received his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1966. After teaching
at the University of Dar
es Salaam in Tanzania,
he joined the faculty at UCLA, returning to Africa for research, including
a year up country in Tanzania
and a Fulbright year at the Somali National University in Mogadishu.
His research and writing focus on the political economy of international
trade in eastern Africa through the nineteenth century, including the
cultural dimensions of this exchange system and its impact on gender
relations, with special attention to the wider world of the western
Indian Ocean. He has served as President of the
African Studies Association (1994) and Chair of its National Program
Alpers has published Ivory and Slaves in
East Central Africa (1975) and a wide range of chapters in books
and scholarly articles. He has co-edited with Pierre-Michel Fontaine
Walter Rodney: Revolutionary and Scholar (1982), with William
Worger and Nancy Clark Africa and the West: A Documentary
history from the Slave Trade to Independence (2001), with Vijaya
Teelock History, Memory, and Identity
(2001), with Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy Sidis
and Scholars: Essays on African Indians (2004), and with Gwyn Campbell and Michael Salman
Slavery and Resistance in Asia and Africa (2005). He is currently
writing a political economy of eastern Tanzania
in the nineteenth century while at the same time engaged in a long-term
study of the African diaspora in the Indian Ocean.
He will also be writing a text entitled The African Diaspora: A Global
Perspective. Professor Alpers has served as
chair or co-chair for fifty Ph.D. dissertations and presently chairs
or co-chairs the committees of ten advanced graduate students.
“Islam in the
Service of Colonialism? Portuguese Strategy during the Armed Liberation
Struggle in Mozambique,” Lusotopie: Enjeux contemporains dans les
espaces lusophones (Paris: Karthala, 1999), pp. 165-184.
Africa," in Nehemia Levtzion
and Randall L. Pouwels (eds.), The
History of Islam in
Africa (Athens: Ohio
University Press, 2000), pp. 303-325.
Africa: Diasporic Memory in the Indian Ocean World,”
African Studies Review, 43/1
(2000), pp. 83-99.
Africa: the island factor,” Emergences: Journal
for the Study of Media
and Composite Cultures, 10/2 (2000), pp. 373-386.
“A Complex Relationship:
Mozambique and the
Comoro Islands in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” Cahiers d’Études
Africaines, 161 (2001), pp. 73-95.
Diaspora and Identity in Mauritius,”
in Teelock and Alpers,
History, Memory and Identity, pp. 117-155.
Africana,” La Vanguardia and La Vanguardia
Digital (Barcelona, Spain),
diaspora in the Indian Ocean: a comparative perspective,”
in Shihan de
Silva Jayasuriya and Richard Pankhurst (eds.), The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean
(Trenton: Africa World Press,
2003), pp. 19-50.
“Flight to freedom:
Escape from slavery among bonded Africans in the Indian
Ocean world, c.1750-1970,”
Slavery and Abolition, 24, 2 (2003), pp. 51-68 and in Gwyn
Campbell (ed.), Slave Systems in Asia and the Indian Ocean: Origins
and Structures (London:
Frank Cass), pp. 51-68.
“Creolization and Slavery among ‘Mozambiques’ in Mauritius and Brazil,” ReviKiltir
Kreol, No, 3
(2003), pp. 31-38.
“What is African
Studies? Some Reflections,” with Allen F. Roberts, African Issues,
30, 3 (2003, misdated as 2002), pp. 11-18.
and saints: An overview of the African presence in India,” Kenya Past and Present, 34 (2003),
India and the Wider
Context of the Indian Ocean” in Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Alpers, Sidis and Scholars, pp. 27-41.
“Family and Identity
in the African Diaspora of the Indian Ocean World,”
in Olga Barrios and Frances Smith Foster (eds.), La Familia en África y la Diáspora Africana: Estudio Multidisciplinar/Family in Africa and the African Diaspora:
A Multidisciplinary Approach (Salamanca:
Mundos, 2004), pp. 3-13.
and Personal Independence in Tanzania: Fundi
Mdawalo bin Milonge,”
African Arts, 37, 2 (2004), pp. 44-51, 94.
Idea of Marronage: Politics and Literature
in Réunion,” Slavery & Abolition, 25, 2 (2004),
also in Alpers, Campbell and Salman,
Slavery and Resistance in Asia and Africa, pp. 37-48.
“‘Mozambiques’ in Brazil: Another Dimension
of the African Diaspora in the Atlantic World,” forthcoming
in José C. Curto and Renée Souloudre-LaFrance
(eds.), Africa and the Americas: Interconnections during the Slave
Trade (Lawrenceville, NJ: Africa World