Megan Vaughan

Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center

City University of New York

Megan Vaughan is a historian of Africa and of colonialism. Her first book, The Story of an African Famine: Gender and Famine in Twentieth-Century Malawi (C.U.P. 1987) drew on extensive oral historical research in Malawi. In 1991, she published Curing Their Ills: Colonial Power and African Illness (Polity and Stanford, 1991), an examination of colonial medical discourse and a critical discussion of the application of Foucault’s theories to colonial contexts. With the social anthropologist, Henrietta Moore, she carried our research on gender, rural livelihoods and nutrition in Northern Zambia which resulted in the publication of Cutting Down Trees: Gender, Nutrition and Agricultural Change in Northern Zambia (James Curry and Heinemann, 1987), which won the Herskovits Prize. Her 2005 book, Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in Eighteenth Century Mauritius (Duke University Press) is an examination of the creation of a slave society and the dynamics of race and ethnicity in one colonial context. It won the Society for French Colonial History award. She is currently completing a book with Walima Kalusa on death, belief and politics in Central Africa. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, past President of the African Studies Association of the U.K., and recipient of grants and fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Council of the U.K. She has taught at the Universities of Malawi, Oxford and Cambridge. She serves on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Past and Present.