West African weaver in the late 18th century

West African weaver in the late 18th century

Greetings! I am an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, USA where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in African history. I received my PhD in African and African American Studies from Harvard University in 2016.  Trained as an historian, I deploy a set of interdisciplinary strategies both to map and to re-interpret Africans’ historical roles in shaping the contemporary world.

Areas of Specialization: West Africa (Guinea, Mali, Senegal); early and contemporary African history; Manden studies; Atlantic slave trade and Africa; history of textiles and dress.

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My book manuscript, The Texture of Change: Cloth, Commerce, and History in West Africa, 1700-1850, re-examines historical change across a region of western Africa from Senegal to Sierra Leone from the perspective of the transregional commerce in textiles, a major trade that linked African producers and consumers to exchange networks that were effectively global in scale. This research illuminates African peoples’ varied engagements with the global economy in the early modern period beyond Atlantic slaving. It considers the significance of a regional African indigo cloth economy to wider commercial exchanges, that of India as a source of textiles desired by African merchants and consumers, and that of the Indian Ocean generally to West African and Atlantic networks.

Before Harvard, I earned an MFA in Non-Fiction Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Black Studies and French from Oberlin College.