Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Columbia University
Website URL
precolonial Africa, gender, social difference, East Africa
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I specialize in the history of precolonial and early colonial East Africa from the late first millennium CE through the twentieth century. My first monograph, A History of African Motherhood: The Case of Uganda, 700-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), traced the history of motherhood as a social institution and an ideology across over a millennium of Ugandan political, economic and social change. I am currently working a history of poverty and wealth as economic and social concepts in eastern Uganda over the past two thousand years. I am the co-editor of Doing Conceptual History in Africa (Berghahn Books, 2018), which critically examines what it means to write conceptual history on the continent. My work has been published in the American Historical Review, the Journal of African History, Past and Present, and African Studies Review.

Recent Publications

“Poverty’s Pasts: A Case for Longue Durée Studies,” article in forum on Poverty in Africa, Journal of African History 59, no. 3 (2018): 399-409,

“Bereft, Selfish and Hungry: Greater Luhyia Concepts of the Poor in Precolonial East Africa,” American Historical Review 123, no. 3 (2018): 789-816,

co-edited with Axel Fleisch, Doing Conceptual History in Africa (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016), revised edition in paperback 2018

“‘Whether They Promised Each Other Some Thing Is Difficult to Work Out’: The Complicated History of Marriage in Uganda,” African Studies Review 59, no. 1 (2016): 127-53,

A History of African Motherhood: The Case of Uganda, 700-1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); paperback edition 2015,

“The Great Lakes States of Eastern Africa,” in Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies, ed. Thomas Spear (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013),

“Birthing Wealth? Motherhood and Poverty in East-Central Uganda, c. 700-1900,” Past and Present 215 (2012): 235-268,

“Lineage and Society in Precolonial Uganda,” Journal of African History 50, no. 2 (2009): 203-221,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Ancient, Medieval, Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Economic History, Family, Gender, Rural & Agrarian History, Women