Zuber, Thomas

Lecturer-in-Discipline, African History

Office Hours:

Spring 2024: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:00 pm, and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

Thomas Zuber is a social and economic historian of twentieth century West Africa. His research focuses on West African social movements for redistributive justice, in Burkina Faso and the Sahel, generally.  His research interests center on long-run histories of inequality and living standards, West African feminist and labour movements in the twentieth century. His dissertation, "We cultivate to redistribute: Child-rearing, Rural Development and the Politics of Inequality (1947-1991)," won the Shepard Bancroft Clough Prize for best dissertation in European History, broadly defined. He analyzes rural families’ political and social claims to economic redistribution, based on 18 months of research in Burkinabè, Senegalese, Ivorian, French and American archives, as well as an oral history project on childhood in 1940s-70s Burkina Faso.



With Isabelle Chort and Philippe De Vreyer, "Gendered Mobility Patterns in Senegal," Population, Vol. 75, Issue 2-3 (2020), pp. 297-323


Ph.D., African History, Columbia University 
M.Phil, African History Columbia University 
M.Phil, International Economics, Université Paris-Dauphine 
M.A. International Development and Political Economy, Fordham University 
B.A. History, New York University 


Thomas Zuber has taught a range of courses in historical methods and African History. At Columbia, he teaches courses in economic and gender history of Africa. In previous years, he taught a lecture at CCNY on World History 1500-present. He served as a Teaching Fellow in the Columbia University History Department and the Barnard College History Department, for courses on Modern African History, West African History, East African History and Ancient Egypt. 

Thomas Zuber has worked on a range of Public History and social justice projects at Columbia University. He worked on developing metadata for a digital archive project of Malian feminists (Projet Archives des Femmes). Prior to pursuing his PhD, Thomas worked as a Peace Corps Fellow at University Neighborhood Housing Program, working on housing rights in New York. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin for two years, with a focus on health and education.