Education Ph.D., History, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1992.
M.A., History, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1987.
B.A., History, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, 1985.
Professor, Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University, 2008-present.
Program Chair, Master of Liberal Arts Program, Advanced Academic Programs, Zanvyl Krieger School of the Arts and Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, 2015-present.
Vice Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences, Zanvyl Krieger School of the Arts and Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, 2013-15.
Director, International Studies Program, Zanvyl Krieger School of the Arts and Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, 2013-14.
Visiting Professor, Institut d’Études Politiques de Madagascar, Antananarivo, 2012-present.
Associate Professor, Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University, 2003-2008.
Assistant Professor, Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University, 1998-2003.
Assistant Professor, Department of History, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1994-1998.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Stanford University, 1993-1994.
Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora. (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 2009) xx + 378p. Critical Perspectives on Empire Series. Winner: 2010 Wesley-Logan Book Prize in African Diaspora History, American Historical Association. Finalist: 2010 Melville Herskovits Book Prize for African Studies, African Studies Association of the U.S.
Ratsitatanina’s Gift: A Tale of Malagasy Ancestors and Language in Mauritius. (Réduit: University of Mauritius Press, 2009) vii + 63p. Centre for Research on Slavery and Indenture Series.
History and Memory in the Age of Enslavement: Becoming Merina in Highland Madagascar, 1770-1822. (Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann; Oxford, U.K.: James Currey; Cape Town, South Africa: David Philip, 2000) xxxii + 414p. Social History of Africa Series.
Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic in an African Kingdom (Madagascar) & The Corrollers: An Indian Ocean Family (France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, South Asia), Book manuscripts in preparation.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Literacy and Power in Madagascar,” Journal of African History, in press.
“Slaving in Africa,” in The Princeton Companion to Atlantic History, Edited by Joseph C. Miller (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015), 425-429.
“African Slave Trades in Global Perspective,” in The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History, Edited by Richard Reid and John Parker (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 56-76.
“La rue coloniale: Ratsitatanina et la créolité dans l’océan Indien,” in Henri Médard, Marie-Laure Derat, Thomas Vernet and Marie Pierre Ballarin, eds., Traites et esclavages en Afrique Orientale et dans l'océan Indien (Paris: Karthala, 2013), 441-460.
“Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life: Aristide Corroller between Islands and Empires,” Journal of Social History, Volume 45, Number 2 (Winter 2011), 366-389.
“Promiscuous Translation: Working the Word at Antananarivo,” in The Power of Doubt: Essays in Honor of David Henige, edited by Paul S. Landau (Madison, Wisconsin.: Parallel Press, 2011), 89-111.
“Horrid Journeying: Narratives of Enslavement and the Global African Diaspora,” Journal of World History Volume 19, Number 4 (December 2008), 431-464.
“The Vernacular Life of the Street: Ratsitatanina and Indian Ocean Créolité,” Slavery and Abolition Volume 29, Number 3 (September 2008), 327-359.
“Enslaved Malagasy and Le Travail de la Parole at the Pre-Revolutionary Mascarenes,” Journal of African History, Volume 48, Number 3 (November 2007), 457-479.
“African Diasporas and the Atlantic,” in Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and Erik R. Seeman, eds., The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000 (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2007), 129-147.
“Malagasy at the Mascarenes: Publishing in a Servile Vernacular before the French Revolution,” Comparative Studies in Society and History Volume 49, Number 3 (July 2007), 582-610.
“Colonies Lost: God, Hunger, and Conflict in Anosy (Madagascar) to 1674,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Volume 27, Number 2, (2007), 345-366.
“La diaspora malgache aux Mascareignes (XVIIIe et XIXe siècles): notes sur la démographie et la langue,” Revue Historique de l'Océan Indien Volume 1 (2005), 143-155.
“Larceny in Madagascar and Beyond,” Slavery and Abolition Volume 24, Number 1 (April 2003), 153-172.
“The Origins of Malagasy Arriving at Mauritius and Réunion, 1770-1820: Expanding the History of Mascarene Slavery,” in Vijaya Teelock and Edward Alpers, eds., History, Memory and Identity (Port Louis, Mauritius: University of Mauritius, 2001), 195-236.
“The Route of the Slave from Highland Madagascar to the Mascarenes: Commercial Organization, 1770-1820,” in Ignace Rakoto and Eugène Mangalaza, eds., La route des esclaves: système servile et traite dans l'est malgache (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001), 119-180.
“Austronesian Mortuary Ritual in History: Transformations of Secondary Burial (Famadihana) in Highland Madagascar,” Ethnohistory Volume 48, Number 1-2 (Winter-Spring 2001), 123-155.
