Peter Ekeh

Published December 9, 2020

Peter P. Ekeh, former chair and retired professor in the Department of African American Studies — now the Department of Transnational Studies — died Nov. 17. He was 83.

A native of Nigeria, Ekeh was internationally known for his 1975 journal article “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement,” one of the most cited academic works in the field of African, political and sociological studies.

Ekeh joined the UB sociology faculty in 1989, and served as department chair from 1993 to 2001. Prior to coming to UB, he taught at several African, American and Japanese universities, including the University of California, Riverside; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria; and the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, where he served as chair of the Department of Political Science from 1978-83 and chairman of the Ibadan University Press from 1983-88.

He retired from UB in 2014.

Ekeh was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, D.C., and a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar during his graduate studies. He was also founder of the Urhobo Historical Society (URHOBO WAADO) and was a chief of the Palace in Agbon until his death.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Ibadan, a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.