Augustana professor's new book discusses the history of African diamonds

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Dr. Todd Cleveland, assistant professor of history at Augustana College, recently completed a book about diamond mining in Africa. In Stones of Contention: A History of Africa’s Diamonds, Dr. Cleveland provides an accessible and informative account of diamond mining in Africa, from ancient times through the era of colonial exploitation, and up to the present day.

Dr. Cleveland was approached to write this book by Dave Robinson and Joe Miller, editors of the series in which his new bookappears. The series, “Africa in World History,” is published by Ohio University Press.

During his years as a pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, Dr. Cleveland wrote his dissertation on African labor—in particular, African workers on Angola’s colonial-era diamond mines. Dr. Joe Miller, who is based in the History Department at the University of Virginia , was familiar with Dr. Cleveland’s knowledge of Africa’s diamond landscape and felt this topic would be a perfect fit for the series he and Robinson had just launched.

“I learned a tremendous amount during the research process for the book,” Dr. Cleveland said, “and, thus, for so many reasons, I’m extremely glad that I decided to undertake this project.”

He also is using his book in his classroom at Augustana this fall and again this winter. According to Dr. Cleveland, the book was written with the American undergraduate as its target audience, so it’s an ideal text for students at Augustana.

For more information, please contact Sam Schlouch, director of public relations, at (309) 794-7833.