Dr. M. Ousmane Traoré

Ousmane TraoréContact Information

Parker Hall 201

Office Hours

Thursdays 1:30-3:30 pm
(And By appointment)


  • BA, History & Egyptology, Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal, 1998
  • MA, History & Archaeology, University Lille 3-Charles Degaulle, Lille, France 2003
  • PhD, History, Sorbonne University, Paris, 2009
  • Andre William Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012, Lewis & Clark College

Spring 2015 Courses

  • HI242 Modern African History (I) - M-W - 2:40-4:10 pm
  • HI264 Islam in the World (I) - T-R - 11:20 am - 12:50 pm
  • ILC Transatlantic Triangular: From Harlem Renaissance, Paris' Negritude Movement to Nationalism & Independence of Africa - R - 6:00-9:00 pm
  • HI330 Empires and Imperialism (I) - M-W-11:20 am - 12:50 pm

Other Courses Taught

  • HI 347 Global cities
  • HI 242 Islam From a Historical Perspective

Research & Teaching Interests

All of my classes seek primarily to historicize empire and nation from a global perspective. My Global History course examines the rise of early modern empires in Eurasia, Europe, North Africa, and West Africa from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The course on the History of Modern Africa allows students to learn more about the history of Africa from its antiquity to the modern days. It covers the Egyptian pre-dynastic and dynastic periods and bridges a gap between the history of the Sahara Desert, the Nile Valley, Nubia, and the interior of Africa. This general survey of African history aims to scrutinize the long process of nation, state, and empire building as it took place in Ancient Egypt and then spread toward the continent’s core regions, namely West Africa and the West African States and Societies of the Forest, East Africa, and Southeast Africa.

My research shows that diplomacy and negotiation were at the core of the relations between Europeans and Senegambian states from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. In my research on the multidimensional relationship of these ethnic states to the Atlantic economy in Senegambia, I use a historical approach concerned with processes of diplomacy and militarization in Africa. I also investigate the fighting against slavery and the slave trade that took place in the northern part of Senegal during the eighteenth century. Using surveys and interviews, I think about how to access the voices of African slaves, the slavers, the slave-users, and those who were left behind. My research is grounded in Senegalese, French, and British National Archives and in oral tradition. I analyze village traditions recorded in collective memory via folklore, tales, popular songs, proverbs, court documents from both colonial and Islamic courts, petitions to colonial authorities, and personal correspondence.

Professional Affiliations

  • Group Diplomatie & Paix, Sorbonne University
  • Member, French Colonial Historical Society, (FCHS)
  • Member, African Studies Association, (ASA)
  • Member, American Historical Association, (AHA)
  • Member, Mande Studies Association, (MSA)
  • Member, Senegalese Historical Association, (SHA)
  • Member, American Anthropological Association, (AAA)

Upcoming & Recent Presentations

  • “Colonial Legacy, Youth Movements, and Tradition of Participatory Democracy in Postcolonial Senegal.” To be presented at the 13th African Studies Annual Conference. Moscow, May 27-30, 2014
  • "Nos Amis les Chinois: Les relations sino-africaines dans le context des relations internationales, diplomatiques et de négotiations en Afrique précoloniale, 1312-1644." To be presented at the Conference on Géopolitique d'un Quatuor la France les Etats-Unis la Chine et l'Afrique" at the Université of Lille III-Charles Degaulle, Lille, France, October 9-10, 2014
  • “La diplomatie des femmes dans le conflit entre la Grande-Bretagne et la France en Afrique de l’Ouest, 1696-1715.” Presented at the conference for the 300th Centenary of Utrecht Treaty, 1713: A Peace for the World, Sorbonne University, Oct. 23rd-27th, 2013 France
  • “Youth, Civil Society, and New Political Strategies in Senegal.” Presented at the 56th African Studies Association Annual Congress (ASA), Baltimore, Nov. 21st –Nov. 24th, 2013
  • “Women in 18th Century Senegambia: Diplomatic Icons and Political Leaders.” Presented at the 55th African Studies Association Annual Congress (ASA), Philadelphia, Dec. 29th –Jan. 1st, 2012
  • “Forging The Tradition of Contest and Senegalese Democarcy Under French Colonial Rule.” Presented at the 111th American Anthropological Association Annual Conference (AAA), San Francisco, Nov. 14th -18th 2012
  • “Rethinking the Concepts of Power of Decision Making and Accommodation in the Pedagogies of Empire.” Presented at the 39th French Colonial Historical Society Annual Conference (FCHS), New Orleans, 2012
  • “Soninké’s Fighting Against Slavery and the Atlantic Trade in the Northern Senegal, 1696-1715.” Presented at the 37th French Colonial Historical Society Annual Conference (FCHS), Toronto, Canada, 2011
  • “Fighting the Greater Jihad: September 11 and the Mosque’s Project on Ground Zero.” Presented at the 7th Annual Ray Warren Multicultural Symposium, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, 2010
  • "Tales of Slavery: Noble and Slave Views of the Past in Senegal's Futa Toro." Presented at the Conference held at the University of Toronto & Harriett Tubman Center, Canada, 2009
  • “French National Archives and Senegalese Oral Traditions: The Contributions of Andre Brue, 1696-1720.” Presented at the 7th International Conference on Mandé Studies Association, Lisbon, Portugal, 2008
  • “State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, c. 1500- 1800.” Presented at the 49th African Studies Association Annual Congress, San Francisco (ASA), 2006
  • “African Kings, Queens, and Princes and the Atlantic Slave Trade in West Africa.” Presented at the 32nd French Colonial Historical Society Annual Conference (FCHS), Dakar, Senegal, 2006

Recent & Forthcoming Publications

  • State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, c. 1500- 1800 in, Navigating African Maritime History, Memorial University of Newfoundland Press, num. 46, December, 2009
  • Noble and Slave Views of the Past in Senegal's Futa Toro in, Bitter Legacy: African Slavery Past and Present, Martin Klein (ed.), Markus Wiener Princeton, 2013

Works in Progress

  • African Kings, Queens, Princes and the Atlantic World system: Negotiations, Diplomacy, and Ethnic-State Formation in West Africa, 1444-1848
  • Lat-Sukaabe Faal, Andre Brue, and NGoone Jeey, 1696-1701, (Edited by Lucien Bely, Professor at Sorbonne-Paris IV, Actes du Colloque "La Paix d’Utrecht," Forthcoming)
  • Women and Diplomacy in Kajoor-Baol (West Africa), (Journal of African History)
  • Mamadou Traoré: Diary of the War for Algerian Independence, 1954-1962
  • La rébellion de Thiès du 7 avril 1904: Privilèges politiques et sociaux des aristocraties à l’épreuve de la mondialisation (Journal of African History)
  • Louis XIV et les souverains du Monde (Ed. Volume, Geraud Poumarede, University of Bordeaux, France, Forthcoming)
  • Resistance & Rebellion Against The Slave Trade and Colonial Rule in Africa: Exploring African Idioms of Self-Preservation, Accommodation, and Rejection of the Colonial Atlantic World/Slavery, (Colloquium/Ed. Volume, Forthcoming 2016)