SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Richard Reid

BA(Stirling), PhD(London)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Richard Reid
School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Head of School

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Professor of the History of Africa

Professor Richard Reid
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4774
+44 (0)20 7898 4699
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Thursday 12pm -1.30pm


  • Disciplines: History, Politics. 
  • Regions: Eastern and Northeastern Africa. 
  • Countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea. 
  • Interests: Warfare and violence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; liberation struggle in the Horn of Africa; ethnicity, nation, violence and identity.

Previous PhD Student

Hannah Alice Whittaker, 'A Socio-Economic History of the Shifta Conflict in Kenya, c. 1963-8',2011


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Dorothy Tembo, Missions, Colonialism and Christian Identity in Malawi
  • Etana Dinka, Resistance and Integration in the Ethiopian Empire: the case of Macca Oromo of Qellem (1880s-1974)
  • Gromyko Dumuje, Fragmented Memory In an Invented Land: The Absence of History in the Abacha Dictatorship of Nigeria
  • Jacien G. Carr (Jay), The Poro: Society, Community and Perception in Liberian and Sierra Leone during the 19th Century
  • Philip Gooding, Lake Tanganyika: Commercial Frontier in the Era of Long-Distance Commerce, East and Central Africa, c.1830-1890
  • Shane Marotta, Berbera, 1840--1920: The history of a Somali port in the Gulf of Aden
  • Tassapa Umavijani, The Military Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Siam: Changes and Continuities


  • Patterns of warfare and other forms of violence in eastern and northeastern Africa since c.1800; 
  • relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia; 
  • the Eritrean liberation struggle; 
  • politics, protest and identity in Eritrea, 1941 – 1962.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Reid, Richard (2017) A History of Modern Uganda. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reid, Richard (2012) A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the present. Revised 2nd edition.. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Reid, Richard (2012) Warfare in African History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reid, Richard (2011) Frontiers of Violence in North-East Africa: genealogies of conflict since 1800. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reid, Richard (2008) A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the present. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Reid, Richard (2007) War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa. The Patterns and Meanings of State-Level Conflict in the Nineteenth Century. London: The British Institute in Eastern Africa & James Currey.

Reid, Richard (2002) Political Power in Pre-Colonial Buganda. Economy, Society and Warfare in the Nineteenth Century. James Currey/Fountain Publishers/Ohio University Press.


Reid, Richard (2017) 'Mourning and Glory: Toward Affective Histories of Violence in Africa over La longue durée'. Emotions: History, Culture, Society, (1) 1, pp 113-136.

Reid, Richard (2015) 'States of Anxiety: history and nation in modern Africa'. Past and Present, (229) 1, pp 239-269.

Reid, Richard (2014) 'Writing Eritrea: history and representation in a bad neighbourhood'. History in Africa, (41), pp 83-115.

Reid, Richard (2014) 'Horror, Hubris and Humanity: the international engagement with Africa, 1914-2014'. International Affairs, (90) 1, pp 143-165.

Reid, Richard (2014) 'Ghosts in the Academy: historians and historical consciousness in the making of modern Uganda'. Comparative Studies in Society and History, (56) 2, pp 351-380.

Reid, Richard (2012) 'Violent Development: toward an economic history of African warfare and military organisation'. Economic Research Southern Africa Working Papers 310.

Reid, Richard (2011) 'Past and Presentism: the "pre-colonial" and the foreshortening of African history'. Journal of African History, (52) 2, pp 135-155.

Reid, Richard (2009) 'The Politics of Silence: interpreting apparent stasis in contemporary Eritrea'. Review of African Political Economy, (36) 120, pp 209-221.

Reid, Richard (2007) 'Defining Frontiers: violence and identity in nineteenth-century Eritrea'. Eritrean Studies Review, (5) 1, pp 1-31.

Reid, Richard (2007) 'Revisiting Primitive War: perceptions of violence and race in history'. War and Society, (26) 2, pp 1-25.

Reid, Richard (2007) 'The Trans-Mereb Experience: perceptions of the historical relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia'. Journal of Eastern African Studies, (1) 2, pp 238-255.

Reid, Richard (2006) 'War and Remembrance: orality, literacy and conflict in the Horn of Africa'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (18) 1, pp 89-103.

Reid, Richard (2005) 'Caught in the Headlights of History: Eritrea, the EPLF and the Post-War Nation-State'. The Journal of Modern African Studies, (43) 3, pp 467-88.

Reid, Richard (2003) 'Old Problems in New Conflicts: Some Observations on Eritrea and its Relations with Tigray, from Liberation Struggle to Inter-State War.'. Africa, (73) 3, pp 369-401.

Edited Books or Journals

Reid, Richard and Parker, John, (eds.), (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reid, Richard, (ed.), (2009) Eritrea's External Relations: understanding its regional role and foreign policy. London: Chatham House.

Book Chapters

Reid, Richard (2014) 'The Fragile Revolution: rethinking war and development in Africa's violent nineteenth century'. Africa's Development in Historical Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 393-423.

Reid, Richard and Parker, John (2013) 'Introduction. African Histories: past, present and future'. In: Parker, John and Reid, Richard, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reid, Richard (2013) 'Warfare and the Military'. In: Parker, John and Reid, Richard, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reid, Richard (2011) 'Violence and its Sources: European witnesses to the Military Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Eastern Africa'. In: Landau, P, (ed.), The Power of Doubt: essays in honor of David Henige. Madison: Parallel Press / University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, pp 41-59.

Reid, Richard (2011) 'Warfare in pre-colonial Africa'. In: Martel, Gordon, (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of War. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Reid, Richard (2010) 'Arms and Adolescence: youth, warfare and statehood in nineteenth-century eastern Africa'. In: Burton, Andrew and Charton, Helene, (eds.), Generations Past: Youth in East African History. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.

Reid, Richard (2007) 'Human Booty: some observations on the seizure of people in war, Buganda c.1700-1890'. In: Médard, Henri and Doyle, Shane, (eds.), Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. Oxford: James Currey, pp 145-160.

Reid, Richard (2007) 'Warfare and Militarism in Pre-Colonial Buganda'. In: Lamphear, John, (ed.), African Military History. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp 425-440.

Reid, Richard (2005) '"Ethiopians believe in God, Sha'abiya believe in mountains": the EPLF ands the 1998-2000 war in historical perspective'. In: Jacquin-Berdal, Dominique and Plaut, Martin, (eds.), Unfinished Business: Ethiopia and Eritrea at war. Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press.

Reid, Richard (2002) 'Warfare and Urbanisation: the relationship between town and conflict in pre-colonial eastern Africa'. In: Burton, Andrew, (ed.), The Urban Experience in Eastern Africa, c.1750-2000. Nairobi, Kenya: British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Book Reviews

Reid, Richard (2012) 'The End of the Beginning: new syntheses on modern war in Africa'. H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


Reid, Richard (2010) 'Eritrea: the siege state' International Crisis Group Africa Report.


This list was last generated on Sunday, 19th August 2018, 04:43 Europe/London.