Dr Bronwen Everill

Director, Centre of African Studies
Bronwen Everill

PhD King's College London; MSt Oxford; AB Harvard

I'm broadly interested in comparative economic cultures and in telling histories of the economy in different ways. My research and publications have looked at the global history of humanitarianism and its relationship to political and economic liberalism; anti-slavery colonization; and the business history of abolition. I am particularly interested in examining these topics in the ways that they connect West African, US, and British imperial political, economic, and cultural history from the eighteenth century through the twentieth. 

I've taught courses at the graduate level on the African Atlantic, and on Memoir as a historical genre. At the undergraduate level, I teach the first year outlines The Twentieth Century World (O11) and North American History (O9), and the British World (T12). I supervise PhD students in material culture, Atlantic slavery and abolition, and African economic history. I am not currently accepting new PhD students.


Key Publications


Not Made By Slaves: Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition (Harvard University Press, 2020) 

see details on the Faculty bookshelf

Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Cambridge Series in Imperial and Post-colonial Studies, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 

Co-edited with Josiah Kaplan, The History and Practice of Humanitarian Intervention and Aid in Africa, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 

Articles and Chapters: 

“Profiting from Slavery and Emancipation: Compensation, Capital, and Collateral in Nineteenth-Century Senegal,” Business History Review, 2023

"Humanitarian priorities and West African agency in the British Empire" in J.Damousi, T.Burnard and A.Lester, eds. Humanitarianism, Empire, and Transnationalism, 1760-1995 (Manchester, 2022)

"Goods from the Sea Countries: Material Cosmopolitanism in Atlantic West Africa" in F.Gottman, ed., Commercial Cosmopolitanism?
Cross-Cultural Objects, Spaces, and Institutions in the Early Modern World 
(Routledge, 2021)

with Laura Channing, "On the Freetown Waterfront: Household Income and Informal Wage Labour in a Nineteenth Century Port City" African Economic History Network Working Papers Series, No. 58/2020

“For the services of shipwrights, coopers, and grumettas”: Freetown’s ship repair cluster in nineteenth-century Sierra Leone” History of Science (2020)

"Africa and the Early American Republic: Comments," Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 40, no. 2 (2020), 209-215.

with Matthew Hilton, Emily Baughan, Eleanor Davey, Kevin O’Sullivan, Tehila Sasson "History and Humanitarianism: A Conversation," Past & Present (2018)

"'All the baubles that they needed': Industriousness and slavery in Saint-Louis and Goree," Early American Studies, vol. 4, no 4 (Fall, 2017), 714-739.

"Experiments in Colonial Citizenship in Sierra Leone and Liberia," in B.Tomek and M.Hetrick, eds. Reconsiderations and Redirections in the Study of African Colonization (University Press of Florida, 2017)

"The Evolution of Economic Interventions and the Violence of International Accountability over the longue durée," in A.Warren and D.Grenfell, eds. Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention in the Twenty-first Century (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)

"Material culture and Sierra Leone's civilising mission in the nineteenth century" in B.Crosbie and M.Hampton, eds. The Cultural Construction of the British World (Manchester University Press, 2015)

“The Italo-Abyssian Crisis and the Rhetorical Shift from Slave to Refugee,” Slavery & Abolition 35, 2 (2014), 349-365. 

“‘The Colony has made no progress in Agriculture’: Contested Perceptions of Agriculture in the Colonies of Sierra Leone and Liberia,” in R.Law, S.Strickrodt, and S.Schwarz, eds. Commercial Agriculture as an Alternative to the Slave Trade (James Curry/Ohio University Press, 2013).

“Bridgeheads of Empire? Liberated African Missionaries in West Africa,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 41, Special Issue (2012), 789-805.

“‘Destiny seems to point me to that country’: African American Migration, Emigration, and Expansion,” Journal of Global History, 7, 1 (2012), 53-77. 

“British West Africa or ‘The United States of Africa’? Imperial Pressures on the Transatlantic Antislavery Movement, 1839-1842,” The Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, (2011).

Other Publications

Humanitarianism in Africa. Oxford Research Encyclopedia, African History, 2020.

Saint Louis, Senegal. Oxford Bibliography of Atlantic History. 2019.

Abolitionism and Africa. Oxford Bibliography of Atlantic History. 2016