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Judith A. Byfield


Judith A. Byfield

Mcgraw Hall, Room 320

Educational Background

Ph.D.  1993.  Columbia University

M.Phil. 1984. Columbia University

B.A. Dartmouth College 1980 


Field Member, Africana Studies and Research Center, College of Arts and Sciences

Field Member, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, College of Arts and Sciences


Fall 2016 Course Syllabi:

HIST 1590 History and Popular Culture in Africa

HIST 4291 Marriage and Divorce in the African Context


  • History
  • Africana Studies and Research Center

Graduate Fields

  • Africana Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
  • History


The primary focus of her scholarship has been women's social and economic history in Nigeria. Her research into in-depth studies on tie-dye production, World War II, Nigerian women's political activism and nationalism.

Currently, she is a Fulbright Global Scholar beginning a new project, “Curry Goat and Gari: West Indian Women in 20thCentury Lagosian Society.”  It is inspired by the West Indian women she met during her research trips to Nigeria. Many met their husbands in the UK and moved to Nigeria with them.  She became fascinated by the very creative ways in which they bridged their Caribbean and British backgrounds with Nigerian cultures.  This project hopes to reveal new insights about diaspora formation and transnationalism through the experiences of these dynamic and enterprising women.


Fall 2021

Spring 2022


A Great Upheaval: Women and Nation in Post-War Nigeria (Ohio University Press, forthcoming).

Global Africa: Into the Twenty-First Century, co-editor with Dorothy Hodgson (University of California Press, 2017).

Africa and World War II, co-editor with Carolyn Brown, Timothy Parsons, Ahmad Sikainga. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Gendering the African Diaspora: Women, Culture, and Historical Change in the Caribbean and Nigerian Hinterland,co-editor with LaRay Denzer and Anthea Morrison. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).

Cross Currents: Building Bridges Across American and Nigerian Studies, Editor. (Ibadan, Nigeria: Book Builders, 2009).

The Bluest Hands: A Social and Economic History of Women Indigo Dyers in Western Nigeria, 1890 – 1940 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002).