sheilahAssociate Professor of Anthropology

Phone: 314-516-6782

Education: Dr. Clarke-Ekong received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992.  She joined the department in fall, 1992.

Reseach and Teaching: Dr. Clarke-Ekong has done fieldwork in West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana); in Capetown, South Africa; and in the African diaspora in St. Louis.  She is interested in change and continuity in contemporary West African cultures, African organizational structures, women's participation in the informal economies of the urban United States and South Africa, and African geography and cultural education. At UMSL, she teaches Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Cultures of Africa; Women in Sub-Saharan Africa; Cultural Continuity and Change in Sub-Saharan Africa; and Senior Seminar.

Personal History: : Dr. Clarke-Ekong is a native of Philadelphia.  After she received her B.A. from Florida International University, she moved to Nigeria and received her M.Phil. there in 1979.  Her three daughters Jennifer, Mfon and  Ime  were born while she lived in Nigeria.  In 1979, she assumed a faculty position in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of  Ife  in  Ife - Ife , Nigeria, where she taught until 1984.  From 1989-92, Dr. Clarke-Ekong was Assistant Director at the  UCLA  James S. Coleman African Studies Center.

Professional Activities: Dr. Clarke-Ekong is currently working with Dr. Tamar Wilson on a co-edited volume on The Native in Us: Anthropologists Speak from Experience.  She is a fellow in the Center for International Studies and has been a chief liaison in establishing the Center's study abroad program with the University of Ghana,  Legon.  Her links with the Gender Equity Unit at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, have further strengthened relations between the two institutions.  She also participates in the Institute for Women's and Gender Studies at The University of Missouri - St. Louis.

Dr. Clarke-Ekong was one of the first co-directors of the Center for Human Origin and Cultural Diversity.  She acts as a content consultant for the  McGraw-Hill/ MacMillan  Education Division, K-12.  She is also active in the Mentor Dropout Prevention Project and Role Model Experiences Program within the St. Louis City School District.  She is an advisory board member for Community Women Against Hardship organization, and the Westend Academy.

Dr. Clarke-Ekong's publications include "Out of Sight: Working Women Who Stay Invisible" in The Informal Sector: Case Studies and Theoretical Approaches, Judith Marti and T. Wilson (ed.) from  SUNY  Press, and "Power, Place, and  Queenmothers  in Ghana's Ritual Community," in Redefining Women's Roles: Developing New Social Communities in Societies in Transition, P.  Delaney  and C.  Senturia  (ed.) from the  University of Iowa Press.

Dr. Clarke-Ekong is the Advising Coordinator for the department.