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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 and joined the History Department at King's College London in September 2013.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • African History
  • Archives
  • Borders
  • Borno
  • Cartography
  • Digital Humanities
  • Nigeria
  • World History

My first book A History of Borno: Trans-Saharan African Empire to Failing Nigerian State(Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2017) 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 my Digital Humanities projects.

I am currently writing a book called Beyond Boko Haram which will be published by Plon in 2018.

Selected publications

Book: A History of Borno: Trans-Saharan Empire to Failing Nigerian State (London: Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2017)

Book chapter: “Hiding the European colonial past: a comparison of archival policies”in Displaced Archives, ed. by James Lowry (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017)

Digital Humanities: Digitisation and publication of the diplomatic archives of Madagascar (1820-1897) with the British Library

Article: co-authored with Simon Burrows, Jason Ensor, Per Henningsgaard, “Mapping Print, Connecting Cultures”, Library & Information History, vol. 32, no. 4, Nov 2016, 259–271

Report: “Why researchers should publish archive inventories online: the case of the archives of French Equatorial Africa”, History in Africa, January 2016

Article: “L'héritage spatial de l'Indirect Rule au Nigeria”, Hérodote, Géopolitique du Nigeria, 159 (2015), 13-26

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 have recently developed a Level 6 course on the history of colonial and postcolonial Nigeria. In this module, students assess the social and economic consequences of colonisation, examine the history of ethnic and religious strife (for example Boko Haram) and understand concepts such as corruption, military coups, poor governance or failed state.

Expertise and Public Engagement

My research deals with Borno, a territory located in North-Eastern mainly known in the media as the cradle of terrorist Islamist group, Boko Haram. My next monograph will analyse the history of this fascinating region through interviews I have conducted myself.

In 2014, I co-founded a blog called Africa4 for the French newspaper Libération. With more than 400,000 unique visitors in three years, our blog has reached a wide audience in France but also in many French-speaking countries in Africa.

In 2017, I started working with Dr Toby Green and a team of specialists of African History on the creation of a textbook for West African students.

Twitter: @bixhiribarren


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