Wesleyan portrait of Laura Ann  Twagira

Laura Ann Twagira

Assistant Professor of History

Public Affairs Center, 418

Assistant Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

1 Vine Street,


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BA Wellesley College
MA Sarah Lawrence College
PHD Rutgers University

Laura Ann Twagira

Twagira's areas of expertise include: gender and sexuality in Africa; global gender history; 20th century West Africa; the environment, technology, and development, including women and the environment, gendered cultures of technology, the history of technology in Africa, and development in Africa.

She is currently working on a book about women living at a large agro-industrial development scheme in Mali called the Office du Niger.  The project examines how women used the resources of the scheme to engineer a highly adaptive local food production system that depended on female labor power and made use of modest technologies (such as metal pots and calabashes) that are generally overlooked in favor of the more impressive irrigation infrastructure of the scheme.  The project highlights the ways in which common narratives about development miss the critical environmental and technological work of women. 

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Twagira will be a fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

“Robot Farmers and Cosmopolitan Workers: Technological Masculinity and Agricultural Development in the French Soudan (Mali), 1945-68,” Gender & History 26 no. 3 (November 2014), pp. 459-477

Online Publications:

Guest curator, Technology's Stories: Past & Present, Themed Issue “Learning from Africa's Technology Stories,” October 2015 (http://www.historyoftechnology.org/tech_stories/) (solicited collection)

“Interrogating the ‘Machine’ and Women's Things” Technology's Stories: Past & Present, October 2015 (http://www.historyoftechnology.org/media/articles/Twagira_article_final.pdf)

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2018:  Mondays 3 - 4 and by appointment, in CHUM 205.


Fall 2018
CHUM 349 - 01
Body Histories in Africa

Spring 2019
HIST 212 - 01
Modern Africa

HIST 334 - 01
Social History Islam in Africa