Abosede George

Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies

Abosede George joined the faculty of Barnard College and Columbia University in 2007. She received her PhD in History in 2006 from Stanford University.  Her research and teaching interests have been focused on urban history of Africa, the history of childhood and youth in Africa, and the study of women, gender, and sexuality in African History. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Social History, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and the Scholar and Feminist Online.  Her new book, Making Modern Girls: A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press in their New African Histories series.

Increasingly her research interests have turned to the 19th century in Lagos, to issues of gender, ethnicity, migration, and the records of reverse diaspora communities from the Americas, the Caribbean, and other regions of West Africa. She is currently at work on The Ekopolitan Project, a digital archive of family history sources on migrant communities in nineteenth- and twentieth century Lagos, West Africa. Visit: www.ekopolitanproject.org

She maintains faculty affiliations with the Africana Studies Program at Barnard, the Institute for African Studies at Columbia (IAS), the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), and the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference (CCASD). She received her B.A. from Rutgers University (1999) and her Ph.D. from Stanford (2006).

Selected Publications

Making Modern Girls: A history of girlhood, labor, and social development in 20th century colonial Lagos (Ohio University Press, New African Histories series, 2014) Winner of 2015 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize from the African Studies Association Women's Caucus                                                                                                                     

“Getting the Hang of It,” Scholar and Feminist Online: Gender, Justice, and Neoliberal Transformations, Fall 2013                                                                                                                         

"Within Salvation: Girl Hawkers and the Colonial State in Development Era Lagos," Journal of Social History, Spring 2011

"Feminist Activism and Class Politics: The Example of the Lagos Girl Hawker Project," Women's Studies Quarterly 35 (2007)





Academic Focus: 

African History

Childhood and Youth Studies

Social Reform in Africa

Urban History

Women's Studies

Migration Studies 


Introduction to African Studies                                                           

African History 1700-Present                                                                      

Lagos: From the pepper farm to the megacity                                          

Childhood and Youth in Modern Africa                                                     

Gender, Sexuality, and Power from Colonial to Contemporary Africa                                                                                                                                    

A Luta Continua: African Freedom Struggles in the 19th and 20th centuries

Women, Gender, and Sexuality in African Historical Studies (Graduate)                                                                                                          






Awards & Honors: 

Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, African Studies Association Women's Caucus, 2015

Professional Affiliations: 

African Studies Association

Nigerian Studies Association, President

Society for the History of Childood and Youth




Fall 2018 Office Hours: 804 Milstein Center 
Thursday 4PM - 6PM. Reservations strongly recommended.

To schedule meetings during Office Hours: 




B.A., Rutgers College

M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University

Related Web Sites: 

The Ekopolitan Project: Migrant Histories and Family Genealogies from 19th and 20th century Lagos. Visit: http://ekopolitanproject.org

Africana Studies


In the News

From March 25 to April 12, 2019, an interactive digital exhibit, “Beyond Boundaries: Exploring the World Through Language Learning,” was on display in Barnard Hall’s lobby and sought to bridge the gap between translation and cultural input, engage students and faculty to share how their own language journeys have shaped the way they see the world, broaden the viewer’s worldview to include other perspectives through multiple lenses, and measure users’ ability to communicate and interact within communities at home and around the globe. 

During the spring 2018 semester, Professor of History Premilla Nadasen taught the course “Mississippi Semester” to better help students acquire a deep knowledge of historical, political, economic and social issues.