Michael Kevane is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at Santa Clara University. Recent research focuses on the importance of libraries in promoting reading and the impacts on societies of a reading public, with articles published in academic journals such as Libri, World Libraries and Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France. He is the author of Women and Development in Africa: How Gender Works (Lynne Rienner, 2004). He has also published research articles on the performance of agrarian institutions and markets in Africa in journals such as World Development, Review of Development Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Africa. He is co-editor of a book, Kordofan Invaded: Peripheral Incorporation and Social Transformation in Islamic Africa (Brill, 1998). He is past President of the Sudan Studies Association, and co-director of Friends of African Village Libraries, a non-profit he co-founded in 2001 that has established numerous village libraries in rural Africa.