UCLA » College » Social Sciences » History
Faculty

Ghislaine Lydon


ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR


Contact Information

Email    lydon@history.ucla.edu
Office  7248 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-4214
I am currently finalizing a book manuscript entitled "Paper Economies of Africa and their Relevance to World History."

This work examines the place of literacy in the organization of African economies, from Antiquity to the mid-fifteenth century. This is a broad synthesis that begins with a reflection on the place of paper in world history, and goes on to consider how commercial literacy and legal institutions shaped what I call ‘paper economies.’

My next projects include a study of the evolution of women's rights in Muslim Africa, and the second volume of my first book on the organization of trans-Saharan caravan trade, focused on the twentieth century.

Degrees

Ph.D. (History) Michigan State University & BA (African Studies) McGill University.

Awards

Winner of the Martin A. Klein Prize in African History at the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston for On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Selected Publications

Book

On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback 2012).


The maps in this book were beautifully crafted by Don Pirius of Cartographic Services.

This book explores the history of trans-Saharan trade in western Africa in the nineteenth century. It treats the Sahara as a bridge that connected peoples across the continent. This is the first study of its kind to document the history and organization of trans-Saharan trade in western Africa using original source material. It examines the internal dynamics of a trade network system based on a case-study of the Wad Nun traders who specialized in outfitting camel caravans in the nineteenth century. Through an examination of contracts, correspondence, fatwas, and interviews with retired caravaners, Lydon shows how traders used their literacy skills in Arabic and how they had recourse to experts of Islamic law to regulate their long-distance transactions. The book also considers the methods employed by women participating in caravan trade. By embracing a continental approach, this study bridges the divide between West African and North African studies. The work will be of interest to students of African, Middle Eastern, and world history and to scholars of long-distance trade, Muslim societies, and legal cultures.





Co-Edited Volume:
With Graziano Kratli, The Trans-Saharan Book Trade: Arabic Literacy, Manuscript Culture, and Intellectual History in Islamic Africa (Leiden: Brill, 2011).
description

Recent Articles and Chapters

Inscribing the Now and the Hereafter: First Writings in Early African History.” In Toby Green & Benedetta Rossi (Eds.), Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects in the West African Past (Brill, 2018).

"Inventions and Re-Inventions of "Sharia" in Recent African History." Ufahamu 40:1 (2018).

Lydon and Bruce Hall, “Excavating Arabic Sources for the Writing on Slavery in Western African
History.” In Martin Klein, Sandra Green and Alice Bellagamba (Eds.), African Voices on Slavery and
the Slave Trade: Essays on Sources and Methods (New York, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
March 2016), 3-49.

“Oceans and Bridges, Barriers and Divides in Africa’s Historiographical Landscape.” Journal of African
History 56:1 (2015), 3-22.

The ‘Hidden Transcripts’ and Rights of Slaves in the Muslim World: A Legal Case from Nineteenth-
Century Mauritania” In Martin Klein, Sandra Green and Alice Bellagamba (Eds.), African Voices on
Slavery and the Slave Trade: The Sources (New York, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013),
500-10.

Current Courses by Term

2019 Winter Quarter

History of Africa to 1800

Variable Topics Historiography Proseminar: Africa

Teaching Apprentice Practicum

Previous Courses by Term

2018 Spring Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Colloquium: African History

2018 Winter Quarter

History of Africa to 1800

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Colloquium: African History

2016 Spring Quarter

Africanist Working Group

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2016 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Capstone Seminar: History -- Africa

Topics in History: Africa

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2015 Fall Quarter

History of Africa to 1800

Africa and Disciplines

Topics in World History

2015 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Topics in World History

2014 Fall Quarter

History of Africa to 1800

Africa and Disciplines

Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in African History

2014 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Topics in World History

2013 Fall Quarter

History of Africa to 1800

Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in African History

2013 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Topics in World History

2012 Fall Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa, Earliest Times to 1800

Capstone Seminar: History -- Africa

Topics in History: Africa

2011 Fall Quarter

Africa and Disciplines

History of West Africa: West Africa, Earliest Times to 1800

2011 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

Topics in World History

2010 Fall Quarter

Africa and Disciplines

History of West Africa: West Africa, Earliest Times to 1800

2010 Winter Quarter

History of Africa, 1800 to Present

Topics in World History

2009 Fall Quarter

Africa and Disciplines

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2009 Winter Quarter

History of Africa, 1800 to Present

Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in African History

2008 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

Colloquium: African History

2008 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2007 Spring Quarter

History of Africa, 1800 to Present

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2007 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: Africa

Topics in History: Africa

2006 Fall Quarter

Colloquium: African History

2006 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2005 Spring Quarter

History of Africa: 1800 to the Present

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2005 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: Africa

Topics in History: Africa

2003 Fall Quarter

Undergraduate Seminar: Africa

Topics in History: Africa

2003 Spring Quarter

Undergraduate Seminar: Africa

Topics in History: Africa

2003 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2002 Fall Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

2002 Spring Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2002 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

2001 Winter Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2000 Fall Quarter

History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

Previous Courses by Course

HIST 275B
Colloquium: African History

2018 Spring Quarter

HIST 166B
History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2018 Spring Quarter

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2006 Winter Quarter

2005 Spring Quarter

AF AMER M10A
History of Africa to 1800

2018 Winter Quarter

2015 Fall Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

HIST 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2018 Winter Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

HIST 275A
Colloquium: African History

2018 Winter Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2006 Fall Quarter

HIST M10A
History of Africa to 1800

2018 Winter Quarter

2015 Fall Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

AFRC ST 296
Africanist Working Group

2016 Spring Quarter

HIST 191J
Capstone Seminar: History -- Africa

2016 Winter Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

I A STD 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2016 Winter Quarter

HIST 201N
Topics in History: Africa

2016 Winter Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

2003 Fall Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

AFRC ST 201A
Africa and Disciplines

2015 Fall Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2010 Fall Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

HIST 214
Topics in World History

2015 Fall Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

HIST 97J
Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in African History

2014 Fall Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

2009 Winter Quarter

AFRO-AM M10A
History of Africa to 1800

2013 Fall Quarter

HIST 166A
History of West Africa: West Africa, Earliest Times to 1800

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2010 Fall Quarter

HIST 10B
History of Africa, 1800 to Present

2010 Winter Quarter

2009 Winter Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

HIST 166A
History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

2008 Fall Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

HIST 191J
Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: Africa

2007 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

HIST 10B
History of Africa: 1800 to the Present

2005 Spring Quarter

HIST 197J
Undergraduate Seminar: Africa

2003 Fall Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

HIST 176B
History of West Africa: West Africa since 1800

2003 Winter Quarter

2002 Spring Quarter

2001 Winter Quarter

HIST 176A
History of West Africa: West Africa from Earliest Times to 1800

2002 Fall Quarter

2002 Winter Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter