G. Ugo Nwokeji

Ugo nwokeji

G. Ugo Nwokeji

Associate Professor

E: ugo@berkeley.edu
P: 510-542-8140


Professor Nwokeji’s research deals with the cultural history and political economy of Africa since 1500, with particular focus on international commerce in the Nigerian Niger Delta and its hinterland. This research is placed in the contexts of the Atlantic world and globalization, the latter of which encapsulates and synergizes the range of his teaching and research interests in slavery, migration, slave emancipation, as well as colonial and postcolonial political economy, including concerns with oil and gas. His book, The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra: An African Society in the Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press, 2010), won The 2011 Melville J. Herskovits Book Prize awarded by the African Studies Association. Having published studies on petroleum and the Atlantic slave trade, he has turned attention to a new project (“The Slave Trade, Oil, and Globalization in the Niger Delta”). The new project brings the slave trade and the hydrocarbon economy together in the context of globalization in a region that has had deep and continuing involvement with the “world exchange system” since the very inception of this system and which has shaped and is shaped by globalizing forces. This study is expected to illuminate the role which involvement in the world exchange system has played in influencing the character of polities, identities, class, and intergroup relations over time and in the differential responses of different “indigenous” peoples to their incorporation into postcolonies in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Professor Nwokeji was educated at the University of Port Harcourt, Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Toronto. He was an assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut for four years prior to coming to Berkeley in 2003. Since 1999, he has also held either visiting professorship or fellowship in the following institutions–Emory University, Yale University, Harvard University, and Zentrum Moderner Orient (Center for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin, Germany).



“African World Histories, Vol. 1, The Slave Trade.” Forthcoming (With Trevor Getz), under contract with Oxford University Press.

“The Slave Trade, Oil, and Globalization in the Niger Delta.”

“African Origins Database” (This is a database of 68,000 “Liberated Africans” or Africans liberated from slave ships during the 19th century), with David Eltis of Emory University.


1. Books and Reports

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra: An African Society in the Atlantic World. Cambridge University Press, 2010. (Winner of The 2011 Melville J. Herskovits Book Prize.)

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, The Nigerian National Corporation and the Development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: History, Strategies, and Current Directions. James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 2007.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, Religion, History and Politics in Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Ogbu U. Kalu. (Edited with Chima Korieh) University Press of America, 2005.

2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Memories of Slavery in a Former Slave-Trading Community: The Aro of the Bight of Biafra.” Finding the African Voice: Narratives of Slavery and Enslavement, edited by Martin Klein, Sandra Greene, Alice Bellagamba, Carolyn Brown. Markus Weiner Publishers, 2013.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji (with Diana B. Michael and Cheri Scripter), “Father and Parent Involvement Across Africa: A Time of Transition,” in Hsiu-Zu Ho and Diana Michael (eds.). Promising Practices for Father Involvement in Children’s Education. Information Age Publishers, 2012.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Slavery in Non-Islamic West Africa, 1420-1820.” Cambridge World History of Slavery, eds. David Eltis & Stanley Engerman. In Press, Cambridge University Press.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Slave Ships to Oil Tankers.” Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta, ed. Michael Watts, New York, PowerHouse Books, 2008.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Antislavery, an Overview.” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 8, ed. Clifton Crais, Oxford University Press, 2008. (2,825 words)

• G. Ugo Nwokeji & David Eltis, “Characteristics of Captives Leaving the Cameroons, 1822-1837.” Journal of African History, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2002.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji & David Eltis, “The Roots of the African Diaspora: Methodological Considerations in the Analysis of Names in the Liberated African Registers of Sierra Leone and Havana.” History in Africa, 29, 2002.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “African Conceptions of Gender and the Slave Traffic.” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Series, Vol. LVIII, No. 1, Jan. 2001.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “The Atlantic Slave Trade and Population Density: A Historical Demography of the Biafran Hinterland.” Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2000.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Slave Emancipation Problematic: Igbo Society and the Colonial Equation.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1998.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Ojukwu’s Leadership and the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-70: An Analysis of the Role of The Individual in History.” Ife Journal of History, Vol. No. 1, 1995.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Britain’s Response to Post-Second World War Colonial Crises, 1947-51: Findings and Reflections from the Nigeria Research.” Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blaetter, No. 6, 1994.

3. Encyclopedia Entries and Book Reviews

• Archibald Monteath: Igbo, Jamaican, Moravian. By Maureen Warner-Lewis. (Kingston, Jamaica: The University of West Indies Press, 2007. Journal of American History, Vol. 94, No. 4, 2009.

• G. Ugo Nwokeji, “Aro” (464 words); “Arochukwu” (245 words); “Igbo” (523 words); “Gender and Slave Exports” (1,293 words). Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage, ed. Toyin Falola and Amanda Warnock, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 2007.

• Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man. By Vincent Carretta. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 2005. Journal of American History. Vol. 93, No. 3, 2006.

• Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks in the Making of Modern West