Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong, professor of history and of African and African-American studies, has been named the Oppenheimer Faculty Director at the Center for African Studies.

Akyeampong, who joined Harvard faculty in 1993, is senior historian of Africa at Harvard, specializing in West Africa, Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa, comparative slavery, social history of alcohol, disease and medicine, ecology, the African diaspora, political economy and trade, and social and cultural history.

The author of “Drink, Power, and Cultural Change: A Social History of Alcohol in Ghana, C. 1800 to Recent Times” and “Between the Sea and the Lagoon: An Eco-Social History of the Anlo of the Southeastern Ghana, c. 1850 to Recent Times,” Akyeampong was instrumental in creating Harvard’s Department of African and African American Studies with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He has also edited several books including “Dictionary of African Biography ” (with Gates) and “The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa” (with Allan Hill, Andelot Professor of Demography Emeritus at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Arthur Kleinman, professor of medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School).

Akyeampong is co-founder of the Ghana-based International Institute for the Advanced Study of Cultures, Institutions and Economic Enterprise. He is also a graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, and serves as an affiliate minister for outreach at Acton Congregational Church.

His appointment begins July 1.