I'm a legal historian and work in Africa and with West African migrants around the globe, and Professor of History in the Department of History in the College of Social and Behavioral Science. My research explores mobility, labor, and exploitation through time and space, and I have written about historical and contemporary slavery, human trafficking, cuisine and globalization, human rights, refugee issues and asylum policies. I am the Editor-in-Chief of the African Studies Review, the flagship journal of the African Studies Association (USA). My first monograph — Locality, Mobility and 'Nation' (Rochester 2007) — examined the experiences of Ewe men and women under French mandate rule in Togo, and will shortly appear in French. My second monograph — Amistad's Orphans (Yale 2014) — examined West African child smuggling in the 19th century, reconstructing a familiar story, namely the 1840-41 Amistad Supreme Court case, through the lens of children’s experiences of enslavement. I’m currently working on a history of postcolonial African social and political persecution, drawing on the narratives of African asylum seekers in Europe and North America. I am the series editor for the Bloomsbury Academic Press series, A Cultural History of Slavery and Human Trafficking.
You can find further information about me, including the courses I teach, and my publications, at https://history.arizona.edu/user/benjamin-n-lawrance