Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1904, E.L. Mayo attended schools in Malden, Massachusetts, then Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. For three years thereafter he held miscellaneous jobs as a brush salesman, clerk in a music store, waiter in the Mount Washington Hotel, wine steward in the Bahamas, etc. In 1929 he returned to study at the University of Minnesota. He was graduated magna cum laude in 1932, later returning to take his M.A. in 1936. He was a recipient of the Payne Prize (1932), the Blumenthal Prize (Poetry, Chicago, 1942), and the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Fellowship (1953–54). From 1947 Mayo taught at Drake University. He was professor of English and in 1961 received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Iowa Wesleyan. Professor Mayo died in 1979. He is survived by his wife, Myra, and three children, and grandchildren.

E. L. Mayo was a quiet poet who embraced obscurity almost as a condition for his intellectual freedom. Still, a few discerning critics noticed. David Daiches has said that “Mayo’s poems … pretend to be simple prose–like utterances, whereas in fact the best of them contain an echoing poetic meaning which begins to relase itself a split second after we have read the words.”

Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions
In Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions, a preeminent historian of Africa argues that scholars of the Americas and the Atlantic world have not given Africa its due consideration as part of either the Atlantic world or the age of revolutions.

Athens and Jerusalem
For more than two thousand years, philosophers and theologians have wrestled with the irreconcilable opposition between Greek rationality (Athens) and biblical revelation (Jerusalem).

African Miracle, African Mirage
Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ivory Coast was touted as an African miracle, a poster child for modernization and the ways that Western aid and multinational corporations would develop the continent.

South Sudan
A New History for a New Nation
Africa’s newest nation has a long history. Often considered remote and isolated from the rest of Africa, and usually associated with the violence of slavery and civil war, South Sudan has been an arena for a complex mixing of peoples, languages, and beliefs.

The Art of Life in South Africa
From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran an art school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is the story of the students, teachers, art, and politics that circulated through a small school, housed in a remote former mission station.