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Atangana, Martin

Atangana, Martin

Professor and Chair


Phone: 718-262-2641
Office Location: AC-3D08A

Office Hours 
Monday  1:00-1:45 & 5:00-5:45 PM 
Wednesday & Friday  11:00-11:45 AM 
PhD  University of Paris 1-Sorbonne (France)  History  1994 
MA  University of Paris X-Nanterre (France)  History  1987 
BA  University of Yaoundé (Cameroon)  History  1984 

Dr. Martin Atangana holds a Ph. D. in History from the University of Paris 1-Sorbonne, a M.A. in History from the University of Paris X-Nanterre, and a B.A. from the University of Yaoundé. He is currently a Professor of History at York College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests focus on the relationship between West Africa and Europe with a special emphasis on Franco-Cameroonian relations. He is the author of Capitalisme et Nationalisme au Cameroun au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre MondialeFrench Investment in Colonial Cameroon, The End of French Rule in Cameroon, and many articles. In addition to doing research and teaching, Dr. Martin Atangana is an accomplished musician who had worked with artists such as Paul Simon, Jean Luc Ponty, Many Dibango, and Ronald Shannon Jackson. He frequently performs with his band “African Blue Note”. His solo albums include "Oyenga Fam" and "Mot Songo".

Areas of Expertise:
African History
The relationship between West Africa and Europe in (19th-20th centuries)
The Franco-Cameroonian relations (19th-20th centuries)
Books in Field Of Expertise:

Martin Atangana. The End of French Rule in Cameroon. New York: University Press of America, 2010. .

Martin Atangana. French Investment in Colonial Cameroon: The FIDES Era (1946-1957). New York: Peter Lang, 2009. .

Martin Atangana. Capitalisme et Nationalisme au Cameroun au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (1946-1956). Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998. .

Articles in Field Of Expertise:

Martin Atangana. "Indépendances africaines: l’atypique parcours camerounais." Icônes d’Amérique. No. 2 August 2010: 28-30.

Martin Atangana. "Mythes et Realités de l’investissement privé en Afrique noire francaise: le cas du Cameroun dans les années 1940 et 1950." Canadian Journal of African Studies. Vol. 35, No.1 2001: 1-31.

Martin Atangana. "French Capitalism and Nationalism in Cameroon." African Studies Review. Vol. 40, No.1 April 1997: 83-111.

Martin Atangana. "Les relations financières entre le Cameroun et la France et l'image de la France au Cameroun (1946-1956)." Matériaux Pour l’Histoire de Notre Temps. No. 32-33 Juillet-Décembre 1993: 47-52.

Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances:

" Multiculturalism in Africa. " February 29, 2008: The National Weather Service, Eastern Region, Long Island.

" Conversations with a Continent: Cameroon. " February 27, 2008: The Museum for African Art, New York.

" Origins of Multiculturalism. " February 20, 2008: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, New York Field Division Office, New York.

" From Slavery to Freedom: The Story of Africans in the Americas. " February 15, 2007: The Food and Drug Administration, Northeast Region, Jamaica Facility, New York.

" York Historians on African American History.The Founding of Liberia. " February 18, 2004: York College/CUNY, New York.

" Colonial Legacy in Africa. " February 11, 2003: Lehman College/CUNY, New York.

" Aspects of Cameroonian culture, Past and Present. " February 9, 2003: The International Masons and Order of Eastern Star, New York.

" African Issues. " December 2, 2003: York College/CUNY, New York.

" Private Investment in French Cameroon During the FIDES Era. " May 15-19, 2002: The 2002 French Colonial Historical Society Meeting at Yale University, New Heaven.

" French Private Investment and Disinvestment in Late Colonialism. " April 6-8, 2001: The Cameroon Conference at Rice University, Houston.

" Colonialism in Africa: The Legacy. " February 21, 2001: York College/CUNY, New York.

" Decolonization in French Black Africa: The Case of Cameroon. " June 3-5, 1999: The 1999 French Colonial Historical Society Annual Conference, New Orleans.


PSC - CUNY, Translation of Capitalisme et Nationalisme au Cameroun au lendemain de la seconde Guerre Mondiale (1946-1956). 2000: $6,000.

Other Professional Activities and Public Service:

The 2010 Phi Alpha Theta National Convention, San Diego. Session Chair/Moderator: January 6-9, 2010.

The Franco-Cameroonian relationship, Past and Present. Series of interviews to Cameroon Radio & Television (CRTV): Yaounde, July 2009.

The 2008 Phi Alpha Theta National Convention, Albuquerque. Session Chair/Moderator: January 2-5, 2008.

