Matthew Swagler

Matt Swagler

Research Associate



Matt Swagler is a historian of  West and Central Africa, focusing on decolonization and popular politics in Senegal and Congo-Brazzaville. In his teaching and scholarship, he also explores histories of childhood, Pan-Africanism, gender and sexuality in Africa, and Africa within the global economy.

His current book manuscript is entitled Decolonization’s Discontents: Youth Radicalism in Francophone Africa, 1958-1974. This work shows how autonomous youth organizations in Senegal and Congo-Brazzaville rejected the terms of independence from French rule and mobilized young men and women around a more extensive vision of decolonization. By highlighting the words and actions of former African activists, the book offers new perspectives on the history of the 1960s, and inspired a course for Fall 2020 on the global protest movements of 1968-69.

Selected Publications

Book (in preparation)

Decolonization’s Discontents: Youth Radicalism in Francophone Africa, 1958-1974. 

Recent Articles

“The Russian Revolution and Pan-African Marxism.” Review of African Political Economy, vol. 45, issue 158 (2018): 620-628.

“Did the Russian Revolution Matter in Africa?” Part I (1917-1940) and Part II (1940-1990), Review of African Political Economy Blog, 2017 & 2018.

“Autonomous Youth Organizations’ Conquest of Political Power in Congo-Brazzaville, 1963-1968,” with Héloïse Kiriakou. In Etudiants africains en mouvement: contribution à une histoire des années 68, edited by Françoise Blum, Pierre Guidi and Ophélie Rillon, 57-76. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2016.