Timothy Parsons

Timothy Parsons

​Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MA, George Washington University
BA, Wesleyan University

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office hours:

  • ​Monday 3:00 - 5:00 pm
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    CB 1109
    ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

​As a social historian of twentieth century Africa, Professor Parsons' research to date has been focused on understanding how ordinary people experienced imperial rule.

His books to date have explored how Africans from diverse walks of life navigated the shifting realities of repression and opportunity that emerged during the imperial and early national eras.


Selected Publications


Africa and World War II, edited by Judith A. Byfield, Carolyn A. Brown, Timothy Parsons, and Ahmad Alawad Sikainga. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

The Second British Empire: In the Crucible of the Twentieth Century. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

The Rule of Empires. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Korean and Paperback Editions 2012.

Race, Resistance and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.

The 1964 Army Mutinies and the Making of Modern East Africa. Westport CT: Praeger, 2003.

The African Rank-and-File: Social Implications of Colonial Service in the King's African Rifles, 1902-1964. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1999.

The British Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A World History Perspective. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.

Recent Articles

"Being Kikuyu in Meru: Challenging the Tribal Geography of Colonial Kenya," Journal of African History, v. 53, n. 1 (2012).

"Local Responses to the Ethnic Geography of Colonialism in the Gusii Highlands of British-Ruled Kenya," Ethnohistory, v. 58, n. 3 (2011).

"The Limits of Sisterhood" The Evolution of the Girl Guide Movement in Colonial Kenya," in Scouting Frontiers: Youth and the Scout Movement's First Century, edited by Nelson Block and Tammy Proctor. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

"Undivided Loyalties: Inkatha's Uses of the Boy Scout Movement," in Being Zulu: Contesting Identities Past and Present, edited by Benedict Carton, John Laband, and Jabulani Sithole. Scottsville SA: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008.

"Een-Gonyama Gonyama!: Zulu Origins of the Boy Scout Movement and the Africanisation of Imperial Britain," Parliamentary History, v. 27, n. 1 (2008).

Online Publications

“British Colonial Rule in Sub-Saharan Africa.” In Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies. Ed. Thomas Spear. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming spring 2014.

Children and Youth in History: Teaching Model, African Scouting.  Created by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. (http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/95?section=introduction)