"The Juju rhythm and the legacy of Nigerian artist Fela Anikulapo Kuti." Interview to WKCR - 89.9 FM, The Columbia University radio station, New York: December 6, 2007.

The 2007 African Studies Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, New York . Member of the ASA Local Arrangement Committee and a performer: 2006 – October 20, 2007.

The 2006 Phi Alpha Theta New York/New Jersey Regional Conference, Rowan University, New Jersey Session Chair/judge: April 1, 2006.

"My American experience as a Professor, Author, and Artist." A series of interviews given to The Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), Ebolowa, Yaoundé (Cameroon): August, 2001, July 2003 and January 2006.

The African Blue Performance at the Sound of The City Festival, The New Jersey Performing Art Center. Interview to CBS, New York: August 25, 2005.

African Blue Note. Interview to WKCR - 89.9 FM, the Columbia University radio station, New York: May 26, 2005.

“African Music: Past, Present, and Future.” Interview to WKCR - 89.9 FM, the Columbia University radio station, New York: November 28, 2004.

The 2004 Phi Alpha Theta National Convention, New Orleans. Session Chair/Moderator: January 15-17, 2004.

"The Kwanza Celebration". Interview given to the City College radio station, New York: December 19, 2003.

The Seminar/Intership at Uganda Martyrs University, Co-coordinator/Co-organizer: July 14-28, 2003.

The Harlem Renaissance Project Workshop at East Meadow School District, Long Island. Music Presentation: April 16, 2003.

The 2003 Phi Alpha Theta New York/New Jersey Regional Conference, William Paterson University, New Jersey. Session Chair/judge: March 22, 2003.

“African Musicians from French Speaking Countries Residing in the New York Metropolitan Area.” Interview to WKCR - 89.9 FM, The Columbia University radio station, New York: November 29, 2002.

The Seminar/Intership at Uganda Martyrs University. Co-coordinator/Co-organizer: July 15-29 2002.

“African Music in New York.” Interview given to Bloomberg Radio, New York: June 27, 2002.

The 2001 Phi Alpha Theta National Convention, San Antonio. Session Chair/Moderator: December 27-30, 2001.

The 1999 Phi Alpha Theta National Convention, Tampa. Session Chair/Moderator: December 26-29, 1999.

The Rumba Workshop at Emory University, Atlanta. Music presentation: April 10, 1999.

Capitalisme et nationalisme au Cameroun au lendemain de la seconde guerre mondiale (1946-1956). Interview to “Chroniques Francophones" - CUNY-TV/CFTV Show, New York: February 20, 1999.


Atangana, Martin

September 2013

Martin René ATANGANA 
Obituary - A Cameroon Perspective

The son of  Marc Belinga and Martine Ekodo, Martin René  Atangana was born on 11 November 1958 in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, in the west Central Africa. Cameroon is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. The country is often referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. 

Before pursuing further academic endeavors in France, he graduated at the University of Yaoundé. As a young student, Martin was hooked on the complex and peculiar history of his motherland. Cameroon, a German colony from 1884, was divided between France and Britain as League of Nations mandates after World War I. On 1st January 1960, Cameroon gained its independence. In 1961, the French-administered part of Cameroon and the southern part of British Cameroons merged to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. In-depth interest in history became central in Martin's academic life.

However, Martin was also pursuing another interest and soon developed a passion for music. In a country well known for its makossa and bikutsi music and blessed with numerous musical talents, some of whom well known internationally, it is remarkable that the young Martin managed to carve a name for himself among well established and musicians and bands competing for the attention of pop and folk music lovers. In no time, Martin became known as on the musical scene and beyond as "Martino".

Mvog-Mbi, the neighborhood were he was born, was a very competitive stage. Neighboring areas such as Nkolndongo or Mvog-Ada excelled in hosting clubs or bands that were household names or real cult places. Martino found his place among a new generation of stars such as George Seba. He was influenced by great composers such as Mekongo "President". Once abroad, he went on to perform with global music icons such as the Cameroonian Manu Dibango, the French Jean-Luc Ponty, or the American Paul Simon. Indeed, Martino had earned impeccable credentials. His first name "Martino" became identified with excellence in bikutsi lead guitar.

Truly, Martino excelled concomitantly in both music and academia. He saw life as a field where excellence should be the norm, no matter what field he touched. From the University of Yaoundé to higher academic studies in France, from the clubs in the capital of Cameroon to his African Blue Note Band in New York, Martino migrated from one place to the next, masterly lecturing as well joyfully entertaining so many and impacting their lives with his positive spirit and smile, and in so doing, he relentlessly carried his sacred mission on earth with the same mantra: excellence, dignity, humility and integrity. To the end.

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