Bruce Hall is Associate Professor of History. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual history in West and North Africa, located at the intersection of West Africa’s Muslim high intellectual culture and social and economic issues which that intellectual culture sought to address. His first book, A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) is an intellectual history of arguments made about race and slavery in the West African Sahel. It reveals the long history of racial ideas in this region, and the different work that racial ideas were made to do over a period of more than three hundred years. He is currently working on a second book project that focuses on the history of enslaved commercial agents in a nineteenth-century Saharan commercial network that connected Ghadames (Libya) and Timbuktu (Mali). He is also involved with a bibliographic database of Arabic manuscript materials from across West Africa developed by Charles Stewart, called the West African Arabic Manuscript Project, which can be viewed online at


A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

with Ghislaine Lydon, “Excavating Arabic Sources For the History of Slavery in Western Africa,” in African Slavery/African Voices, Volume 2, Methodology, ed. Alice Bellagamba, Sandra Greene, Carolyn Brown and Martin Klein (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp.15-49.

“Saharan Commerce and Islamic Law: The Question of Usury (ribā) in the Nawāzil literature of Mali and Mauritania, 1700-1929,” African Economic History 41 (2013), pp.1-20.

“Arguing sovereignty in Songhay,” Afriques: Débats, methods et terraines d’histoire 4 (2013), pp.2-17.

with Yacine Daddi Addoun, “The Arabic Letters of the Ghadames Slaves in the Niger Bend, 1860-1900,” in African Slavery/African Voices, ed. Alice Bellagamba, Sandra Greene, Carolyn Brown and Martin Klein. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp.485-500.

“How slaves used Islam: The letters of enslaved Muslim commercial agents in the nineteenth-century Niger Bend and Central Sahara,” Journal of African History 52, no. 3 (2011), pp.279-97.

“Bellah histories of decolonization, Iklan paths to freedom: The meanings of race and slavery in the late-colonial Niger Bend (Mali), 1944-1960,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 44, no.1 (2011), pp.61-87.

with Charles C. Stewart, “The historic ‘Core Curriculum,’ and the book market in Islamic West Africa” in The Trans-Saharan Book Trade: Arabic Literacy, Manuscript Culture, and Intellectual History in Islamic Africa, ed. Graziano Krätli and Ghislaine Lydon (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp.109-74.


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