“A Cultural Politics of Bedchamber Construction and Progressive Dining in Antananarivo: Ritual Inversions During the Fandroana of 1817,” in Karen Middleton, ed., Ancestors, Power and History in Madagascar (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 37-70.
“Reconsidering Trauma, Identity, and the African Diaspora: Enslavement and Historical Memory in Nineteenth-Century Highland Madagascar,” William and Mary Quarterly 3d Series, Volume 56, Number 2 (April 1999), 335-62.
“‘Capacities and Modes of Thinking’: Intellectual Engagements and Subaltern Hegemony in the Early History of Malagasy Christianity,” The American Historical Review Volume 102, Number 4 (October 1997), 969-1002.
“A Census of Slaves Exported from Central Madagascar to the Mascarenes Between 1769 and 1820,” in Rakoto Ignace, ed., L’esclavage à Madagascar: aspects historiques et résurgences contemporaines (Antananarivo: Institut de Civilisations, Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, 1997), 131-145.
“A Cultural Politics of Bedchamber Construction and Progressive Dining in Antananarivo: Ritual Inversions During the Fandroana of 1817,” Journal of Religion in Africa Volume 27, Number 3 (August 1997), 239-269.
“Desperately Seeking ‘the Merina’ (Central Madagascar): Reading Ethnonyms and their Semantic Fields in African Identity Histories,” Journal of Southern African Studies Volume 22, Number 4 (December 1996), 541-560.
“Multiple Narratives, Gendered Voices: Remembering the Past in Highland Central Madagascar,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies Volume 28, No. 2 (1995), 295-325.
Selected Awards and Fellowships
Principal Investigator, Department of Education, Title VI grant for Foreign Language Areas Studies (FLAS) fellowships, Johns Hopkins University, 2014-2018, grant number P015B140079, $960,000.
Principal Investigator, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant titled “Bridging the Arts and Humanities at Johns Hopkins,” in support of the creation of a humanities music major, 2014-2015, $1,200,000.
2010 Wesley-Logan Book Prize in African Diaspora History, The American Historical Association, for Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Finalist for the 2010 Melville Herskovits book prize in all disciplines of African Studies, The African Studies Association of the U.S., for Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2002-2003 Competition, employed in 2003-2006.
National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Research, Fellowship for University Teachers, Academic Year 2003-2004.
Social Science Research Council, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1992-1993.
Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 1990-1991.
Social Science Research Council, International Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship, 1990.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, 1989.
Scandinavian-American Foundation Dissertation Research Grant, 1988-1989.
Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 1985-1988.
Speaker: Roundtable on “Future Directions in Indian Ocean Studies” at the conference “Cosmopolitan Currents in the Indian Ocean: New Conceptual Models for Studying Cultural Integration and Change,” New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 14-17 March 2015 (roundtable, 17 March).
Paper: “Antananarivo: Portrait of an Indian Ocean Slaving State,” at “New Perspectives on Slaveries in the African World: A Historical Conference,” Advanced Research Collaborative and the Ph.D. Program in History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), 6 March 2015.
Keynote Address: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life: Aristide Corroller between Islands and Empires,” at the conference “Metamorphosis: Transformations of Borders, Identity, and Place,” Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park, 27 February 2015.
Lecture: “Literacy and Power in Madagascar: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and the ‘Literary Bundle’ in the Nineteenth Century,” Department of History, World History Seminar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, 14 November 2014.
Lecture: “The Corroller Family, French Empire, and the Boundaries of African and Oceanic History,” African Studies Center Seminar, Indiana University, Bloomington, 16 April 2014.
Paper: “Literacy and Power in Madagascar,” Special joint seminar of The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research and The Center for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 12 August 2013.
Discussant: for a panel titled “Urban and Rural Spaces in Colonial and Independent Africa,” at a conference titled “Migration and Sociopolitical Mobility in Africa and the African Diasporas, an International Conference Honoring Edward A. Alpers,” Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles, 11-12 April 2013.
Paper: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life: Aristide Corroller between Islands and Empires,” in the seminar series titled “Slavery, Memory, and African Diasporas,” Department of History, Howard University, Washington, D.C., 27 March 2013.
Lecture: “Pre-Colonial African History,” Africa Trainee Course, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., 25 February 2013.
Lecture: “Chansons madécasses, Évariste de Parny, and Maurice Ravel: French Empire, its Connections, and Ideas,” Great Books Course, Homewood Campus, Johns Hopkins University, 13 November 2012.
Discussant: “1962/2012: the World After Algerian Independence,” Centre Louis Marin, Johns Hopkins University, 2 November 2012.
