Skip to main content

Professor Justin Willis

Professor (Modern African History)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor (Modern African History) in the Department of History +44 (0) 191 33 41073


Justin Willis' work has been largely concerned with identity, authority and social change in eastern Africa over the last two hundred years. With colleagues from Warwick and Birmingham, he recently completed work on a major ESRC-funded comparative history of elections in Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. He is developing a new project on the history of saving and lending in Africa since the 1940s.

Areas of Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Willis has supervised doctoral students working on various aspects of modern eastern African history. Currently he has students working on politics and islam on the Kenya coast since the 1950s; the history of banking in Sudan since the 1950s; ethnicity in northern Uganda in the twentieth century; and women's testominies around violence in the Rwanda genocide. Prospective students who would like to discuss ideas for doctoral research are very welcome to contact him.

Research interests

  • electoral history
  • saving and money in Africa
  • Sudan in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • modern East Africa

Esteem Indicators

  • 0000: : Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Africa: Modern history and politics of eastern Africa, with a particular focus on elections. The social and economic history of alcohol in Africa.


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Ryle, J., Willis, J., Baldo, S. & Jok, J. M. (2011). The Sudan Handbook. James Currey.

Journal Article

Other (Print)

  • Willis, J, Cheeseman, N. & Lynch, G. (2017). Kenya 2017: the interim election.
  • Willis, Justin & Mwakimako, Hassan (2014). Islam, politics and violence on the Kenya coast.

Supervision students