Contact details


South College

150 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9274
United States



Joye Bowman was appointed interim dean of the College of Humanities & Fine Arts (HFA) in June 2023. 

Prior to that, Bowman served as the HFA senior associate dean for two years and as associate dean for research for three years. She was the chair of the History Department from 2010-16 and has been active in the Five College African Studies Council, which she chaired for several years. She has also participated in the Mellon-Sawyer World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP). Throughout her career, Bowman has participated in numerous initiatives designed to connect university faculty with local K-12 teachers. These projects include a five-week Fulbright-Hays Study Tour with 10 public school teachers in South Africa.

Bowman’s early research focused on the Senegambia in the 19th century, especially the region that the Portuguese claimed. More recently, her research has focused on American engineers in South Africa during the early 20th century. She is working on a manuscript with John Higginson, “Engineering Empire: American Engineers and the Expansion of South Africa’s Deep Level Gold Mines.” Her publications include a monograph, “Ominous Transition: Commerce and Colonial Expansion in the Senegambia and Guinea, 1857-1919,” and articles on Guinea-Bissau, which have appeared in the Journal of African History, Current Bibliography of African Affairs, History in Africa and Revista Internacional de Estudos Africanos.


Africa, especially the former Portuguese colonies and South Africa