Glenn Adams

Glenn Adams
  • Director, Kansas African Studies Center
  • Professor
  • Psychology

Contact Info

Fraser Hall, 418
1415 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7556


Glenn Adams is Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas. He currently serves as Interim Director of the Kansas African Studies Center after serving for many years in KASC leadership as associate director and executive committee member. His engagement with African settings began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, where he served for three years as a secondary school mathematics teacher in a district headquarter town.


Adams received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University for a dissertation that investigated cultural-psychological foundations of relationality. His graduate training included two years of study and field research in Ghana with support from the Social Science Research Council International Pre-dissertation Fellowship Program, a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, and a Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. This research provided the empirical foundation not only for his dissertation, but also for his ongoing work on cultural-psychological foundations of mind. This work includes a long-standing collaboration with colleagues at the University of Ghana (who have support from Gulbenkian Foundation and Volkswagen Foundation Knowledge for Tomorrow—Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa Program).

Besides collaboration with Ghanaian colleagues, Adams has significant collaborations with critical psychologists from a variety of South African settings. During the first half of 2023, Adams was a fellow in residence at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He worked there in close collaboration with Professor Kopano Ratele (Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University) on an ongoing project to articulate a Decolonial Africa-centering Psychology. This project grows out of their three-year collaboration as members of the Readsura Decolonial Editorial Collective (along with Geetha Reddy, Open University, UK; and Shahnaaz Suffla, University of South Africa) to edit three special issues and to publish five articles on decolonial approaches to psychology.


These engagements with African settings and collaborations with Africa-based scholars have shaped Adams with an enduring interest in Southern epistemologies and decolonial approaches to knowledge. His work with these colleagues draws on a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives not only to reveal and resist the coloniality of knowledge in mainstream (or “Whitestream”) psychology, but also articulate models of development that promote sustainable ways of being for humanity in general.


Research interests:

  • Cultural Psychology
  • Historical Consciousness
  • Sociocultural Foundations of Mind
  • Sociocultural Foundations of Ignorance
  • Perception of Racism
  • Cultural-Psychological Foundations of Relationship
  • Truth and Reconciliation in African Settings


Teaching interests:

  • Cultural Psychology
  • Ecological Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Oppression and Liberation
  • African Studies
  • Global and International Studies