Randolph Stakeman

Affiliation: History, Africana Studies
Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Emeritus

Associate Professor Randolph Stakeman, a driving force in Bowdoin's commitment to diversify its faculty and student body, is retiring after 28 years of service to the College.

A warm advisor and mentor to students of color, Stakeman has directed the Africana Studies program since 1989, and has made significant curricular linkages with History, Latin American Studies, and Gender and Women's Studies.

He was instrumental in creating the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program, the Hewlett Pluralism and Unity Project and the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Off-Campus Study Program (CBB) in South Africa, the latter of which afforded 118 students from Colby, Bowdoin, and Bates Colleges the opportunity to travel and study in South Africa.

He has served as Acting Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the faculty representative to the Board of Overseers, and as a member of the 1980 Presidential Search Committee, the Strategic Planning Task Force, and the Presidential Committee on Race Relations.

Stakeman is a leading scholar on African colonialism and the history of African-Americans in Maine. Among his publications, he is author of "The Cultural Politics of Religious Change: A Study of the Sanoyea Kpelle in Liberia,"(1986).

He served as a consultant for the 1994 documentary film, "Anchor of the Soul," which explored the history of African-American culture in Maine. His own forays into documentary filmmaking include the recent "Heritage Day," a film collaboration with his son, Jackson, which documents a mixed-race population in South Africa.

For his service and devotion to the College, Stakeman won the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff in 2001.


  • PhD, Stanford University
  • AM, Stanford University
  • AB, Wesleyan University