Wilkinson, Conor

Field: Africa; Advisor: Stephens; Year: 2017

Research and Interests
I am a PhD Candidate in African history. I use diverse ethnolinguistic and ecological data to reconstruct the history of human-plant-insect relationships in Africa's Great Lakes Region over the last several millennia. Inspired by local place-based cosmologies and by burgeoning inter-species scholarship, my work offers a deep-time history of social composition and differentiation among both human and non-human inhabitants of Equatorial Africa. My research is grounded primarily in the area between Lake Victoria and the Kivu Rift, a region that straddles contemporary Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo. Beyond this region, I also research and teach the history of the continent from the birth of humanity to the present, world history, environmental history, and the global history of science and technology. This broad range of interests has led to my co-hosting the podcast Histories of Science in Africa, as well as to other comparative work in progress (#AmWriting!). Since 2019 I have been the graduate coordinator of Columbia's African History Workshop.


MA/MPhil, African History, Columbia University

MA, History, University of British Columbia

BA, History & Geography, Huron University College


Teaching is my favorite thing about being a historian. As of 2022-23, I am a Lecturer in History at Huron University College in London, Ontario, Canada, where I teach undergraduate courses in world history and African history. I will also teach an online African history class for the University of Montana in Spring 2023. In the last several years at Columbia, Barnard, and UBC (Vancouver), I have taught students in world, African, European, and Middle Eastern history. 

Besides teaching and writing, recent work that I've undertaken includes a research assistantship for a project on the global history of socio-economic rights and a course assistantship in Columbia's Strategic Communication master's program. I've also coordinated a number of workshop series through Columbia's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.