Philip is a postdoctoral fellow at the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University. He received his PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2017. His doctoral thesis is entitled, ‘Lake Tanganyika: Commercial Frontier in the Era of Long-Distance Commerce, East and Central Africa, c.1830-1890.’ Philip has also taught undergraduate courses in McGill University’s African Studies Program.
Philip’s core research aim is to link the history of East Africa’s Great Lakes region with the history of the Indian Ocean World. He is doing this firstly by integrating his ongoing research into East Africa’s nineteenth-century ivory trade with the IOWC’s ongoing projects into climate change and adaptation in the IOW. He intends to use the nineteenth-century ivory trade as a case study for analysing how fluctuating climatic conditions in the IOW have affected commerce in the past and present.
Secondly, he is transforming his doctoral thesis into a monograph, provisionally entitled, Indian Ocean Frontier: Lake Tanganyika during the Nineteenth Century. In this project, Philip will focus on the cultural encounters that occurred via East Africa’s nineteenth-century ivory trade. The central themes of this project are the spread of Islam and other phenomena associated with Swahili and other IOW cultures into East Africa’s Great Lakes region. It is a history of cultural interaction, adaptation, and acculturation.
Philip has published on conceptions of slavery and freedom in nineteenth-century East Africa, and has presented on borderlands, Islam, oral history, and urbanism in Africa and the Indian Ocean World.
Philip has an MA in Historical Research Methods and a BA in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Indian Ocean World Centre
3460 McTavish Street, Room 110
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E6
2017: ‘Slavery, ‘respectability,’ and being ‘freeborn’ on the shores of Nineteenth-Century Lake Tanganyika.’ Slavery and Abolition. Advanced Online Publication: 19 December 2017, doi: 10.1080/0144039X.2017.1417867
2017: Nigel Watt, Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country, Second Edition. London: Hurst & Company, 2016. Journal of Global South Studies, 34, 2.
2013: James McDougall and Judith Scheele (eds.), Saharan Frontiers: Space and Mobility in Northwest Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012). Polyvocia: The SOAS Journal of Graduate Research, 5.
Selected Conference Papers, Talks, and Panels
2017: Conference Paper: ‘Ivory and African Life: Elephants, Elephant Products, and the Functioning of the Nineteenth-Century East African Ivory Trade,’ Global Commodities & Africa in the Long 19th Century (1770s-1930s), University of Warwick, 18-19 May 2017.
2017: Conference Paper: ‘Cattle, Human-Environment Interaction, and Trade in Nineteenth-Century East and Central Africa: A Preliminary Case Study from Lake Tanganyika,’ IOWC International Conference on Labour, Working Animals, and Environment in the Indian Ocean World, McGill University, 4-5 May 2017.
2016: Seminar Paper: ‘Lacustrine Craft as Political Objects: Technological Innovation and Political Shifts around Nineteenth-Century Lake Tanganyika,’ Indian Ocean World Centre Seminar Series, McGill University, 31 March 2016.
2016: Conference Paper: ‘Lake Tanganyika, c.1860-1890: Competition and Conflict between Factions of Coastal Traders for Control of Long-Distance Commercial Networks,’ 59th African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 1-3 December 2016.
2016: Conference Paper: ‘Oral History and Museums: Remembering the ‘Slave Trade’ in Nineteenth-Century East and Central Africa,’ McGill-Queen’s Graduate Conference in History, 25-27 February 2016.
2015: Panel Convened: ‘Contesting African Boundaries: Collective Mobilisations Across ‘Borders,’’ ECAS: European Conference on African Studies, 8-10 July 2015. Panel convened jointly with Hannah Whittaker, Brunel University.
2014: Seminar Paper: ‘The Coast and the Lake: Islam, Ritual and Identity in the Lake Tanganyika Basin, c.1830-1890,’ Brunel University Politics and History Seminar Series, 3 December 2014.
2014: Conference Paper: ‘“They Died a Long Time Ago:” Collecting the Oral Histories of Nineteenth-Century East Africa in the Modern Period,’ Wolfson Symposium, 30 June 2014.
2014: Seminar Paper: ‘Ujiji c.1860-1890: The Rise and Decline of a Swahili Frontier Town,’ Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University, 8 May 2014.
2013: Conference Paper: ‘Ujiji: Urban Frontier in the Era of Long-Distance Commerce, East and Central Africa, c.1830-1890,’ International Graduate Historical Studies Conference, 5-6 April 2013.