John Aerni-Flessner

Assistant Professor

John Aerni-Flessner earned a BA in History from Grinnell College in Iowa. He taught high school in rural Lesotho (a country in southern Africa) and in the Yup'ik Eskimo village of Kwethluk, Alaska before returning to graduate school. He earned a PhD in African and World History from Washington University in St. Louis and taught at SUNY Cortland in Upstate New York before coming to Michigan State. His main research focuses on how ordinary people grappled with the idea of independence in mid-20th century Africa, and how they came to terms with their changing relations to the state during the decolonization process. As a social historian, his classes tend to focus on big ideas like nationalism, slavery, sport/leisure, development, etc. and then examine how ordinary people interacted with these ideas, were changed by the ideas, and how they were able to change them in subtle ways. When he is not teaching and researching, John enjoys playing with his son, cooking, and has been a competitive runner for over two decades.

 

BIO

John Aerni-Flessner earned a BA in History from Grinnell College in Iowa. He taught high school in rural Lesotho (a country in southern Africa) and in the Yup'ik Eskimo village of Kwethluk, Alaska before returning to graduate school. He earned a PhD in African and World History from Washington University in St. Louis and taught at SUNY Cortland in Upstate New York before coming to Michigan State. His main research focuses on how ordinary people grappled with the idea of independence in mid-20th century Africa, and how they came to terms with their changing relations to the state during the decolonization process. As a social historian, his classes tend to focus on big ideas like nationalism, slavery, sport/leisure, development, etc. and then examine how ordinary people interacted with these ideas, were changed by the ideas, and how they were able to change them in subtle ways. When he is not teaching and researching, John enjoys playing with his son, cooking, and has been a competitive runner for over two decades.

 

CONTACT INFO

Office: C320A Snyder Hall
Phone: (517) 884-6008

HIGHLIGHTS

PhD in African and World History, Washington University in St. Louis
MA, Washington University in St. Louis
BA in History, Grinnell College