Katherine Payne Moseley
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of long-time WARA member, Katherine Payne Moseley (KP Moseley). Kay, who was a dynamic member of the WARA team, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2012 at her Vermont home. She will be missed by the WARA community.
Kay was involved in many WARA initiatives, most recently, the Saharan Crossroads conferences. Her oft-quoted study with Immanuel Wallerstein on precapitalist social structures initiated a long list of publications on the Trans-Saharan trade, the political economy of West Africa including Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and most recently the economic and social history of the larger oases band of the northern Sahara edge that includes Morocco and Mauritania. Kay also actively promoted water and other environmental issues as represented by her paper “Development or Ecological Suicide? Dilemmas of Water Exploitation in the Sahara.” A Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, she did her fieldwork in Dahomey, and taught at Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone), the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), as well as Vanderbilt, Brooklyn College and several other US universities. From 2000-2006 Kay worked as a Foreign Service Officer and served in Chad, the Sudan and Mauritania. She was a Director on the board of a number of nongovernmental agencies including the Asian Scholar Fund.
She is remembered by family and friends for her warmth, sense of fun, wit, love of jazz, African rhythms and music in general. We remember her generosity, hospitality, openness and elegance. She lives vividly in our memory.