Black Studies department at the University of Missouri from 2015-2018. While at Mizzou, Dr. Shonekan created and ran various programs geared towards inclusion and diversity on campus. For example, she created a campuswide program called Citizenship@Mizzou, a mandatory program for all incoming students to the university. The program was also customized for faculty and staff. She also created The Huddle, a mentoring program for underrepresented faculty across the campus. 

Dr. Shonekan moved to the University of Massachusetts in 2018 as professor and chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. She returned to Mizzou in 2020 as senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, before accepting the position at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Shonekan earned a doctorate in ethnomusicology and folklore with a minor in African American studies in 2003 from Indiana University. Her dual heritage combining West Africa with the West Indies allows her to straddle the Black world comfortably. She has published articles and book chapters on afrobeat, Fela Kuti, Nigerian and African American hip-hop, soul music and country music. Her publications explore the nexus where identity, history, culture and music meet. Her books include “The Life of Camilla Williams,” “African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva” (2011), “Soul, Country, and the USA: Race and Identity in American Music Culture” (2015), “Black Lives Matter & Music” (2018) and “Black Resistance in the Americas” (2018). She also wrote and produced an award-winning live action short film based on the mother of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, “Lioness of Lisabi.”