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Inaugural lecture of Shane Doyle as Professor of African History: 'The Family in African History'

Thursday 5 December 2019, 17:30
1.08 Parkinson Building

The Leeds University Centre for African Studies is delighted to announce Shane Doyle's inaugural lecture as Professor of African History, which will be hosted at the University of Leeds on Thursday 5th December 2019 at 5:30pm, room TBC. All are welcome to join us for this fascinating presentation entitled 'The Family in African History'.


In recent years politicians across Africa have increasingly focused on family values and familial breakdown. Yet many researchers have questioned the validity or unity of the family as an analytical concept within African Societies. This lecture will tell the long history of the family, in order to explain both its growing political relevance and the enduring questions it raises for scholars. From the era of slavery, through the colonial crises around marriage and childhood, to the postcolonial challenges brought by HIV and rapid population growth, the family has been shaped by political and social conflict, even as its precision definition has been repeatedly challenged.


I did my undergraduate degree in history at Cambridge, then took a masters in African Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies before returning to Cambridge to work for a PhD on the environmental and demographic history of Bunyoro, a kingdom in western Uganda. While writing up my dissertation I became the assistant director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa, where I worked from 1997 to 2000. I then held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure until I came to Leeds in 2003.

I am Editor of the Journal of African History, and a member of the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and the Yorkshire African Studies Network

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