We don’t know this for a fact, but we’ll venture to guess that before Ousmane Traoré, no Wagner faculty member had appeared on MTV.
In a season 2 episode of the MTV documentary series Rebel Music, the Wagner professor of global and African history sets the context to help viewers understand the modern history of his native Senegal. The episode of this stylish and educative series, titled “Senegal: Ready for Change,” focuses on Y’en a Marre (in English, “I’m Fed Up”), a popular political movement spearheaded by socially engaged hip-hop artists.
Y’en a Marre fulfills the classic function of protest movements — speaking truth to power — in the highly charged political environment of Senegal. During Senegal’s 2012 presidential elections, Y’en a Marre helped defeat the Liberal Party, which had held power since 2000. Now, “Enough is Enough” is nurturing a movement across Africa by inspiring youth political movements, activists, and artists to promote democracy and social justice and fight poverty and hunger.
Traoré, who has taught at Wagner since 2012, holds a B.A. in history and Egyptology from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal, an M.A. in history and archaeology from University Lille 3-Charles De Gaulle, and a Ph.D. in history from Sorbonne University.