Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey


Observing life-long educators bring hope and joy to K-12 learning, and teaching youth from gang intervention projects to Yale College and Harvard College, has taught me that passionate and resilient teachers are game changers. When these educators show empathy—the mortar that binds learners, creates commonality, and delights in collective success—even the uninterested student can undergo a radical transformation.

This ethos undergirds my pedagogical approach to studying and teaching the history of African descendants and marginalized peoples in the Americas.

As a historian, I am committed to the advancement of critical analysis and writing. I teach my students to understand and appreciate that critical thinking and writing is a bedrock of a functional, healthy, liberal democracy. These skills, moreover, are necessary for independent, life-long learning. I am eager to teach and help cultivate a new crop of humanists who think critically, write effectively, and engage civil society responsibly.

In Fall 2018, I will teach “Binding Ties: African North Americans and Citizenship, 1775-Present” in the Department of History at Harvard University. I have served as a Teaching Fellow for the writing-intensive lecture “The Civil War and Reconstruction Era,” facilitating two reading discussions and providing detailed feedback on written assignments. From 2014 to 2018, I guest lectured for the Yale College course “Quebec and Canada, 1791 to Present,” for which I reviewed select research papers.

I have taught as a Lead Instructor in the Yale Young Global Scholars initiative, offering in-depth seminars as diverse as Bacon’s Rebellion and the Making of U.S. Racial Caste; John Locke and the Imperial Foundations of Property Rights; The Haitian Revolution; The Monroe Doctrine; Financial Missionaries and Dollar Diplomacy; The U.S. Empire; Comparative Apartheid in South Africa and the United States; Decolonization in Africa; and Civil and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965.

What my students say