Wesleyan portrait of Laura Ann  Twagira

Laura Ann Twagira

Associate Professor of History

Public Affairs Center, 217

Tutor, College of Social Studies

Associate Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Associate Professor, Science and Technology Studies


BA Wellesley College
MA Sarah Lawrence College
PHD Rutgers University

Laura Ann Twagira


Areas of Professor Twagira's expertise: gender and sexuality in Africa with special focus on women in Mali (West Africa) and technology in Africa;  global gender history; development in Africa, population and health, and the environment.

Professor Twagira is currently on sabbatical. The current chair of African Studies at Wes is Professor Iddi Saaka and we encourage all students interested in the minor to check out our course listings and more information about this course of study at our home page: https://www.wesleyan.edu/africanstudies/.



People & Things podcast  https://anchor.fm/peoplesandthings/episodes/Laura-Ann-Twagira-e1ilkq4

Authors @ Alden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWJ_WMgecrw



Center for African Studies, Stanford University https://africanstudies.stanford.edu/events/engineering-daily-meal-women-food-and-techno-politics-rural-mali#Laura%20Ann%20Twagira%20talk%20with%20Stanford's%20African%20Studies%20Program




Embodied Engineering: Gendered Labor, Food Security, and Taste in Twentieth Century Mali (Ohio University Press, 2021)

Finalist for the 2022 Best Book Prize from the African Studies Association; Honorable Mention from the 2023 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize Committee (African Studies Association Women's Caucus)


Peer-Reviewed Articles:

“Machines that Cook or Women who Cook? Lessons from Mali on Technology, Labor, and Women’s Things” (Africanizing the History of Technology Special Issue) Technology & Culture 61 no. 2 (April 2020 Supplement): S77-S103

“Introduction: Africanizing the History of Technology” Technology & Culture 61 no. 2 2019 (April 2020 Supplement): S1-S19

“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

Edited Special Issue:

Technology and Culture, "Africanizing the History of Technology" 61 no. 2 (April 2020 Supplement) Link to Issue

Essay Reprinted in and Edited Volume:

“Kranzberg's Third Law: Technology comes in packages big and small: A Review from Colonial West African History” originally published as “Kranzberg’s Third Law” in Technology's Stories: Past & Present, December 2018 reprinted in The History of Technology: Critical Readings, edited by Suzanne Moon and Peter S. Soppolsa (New York: Bloomsbury, 2020)

Open-Access Publications:

“Kranzberg's Third Law: Technology comes in packages, big and small” Technology's Stories: Past & Present, Themed essays in honor of Melvin Kranzberg, December 2018 (http://www.technologystories.org/third-and-sixth-laws/)

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

“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

I am currently on sabbatical and will not be meeting with undergraduate students until I return to campus.


Fall 2024
HIST 267 - 01
Development in Question

HIST 291 - 01
Gender and History