Edward A. Alpers

Professor and Department Chair


email: alpers@history.ucla.edu


Fields of interest:  Eastern Africa, Indian Ocean world, African diaspora

Ned Alpers 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 Committee (2001).

Professor 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.


Recent Articles

“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.

"East Central Africa," in Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (eds.), The History of Islam in Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000), pp. 303-325.

“Recollecting Africa: Diasporic Memory in the Indian Ocean World,” African Studies Review, 43/1 (2000), pp. 83-99.

“Indian Ocean 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.

“Becoming ‘Mozambique’: Diaspora and Identity in Mauritius,” in Teelock and Alpers, History, Memory and Identity, pp. 117-155.

“La diaspora Africana,” La Vanguardia and La Vanguardia Digital (Barcelona, Spain), 21 October 2002.

“The African 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.

“Soldiers, slaves and saints: An overview of the African presence in India,” Kenya Past and Present, 34 (2003), pp. 47-54.

“Africans in 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: Ediciones Almar/Ambos Mundos, 2004), pp. 3-13.

"Folk Art and Personal Independence in Tanzania: Fundi Mdawalo bin Milonge,” African Arts, 37, 2 (2004), pp. 44-51, 94.

“The Idea of Marronage: Politics and Literature in Réunion,” Slavery & Abolition, 25, 2 (2004), pp. 18-29; 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 Press).


History Faculty Index


History Home