PhD, Columbia University
Halimat Somotan is a historian of twentieth-century Africa with research specialization and interests in the history of decolonization, postcolonial rule, urban history, and women’s history. Her book manuscript, The Decolonizing City: Popular Politics and the Making of Postcolonial Lagos, 1941-76, examines how diverse actors, from tenants, landlords, market women, to traditional rulers, experienced and shaped Lagos’ transition from colonial to postcolonial rule. It argues that citizens’ everyday activism undermined the military government’s decision to govern Lagos as the capital of independent Nigeria. At Auburn, she teaches World History and African History courses.
Before joining the Auburn faculty in 2021, Dr. Somotan was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, where she co-taught an undergraduate course on African studies and co-organized workshops on African Urbanism(s). Dr. Somotan received her Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 2020