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George Kumasenu

Ph.D. Student
Teaching Assistant


Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, I am a Ph.D. student who is broadly interested in the history of Africa, the African Diaspora and Gender & Women Studies. Prior to joining UIUC in Fall 2022, I was a NOPART exchange student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) for Spring Semester 2022. My research activities examine migration, settlement patterns, identity formation and inter-group relations in West Africa, as well as sites of historical memory within the sub-region. In addition, the varied impact of the Second World War on Africa and Africans. Moreover, I spend my spare time discussing social and political issues, watching football highlights and surfing the internet and social media, especially, Facebook.

Research Interests

African History

The African Diaspora

Africa and the Second World War

Gender and Women Studies

Memory Studies/Sites of Historical Memory

Heritage Tourism


Research Description

My doctoral research examines how the Second World War impacted the lives and lived experiences of women in Africa, specifically, Anglophone West Africa. Moreover, their responses and reaction to war time realities and the life coping skills they adopted in the face of war time exigencies. The study is situated between the fields of history and gender studies. Therefore, using an intersectional and transnational approach, this study shall provide a new lens to interrogate the Second World War and how global events have shaped and continue to shape African femininity. As well, it shall bring the experiences of African women during the war years from the margins to the center of the discourse on Africa and the Second World War. In undertaking this study, I shall employ the use of archival sources, newspaper reportage of the war years, war time correspondence reports, letters of African soldiers in the war front among other sources.


M.A. History, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, 2022

B.A. History/International Studies, Lagos State University, Nigeria, 2019.

N.C.E. (Nigeria Certificate in Education) History/CRS, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos, Nigeria, 2013.

Awards and Honors

Graduate College Fellowship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Courses Taught

HIST 100: Global History (TA, Fall 2023)

Recent Publications

“Slavery, Remembrance and Sites of Historical Memory: The Case of Badagry,” African
Economic History, 49, 1, (2021): 104 - 126. (Co-authored)

“The Socio-Economic and Cultural Impact of the War on Africa and Africans,” in EdmundAbaka (ed.) Africa and the Second World War: Africa’s Forgotten ‘Finest’ Hour. Africa World Press, 2022.

“The Second World War: East Africa and the Horn,” in Edmund Abaka (ed.) Africa and the Second World War: Africa’s Forgotten ‘Finest’ Hour. Africa World Press, 2022. (Co-authored)

“North Africa and the Second World War,” in Edmund Abaka (ed.) Africa and the Second World War: Africa’s Forgotten ‘Finest’ Hour. Africa World Press, 2022. (Co-authored)