Wesleyan portrait of Laura Ann  Twagira

Laura Ann Twagira

Associate Professor of History

318 High Street, 303

Tutor, College of Social Studies

College of Social Studies,

Associate Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Associate Professor, Science in Society


BA Wellesley College
MA Sarah Lawrence College
PHD Rutgers University

Laura Ann Twagira


Professor Twagira currently heads African Studies at Wes and encourages 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/.

Areas of 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.



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


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/) (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

Spring 2023: Tuesday 3-4pm (drop in) and Thursday 2-3pm (by appointment)

Only for students in HIST/DANC380: Wednesday 3-4pm in 160 Cross Street, #005 with Prof. Iddi Saaka


Fall 2023
HIST 188 - 01
Revolutionary Women

HIST 364 - 01
Thinking with Objects