Abikal Borah

Public History Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow


Abikal Borah is a Public History Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, a position that he holds as an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow. His research examines entangled histories of race and violence in modern South Africa. He is currently working on a book project titled, Aftertaste of Empire: Amandiya and Racial Violence in South Africa, 1843-1949. It narrates a history of migration, land, and labor in the century leading to the 1949 race riots between the indigenous Zulus and migrant Indians in the port city of Durban. Moving beyond the black and white dichotomy in South African historiography, it tells a history of racial violence between two historically oppressed communities. 

Research Focus



Edited volumes

Sotunsa, Mobolanle E. and Abikal Borah. eds. Imagining Vernacular Histories: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2020.

Borah, Abikal, Bisola Falola, and Toyin Falola. eds. Creative Incursions: Cultural Representations of Human Rights in Africa and the Black Diaspora. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2019.  

Journal articles

Borah, Abikal, Luis Picard Cataldo, and Toyin Falola. “Refashioning Gender Relations: Materiality of Love and Sex in Contemporary Nollywood.” Africa Today, 66, no. 1, (2019): 52-71.

Borah, Abikal. “Pluralizing the Narrative: Reconfiguring ‘Vernacular Modernism’ in Assamese Literary Culture.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 41, no. 3 (2018): 1-16. 

Borah, Abikal. A Region in a Mobile World: Integration of Southeastern sub-Himalayan Region into Global Capitalist Economy (1820-1900).” Review (Fernand Braudel Center), 37, no. 2 (2014): 87-127. 

Book Chapter

Falola, Toyin and Abikal Borah. “African Philosophies of History and Historiography.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Methods, Sources, and Historiography in African History, vol. 2, edited by Thomas Spear. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019, p. 1092-1110.  

Courses - Spring 2022