Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed

During World War I, hundreds of thousands of African soldiers and workers travelled great distances to aid in imperial war efforts, both within the African continent and in other distant theatres. These mobilisations included transoceanic routes and overland marches, which often took place under dire conditions of privation, environmental hazards, and military threats. This talk focuses on Africa’s logistical experiences of the war, foregrounding the labour conditions produced by these mobilisations, and the technologies that enabled them. The talk will also reflect on how current interdisciplinary scholarship on logistics illuminates these labour conditions and the structural racisms and gendered hierarchies that shaped how Africans went to war between 1914 and 1918.


Michelle Moyd

Michelle Moyd is a Red Cedar Distinguished Professor of History at the Michigan State University. Her work specialises in the history of eastern Africa, with a particular emphasis on regional histories of soldiers and warfare. She also researches and teaches more generally on the First World War, the history of soldiers and veterans, and histories of humanitarianism. Her first book, Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa (Ohio University Press, 2014) examines the social and cultural history of African askari soldiers in the colonial army of German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania). She is currently working on a new book entitled Africa, Africans, and the First World War, which explores the experiences of African soldiers and labourers during the war.