Gregory Mann

Gregory Mann


615 Fayerweather Hall
Phone: (212) 854-3168
Office Hours: Thursday 9:30-11am


Ph.D. — Northwestern University 2000
M.A. — Northwestern University 1995
B.A. — University of Georgia 1993

Interests and Research

Gregory Mann is an historian of francophone West Africa. His most recent book is From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel: the Road to Nongovernmentality (Cambridge, 2015). Drawing on research conducted primarily in Mali, the book analyzes the rise of novel forms of political rationality among governments and non-governmental organizations in the Sahel from 1946 to the late 1970s. His award-winning book Native Sons: West African Veterans and France in the 20th century was published by Duke University Press in 2006. Mann's articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of African History and Politique Africaine, among other publicationsHis writing on contemporary West African politics has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Review of African Political Economy, and in various media outlets. He blogs periodically with the Africa Is a Country collective (


  • West African History
  • Writing Contemporary African History
  • Africa and France
  • Islam in Africa
  • African Civilizations
  • Making African History: Between Field and Archive
  • Introduction to History and Historiography
  • Historiography of Africa
  • Neoliberal Africa


The End of the Road: Nongovernmentality in the West African Sahel (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Native Sons: West African Veterans and France in the 20th century

Recent Articles

2013 - With Baz Lecocq, et al., “One Hippopotamus and Eight Blind Analysts: a Multivocal Analysis of the 2012 Political Crisis in the Divided Republic of Mali,” Review of African Political Economy, 1-15; doi: 10.1080/03056244.2013.799063

2013 - “Afropositivism,” Current Anthropology, ‘Hot Spots’ Forum: Mali.

2013 - “Anticolonialism and Social Science: Georges Balandier, Madeira Keita, and ‘the Colonial Situation’ in French Africa,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 55, 1: 92-119.

2012 - “Citizenship after Empire: Recognizing ‘French’ West Africans in Sudan,” in Maghreb et Sciences Sociales: De la Colonie à l’état-nation, constructions identiaires au Maghreb, Noureddine Amara, ed., Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain (Tunis) and Karthala (Paris), 119-31.

2012 - "Knowing the Postcolony: Sociology and Socialist Government in 1960s Mali," In la Fabrique des Savoirs en Afrique subsaharienne, Didier Nativel and Daouda Gary-Tounakara, eds., Paris, Karthala: 91-108

2012 - "The Mess in Mali," Foreign Policy, April 5.

2009 - "What was the indigénat? The 'Empire of law' in French West Africa," Journal of African History 50, 3: 331-53.

2008 - "An Africanist's Apostasy: On Luise White's Speaking with Vampires," International Journal of African Historical Studies 41, 1: 117-21.

2007 - With Baz Lecocq, "Between Empire, umma, and Muslim Third World: The French Union and African Pilgrims to Mecca, 1946-1958," Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 27, 2: 367-83.

2007 - "Colonialism Now: Contemporary Anti-colonialism and the facture coloniale," Politique Africaine 105: 181-200.

2005 - "Locating Colonial Histories: Between France and West Africa," American Historical Review 110, 2: 409-34.

2005 - "Des tirailleurs Sénégalais aux sans-papiers: Universaux et particularismes," In L'Esclavage, la Colonisation, et après?: France, Etats-Unis, Grande Bretagne, Patrick Weil and Stéphane Dufoix, eds. Presses Universitaires de la France: 411-36.

2003 - "Immigrants and Arguments in France and West Africa," Comparative Studies in Society and History 45, 2: 362-85.

2003 - "Violence, Dignity and Mali's New Model Army, 1960-68," Mande Studies 5: 65-82.