Department of History

Elisabeth McMahon

Elizabeth McMahonElisabeth (Liz) McMahon is an associate professor of African history at Tulane University in New Orleans.  She came to Tulane in 2007 after a visiting position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her book, Slavery and Emancipation in Islamic East Africa: From Honor to Respectability, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.  She also has articles in the Journal of Social History, the Journal of Women's History, and the International Journal of African Historical Studies among others.   Her book looks at the process of abolition on the island of Pemba off the East African coast in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and demonstrates the links between emancipation and the redefinition of honor among all classes of people on the island.  She has two related projects currently; the first is a revision of her dissertation to examine how colonial social welfare parallels recent development efforts in Zanzibar.  The second project takes on the uses of the "model village" for western encounters with African societies from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries.