Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
SOAS, University of London
Website URL
West Africa, Mali, migration, gender, law, slavery
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

My principal research interests lie in the field of migration history, gender studies and the history of slavery in West Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My monograph, published by Karthala (Paris 2009), reintegrates women into the narrative of modern African migration history.

My research for the past five years has focused on emancipation processes in the context of the end of slavery in Mali and Senegal. In 2014, I edited a documentary film recounting the history of the “Diambourou”, communities of formerly enslaved populations who fought for their freedom in Kayes, Mali, in the first half of the twentieth century. In the continuation of this documentary, I am currently working on my second monograph on slave resistance in Kayes, Mali (1890-1940).

From 2008 to 2010, I managed a project to salvage 100 years of archival materials in Mali in cooperation with the Malian Ministry of Territorial Affairs, the French Embassy in Mali and the authorities of the District of Kayes. During this project, I trained ten Malian assistant archivists in Kayes for four months.

In 2016, I re-iterated a similar pilot project with the support of the British Library Endangered Programme to digitize archives in Kita, Mali. I’m currently the Principal investivator on a BL major grant to digitize the entire colonial collection (1889-1960).

I am also the Principal investigator on the BA/Leverhulme research grant “Local Historical Writing in Late Colonial Guinea” and the ESRC Frontier project “Resilience in West African Frontier Communities”. For both projects, the goal is to collect material and immaterial heritage produced by marginalized communities in West Africa and make it available to a broader audience through print and digital media, including a mobile app.

Recent Publications



(with E. Bertho) Local Historical Writing in Late Colonial French Guinea (under contract with Brill)


Les migrantes ignorées du Haut-Sénégal, 1900-1946 (Paris: Karthala).

Documentary Film


“The Diambourou: Slavery and Emancipation in Kayes – Mali” (London: SOAS).


Edited Volume


(with J. Cabrita & F. Becker) Religion, Media and Marginality in Modern Africa (OUP).


(with E. Razy) Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (James Currey).


Articles in Refereed Journals


(with Francesca Declich) Special issue on “Memory & Migration in Africa and Beyond” in Africa, the Journal of the International Institute, including my own paper (co-written with B. County) on “Between Migration and Return: Memories of ‘Home’ in the Wake the Collapse of the Mali Federation”.


“Escaping Slavery and Building Diasporic Communities in French Soudan and Senegal, c. 1880-1940”, The International Journal of Historical African Studies 48 (2), 1-24.

“Historical Perspectives on Marriage, Migration, and Family Networks in the Region of Kayes, Mali”, Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales 31 (1), 39-55.


“Forced Labor, Resistance, and Masculinities in Kayes, French Sudan (1919-1946)”, International Labor and Working-Class History 86, 1–17.


“Listening to the History of Those Who Don’t Forget” History in Africa 40 (s1), 27-29.

(with Christoph Reinprecht) “Mémoires et Migrations en Afrique de l’Ouest et en France”, Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales 29(1), 7-22.


“Notes sur la captation de la main d’oeuvre enfantine dans la région de Kayes, Mali (1904-1955)”, Journal des Africanistes 81 (2), 49-60.


“Mémoires de l’esclavage dans la région de Kayes: Histoire d’une disparition”, Cahiers d’études africaines 197: Jeux de mémoires, 263-291.


Book Chapters


(with R. Tiquet) “Reforming State Violence in French West Africa: Relegation in the Epoch of Decolonization”, in N. Carpenter and B. Lawrance, eds. Africans in Exile: Mobility, Law, and Identity, Past and Present (IUP).


“Gender and the End of Slavery in the Region of Kayes, French Soudan: The Sams’ Court Cases (1925-1926)”, in African Slaves, African Masters: Politics, Memories, Social Life, ed. by Alice Bellagamba, Sandra Greene and Martin Klein (Trenton: AWP), pp. 59-80.

(with B. County) “Genre, génération et contrôle de la circulation des personnes entre le Mali et le Sénégal à l’heure de Modibo Keita (1959-1968)”, in M. Gomez (eds) L’Afrique en mutations : l’Afrique des individus, l’Afrique des générations (Paris: Karthala) (in press).


“Genre, travail et migrations forcées sur les plantations de sisal du Sénégal et du Soudan français (1900-1946), in Le travail colonial. Engagés et autres mains-d’oeuvre migrantes dans les empires 1850-1950, ed. by Issiaka Mandé and Eric Guerassimoff (Paris: Riveneuve), pp. 353-381.

(with E. Razy) “Introduction. Child Migration in Africa: Key Issues & New Perspectives”, in Child Migration in Africa: Key Issues & New Perspectives, ed. by E. Razy and M. Rodet (Oxford: James Currey), pp. 1-25.


“‘I Ask for Divorce Because My Husband Does not Let Me Go Back to My Country of Origin with My Brother’: Gender, Family, and the End of Slavery in the Region of Kayes, French Soudan (1890-1920)”, in Sex, Power and Slavery: The Dynamics of Carnal Relations under Enslavement, ed. by Gwyn Campbell and Elizabeth Elbourne (Athens: Ohio University Press), 182-202.

“Le Sous-Lieutenant Mansouka (c.1860-1920) : Un parcours d’esclave affranchi entre rébellion et allégeance au temps de la conquête coloniale française en Afrique” in Résistances et Mémoires des Esclavages. Espaces arabo-musulmans et transatlantiques, ed. by Olivier Leservoisier and Salah Trabelsi (Paris: Karthala), 75-97.


“Gender, Migration, and the end of Slavery in the Region of Kayes, French Soudan” in Tales of Slavery, ed. by Martin Klein, Sandra Greene and Alice Bellagamba (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 319-321.


“‘Under the Guise of Guardianship and Marriage’: Mobilizing Juvenile and Female Labor in the Aftermath of Slavery in Kayes, French Soudan, 1900-1939” in Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake. Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa, ed. by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Richard L. Roberts (Athens: Ohio University Press), 86-100.


“Continuum of Gendered Violence: The Colonial Invention of Female Desertion as a Customary Criminal Offense, French Soudan, 1900-1949”, in Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, ed. by Emily Burrill, Richard Roberts, and Elizabeth Thornburry (Athens: Ohio University Press), 74-93.

“‘Le Commandant a refusé catégoriquement de me redonner mes femmes’. Genre, émancipation des esclaves et migration au Soudan français (1900-1914)” in Les traites, les esclavages et leurs productions sociales et culturelles, ed. by Myriam Cottias, Elisabeth Cunin, and Antonio de Almeida Mendes (Paris: Karthala), 235-247.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Emancipation, Gender, Law, Migration & Immigration, Politics, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Slavery, Women