Social and cultural history of Africa, colonialism and postcolonialism,
Nationalism in Africa, Development, urban history
Lynn Schler received a B.A. in history at the University of Michigan in 1989. She completed her Master’s degree in African Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1995. She received a Ph.D. in African History at Stanford University in 2002. Since 2008, she has been a senior lecturer in African History in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Lynn’s research has been focused on the construction of identities, communities and ideologies in the volatile meeting grounds between European empires and African cultures. Her work has examined the cultural, ideological and political implications of colonial and post-colonial encounters in Africa, the African Diaspora, and Europe. Her first book, The Strangers of New Bell: Immigration, Public Space and Community in Colonial Douala, Cameroon, 1914-1960 (UNISA, South Africa, 2008), examined the growth of an immigrant community in Douala under German and French colonial rule. Her second monograph, Becoming Nigerians: African Seamen, Decolonization and the Nationalization of Shipping in Nigeria, 1945-1990 (Ohio University Press, forthcoming) focuses on Nigerian seamen in the transition from colonialism to independence. The study provides a working-class perspective on the process of decolonization, and documents the ways in which everyday Africans interpreted and experienced these broader political changes. Research for this book was conducted in Nigeria and Liverpool.
Lynn has been the Director of the Tamar Golan Africa Centre at Ben Gurion University since 2011. In this capacity, she organizes and oversees a wide range of academic, research and cultural activities. She was also one of the founders and the first academic director of the Inter-University Program in African Studies, based at Ben-Gurion University, Tel Aviv University and the Open University of Israel.
“Looking Through a Glass of Beer: Alcohol in the Cultural Spaces of Colonial
Douala, 1910-1945,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol.
35, no. 2 (2002) 315-334
“Ambiguous Spaces: The Struggle over African Identities and Urban Communities in Colonial Douala, 1914-1945,” Journal of African History, vol. 44, no. 2 (2003) 51-72
“Bridewealth, Guns and Other Status Symbols: Immigration and Consumption in Colonial Douala,” The Journal of African Cultural Studies , vol. 16 (2003) 213-234
“History, the Nation-State and Alternative Narratives: An Example from Colonial Douala,” African Studies Review, vol. 48, no.1 (2005) 89-108
“Secrets and Silences in the Writing of African Women’s History,” (in Hebrew), Zmanim: A Historical Quarterly, vol. 102 (2008) 68-79
“American Imperialism in the Era of Post-Orientalism,” (in Hebrew), Jama’a, vol. 17 (2009) 87-92
“Rethinking African Labor, Past and Present,” Lynn Schler, and , in African Identities, vol. 7, no. 2 (2009) 287-298
“Transnationalism and Nationalism in the Nigerian Seamen’s Union,” African Identities, vol. 7, no. 2 (2009) 387-398
“The Negotiations of Nigerian Seamen in the Transition from Colonialism to Independence: Smuggling to Make Ends Meet,” African Studies Review, vol. 54, no. 1 (2011), 167-185
“Becoming Nigerian: African Seamen, Decolonisation, and the Nationalisation of Consciousness,” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol. 11, no. 1 (2011), 42-62
"‘The facts stated do not seem to be true’: The Contested Process of Repatriation in British Colonial Nigeria." The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 41 (2013): 1-19