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Durham University

Research & business

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Professor Justin Willis

Professor (Modern African History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41073

(email at

Justin Willis' work has been largely concerned with identity, authority and social change in eastern Africa over the last two hundred years. With colleagues from Warwick and Birmingham, he is currently completing work on a major ESRC-funded comparative history of elections in Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. He is developing a new project on the history of saving and lending in Africa since the 1940s.

Areas of Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Willis has supervised doctoral students working on various aspects of modern eastern African history. Currently he has students working on politics and islam on the Kenya coast since the 1950s; the history of banking in Sudan since the 1950s; ethnicity in northern Uganda in the twentieth century; and women's testominies around violence in the Rwanda genocide. Prospective students who would like to discuss ideas for doctoral research are very welcome to contact him.

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Projects

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Electoral history
  • Modern East Africa
  • Saving and money in Africa
  • Sudan in the 19th and 20th centuries

Indicators of Esteem

  • : Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Other (Print)

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Africa: Modern history and politics of eastern Africa, with a particular focus on elections. The social and economic history of alcohol in Africa.