Dr. Aliou LyDr. Aliou Ly

Assistant Professor

E-mail: aliou.ly@mtsu.edu
Phone: (615) 898-2627
Office Location and Mailing Address: Peck Hall, Room 286
MTSU Box 23
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

FIELDS:  West African history, Atlantic Rim history, African nationalism, gender in African politics, women in African liberation struggles, and the history of Guinea Bissau.

BIOGRAPHY: As a historian of colonial and post-colonial West Africa, I specialize in the political history of Guinea Bissau, with a focus on the meaning of women's participation in national liberation struggles. My current research explores the ways in which a focus on the perspective of women fighters leads to re-writing current historical narratives of the Guinea Bissau national liberation war. This research has methodological implications for historical research on national liberation struggles more broadly. In addition to considering women as active agents in reshaping the narrative of the war, I also take seriously their reasons for participating, based on concerns for family and community. Their perspective serves to refocus the historiography of national liberation struggles on concrete lived reality rather than clichéd political abstractions. My research also examines the ambiguous relations between African national liberation movements and movements for women's rights and emancipation within those movements. For many years, I have also had a research interest in the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to 1803, and the dissemination of the idea of this revolution throughout African political and intellectual circles in the 19th and 20th centuries.


  • HIST 3070-002 Topics in World History: Scramble for Africa: Nationalism and Decolonization
  • HIST 3070-002 Topics in World History: African Slave Trade
  • HIST 3070-003 Topics in World History: Revolutions in Africa: African Struggles for Changes: From Jihad to Genocide


“Promise and Betrayal: Women fighters and national Liberation in Guinea Bissau,” in Feminist Africa”, Issue 20, Fall 2014 (Forthcoming Fall 2014)

“Gendered Patterns of Migration and Changes to Gender Relations in Guinea-Bissau. In Patrick Chabal and Toby Green edited book Guinea Bissau: From Micro-State to “Narco-State, edited by Patrick Chabal and Toby Green (Forthcoming Spring 2015).


“Revisiting the Guinea Bissau Liberation War: PAIGC, UDEMU and the Women's Rights and Emancipation Question, 1963-1974.”

“Rôle et Participation des Femmes du PAIGC dans la Lutte pour l’Independence de la Guinée Bissau 1963-1974."


MTSU Access and Diversity Award, 2012

UC Davis African, African-American Studies Research Grant 2009

UC Davis African Studies Graduate Fellowship in History 2007-2009


Ph.D., University of California Davis 2012
M.A., California State University, Fullerton, 2006

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