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Dr Vincent Hiribarren

Dr Vincent Hiribarren

Vincent HiribarrenLecturer in Modern African History

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 7878
S8.24, Strand Building
Department of History
King's College London
London, WC2R 2LS


I trained as a History and Geography teacher and taught in France, China, Guinea and England. From 2008 to 2012, I undertook a PhD on the history of Borno, Nigeria at the University of Leeds. The exact title of my thesis was: “From a kingdom to a Nigerian state: the territory and boundaries of Borno 1810-2010”. From January to June 2013, I was a Leverhulme Teaching fellow at the University of Leeds where I taught in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • African History
  • Archives
  • Borders
  • Borno
  • Cartography
  • Digital Humanities
  • Nigeria
  • World History
My first bookA History of Borno: Trans-Saharan African Empire to Failing Nigerian State (Hurst, 2015) engages in the history of West Africa with a particular focus on the historical continuity of territories and borders of Borno, a region located on the Nigerian shores of Lake Chad. 
I am also profoundly interested in cartography not only the studying of maps but also their creation. You can have a look at my website to see some of the Digital Humanities projects I am currently working on.
My own work with archives located in Britain, France, Germany, Nigeria, Niger led me to examine the relationship between archives and history in an African context.
Selected publications
Book co-editor: Intelligence in Colonial Context, Presses Universitaires Paris Sorbonne, 2015. Book chapter: “The War against the UPC in British Cameroons”

Book: A History of Borno: Trans-Saharan Empire to Failing Nigerian State (London: Hurst, 2015)

Encyclopaedia entry: “Kanem-Borno Empire”, The Encyclopedia of Empire, ed. by John MacKenzie, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

Article: “A European and African Joint-Venture: The Production of Colonial Knowledge in Borno, Nigeria (1902-1960)”, History in Africa, 40 (2013), 77-98

Digital Humanities publications: The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe Database Visualisations and The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe Database Maps in collaboration with Simon Burrows

Journal co-editor: Special issue of Cartes et Géomatique, journal of the Comité français de Cartographie: “Mapping Africa from the ninth to the nineteenth century”, 210 (2011)
For a complete list of publications, please see Vincent's full research profile.

I am specialised in African History and have already taught survey modules on the history of Africa since 1700, on the history of colonial Algeria or on world history in general. I have also analysed in depth with my students books such as Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom or Roger Chartier’s, The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution. I am currently the module conveyor for a module called 'Worlds of the British Empire'.

Expertise and Public Engagement

My research deals with Borno, a territory mainly known in the media as the cradle of a terrorist Islamist group, Boko Haram. I have travelled to this region located on the north-eastern corner of Nigeria and my last monograph analyses the last two hundred years of history of this region.

I also work on various Digital Humanities projects which are published on my website in order to engage with a wider audience. For example, I am currently working with Dr Nicholas Grant to develop a crowd-sourced project that maps key travels and events in the development of the global anti-apartheid movement in the world from 1948 to 1994.

In 2014, I also co-founded a blog called Africa4 for the French newspaper Libération. With more than 100,000 unique visitors in less than six months, our blog has reached a wide audience in France but also in many French-speaking countries in Africa.

Twitter: @bixhiribarren


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