Paper: “Heterogeneity in the Borderlands,” at conference titled “Borderlands: Imperialism, Colonialism, Environment and Culture,” Vilnius, Lithuania, 22-23 September 2012.
Talk: “Literacy, Bureaucracy, and Military Dictatorship in Nineteenth-Century Madagascar,” Institute d’Études Politiques, Antananarivo, Madagascar, 1 August 2012.
Paper: “Literacy and Power in Madagascar,” Languages of Citizenship in Translation: Conversations Across Africa and the Indian Ocean, Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K., 16-17 March 2012.
Talk: “Les Mascareignes et les Antilles: Deux océans de colonisation française,” Séminaire Les mondes de l’océan Indien, Centre d’études des mondes africains, Université de Paris I (Sorbonne), Paris, France, 8 December 2011.
Plenary Session Keynote Lecture: “Fragments of Malagasy History: Aristide Corroller and the Sociology of Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean,” delivered at “Anthropologie Comparative des Sociétés Insulaires de l’Océan Indien Occidental: Terrains et Théories,” Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative (LESC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (Maison de l’archéologie et de l’ethnologie), et par le Département de la Recherche et de l’enseignement du musée du quai Branly, Paris, France, 27 April 2011.
Talk: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life, Aristide Corroller between Islands and Empires,” at a conference titled Slave Trade, Slavery and Transition to Indenture in Mauritius and the Mascarenes, 1715-1840,” jointly organized by the Government of Mauritius’s Truth and Justice Commission and the University of Paris I (Sorbonne), University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius, 12 April 2011.
Talk: “Ten Myths about Africa, Africans, and African History,” delivered to the History Club, The Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland, 1 March 2011.
Paper & Seminar: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life, Aristide Corroller between Islands and Empires,” The Annenberg Seminar in History, Department of History, The University Pennsylvania, 30 November 2010.
Concluding Comments: “Shadows, Mirrors, ‘White Spaces’: Thinking Algeria with and beyond the Limits of Francophone Scholarship in North America,” Conference sponsored by the Centre Louis Marin, The Johns Hopkins University, 22 October 2010.
Paper: “An Empire of Counting: The Multiple Origins of Imerina’s Military Bureaucracy and Personal Identity Registration Systems (c. 1820-1845),” Workshop on the Comparative History of Registration, Saint John’s College, Cambridge (UK), 7-10 September 2010, and funded by the British Academy.
Talk: “Sociolinguistics and the Historian of Africa’s Indian Ocean Islands,” Africa Colloquium on Intersections between the Disciplines, Department of African Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany), 16 June 2010.
Talk: “A Very Funny School: Youth and the Work of the Word at Antananarivo,” University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban (South Africa), 2 June 2010.
Talk: “La lecture, l’écriture, et les mathématiques dans un royaume de l’Océan Indien: les devoirs de Jeunesse à Madagascar (1820-1850),” in the Faculty-Graduate Seminar on Societies of the Western Indian Ocean (Sociétés de l’Océan Indien Occidental), organized by Faranirina Rajaonah and Dominique Bois, UFR en Géographie, Histoire, Sciences de la Société, Département d’Histoire, Université de Paris VII (Diderot), Paris, France, 18 March 2010.
Talk: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life: Aristide Corroller between Identity and Empire,” Musée Quay Branly (to an academic audience assembled primarily from the various campuses of the Université de Paris), Paris, France, 17 June 2009.
Talk: “Fragments of an Indian Ocean Life: Aristide Corroller between Identity and Empire,” at the workshop “Marginal Centres: Empire and Biography in the Indian Ocean,” Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 11-12 June 2009.
Talk: “Ten Myths about Africa, Africans, and African History,” sponsored by the Africa Forum and the Midshipmen African Studies Association of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, 31 March 2009.
Talk: “Barthélemy Huet de Froberville and Britain’s Empire of Letters in the Indian Ocean,” Department of History, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius, 23 January 2009.
Keynote Address: “Barthélemy Huet de Froberville and Britain’s Empire of Letters in the Indian Ocean,” at conference titled “Print Cultures, Nationalisms, and Publics of the Indian Ocean,” University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 15-17 January 2009.
Chair: Presidential Panel, “Historians and Asia: The Missionary Matrix of a Historiographical Revolution,” American Historical Association, 123rd Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y., 3 January 2009.
Talk: “On Conducting Historical Research in Africa,” panel organized by the Research Division of the American Historical Association, 123rd Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y., 4 January 2009.
English, native language.
Norwegian, reading knowledge.
Kiswahili, some reading knowledge.