Caroline Elkins

Caroline Elkins

Professor of History and African and African American Studies
Caroline Elkins

Professor Elkins's first book, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It was also selected as one of the Economist's best history books for 2005, was a New York Times editor's choice, and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Award. She and her research were also the subjects of a 2002 BBC documentary titled, Kenya: White Terror, which was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross Award at the Monte Carlos Film Festival. Professor Elkins is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. She has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs including NPR's All Things Considered, BBC's The World, and PBS's Charlie Rose. Professor Elkins's current research interests include colonial violence and post-conflict reconciliation in Africa, and violence and the decline of the British Empire. She is currently working on two projects: one examining the effects of violence and amnesia on local communities and nation-building in post-independent Kenya; the other analyzing British counter-insurgency operations after the Second World War, with case studies including Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Nyasaland. Professor Elkins teaches courses on modern Africa, protest in East Africa, human rights in Africa, and British colonial violence in the 20th century.
*Photo: Webb Chappell, Radcliffe Quarterly

Selected Publications
  • Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya Henry Holt/Jonathan Cape (2005)
  • Settler Colonialists in the 20th Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies Routledge (edited with Susan Pedersen) (2005)
  • "Detention, Rehabilitation, and the Destruction of Kikuyu Society" in Odhiambo and Lonsdale (eds.), Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration Oxford: James Currey, pp. 191-226 (2003)
  • "The Struggle for Mau Mau Rehabilitation in Late Colonial Kenya" in International Journal of African Historical Studies, 33, 1 pp. 25-57 (2000)
  • "Reckoning with the Past: The Contrast between the Kenyan and South African Experiences" in Social Dynamics, 26, 2 pp. 8-28 (2000)



Contact Information

Center for Government and International Studies-South Building
Room 432
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-2568

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