Why is a neighborhood in Mali's capital named after Egypt, while a neighborhood in Egypt's capital is named after a province of the Mali empire? What connects Mecca to Jamaica?
My dissertation tackles these questions by examining the global travels and writings of pilgrims, merchants, and enslaved individuals from present-day Mali, in the Western Sahel, over the span of two centuries.
DEVELOPING A NEW APPROACH TO MIGRATION AND POLICY-MAKING IN AFRICA (with E. Tendayi Achiume and Anita Vukovic)
Our goal is to facilitate an interdisciplinary exploration of historical and contemporary southern African migration with the aim of distilling guiding principles and concrete proposals for empirically-grounded African migration policy. Our theoretical premise is that cross-border migration reflects histories of deep socio-economic interconnection—much of it rooted in colonial-era political economy—and that migration policy that can accommodate and respect this interconnection can produce more ethical and humane outcomes than the status quo.
Field research for the first project is funded with a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council and Mellon Foundation. The second project is supported with a grant from the Luskin Center for History and Policy.