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Teaching Fellow: Dr Sacha Hepburn



Telephone: 024 76574691, internal extension 74691

Office: H3.14, Humanities Building

Office Hours: Monday 3pm-4pm, Thursday 2pm-3pm or by appointment

(term-time only, excluding reading weeks)


Academic Profile

2017-Present: Teaching Fellow in African History, University of Warwick

2016-2018: Past and Present Fellow, Institute of Historical Research

2013-2016: DPhil in History, University of Oxford

2011-2012: MA in World History, University of Manchester

2008-2011: BA in History, University of Warwick


I will teach on the following courses in 2018-19:

HI177 A History of Africa from 1800 (undergraduate first-year option module)

HI132B Kenya's Mau Mau Rebellion, 1952-60 (undergraduate third-year special subject module)

HI995 Themes & Approaches to the Historical Study of Empire (MA option module)


I am a social historian whose work examines issues relating to labour, gender, women and children in Africa.

I am currently writing my first book, Keeping Each Other: Domestic Service in Post-Colonial Zambia. This book is based on my doctoral research, completed at the University of Oxford in 2016. Zambia, like many post-colonial African states, experienced drastic and devastating economic decline from the late 1970s, a process later exacerbated by structural adjustment programmes and economic liberalisation. Keeping Each Other demonstrates how domestic service, one of the largest areas of employment in post-colonial Zambia, expanded despite the challenging economic environment and provided men, women and children with a means to manage the intersecting challenges of declining economic security and endemic gendered and wealth-based inequalities. Employment in domestic service provided many thousands of men, women and children with access to the resources they needed to support themselves and their dependents. For employers, and particularly working women, domestic service provided access to the labour they needed to sustain their homes and to raise their children. Keeping Each Other sheds light on the workings of individual and household survival strategies in post-colonial Africa, demonstrating how men, women and children have reworked existing labour relations and affiliations such as kinship to forge new relations of obligation and support.

I am in the early stages of a new research project, Working Childhoods: Children, Labour and the State in British Colonial Africa, c. 1900-1939. This research explores how British colonial officials used labour policy as part of broader projects to construct racialised and gendered ideals of childhood for colonial subjects; how such policies were adopted, co-opted and challenged by African societies; and how children responded to these policies. Taking a child-centred approach to colonial history, this project will provide new insights into the everyday workings of colonial economies, relationships between children and the colonial state, and the history of childhood in Africa.



Keeping Each Other: Domestic Service in Post-Colonial Zambia (in preparation).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

‘Girlhood, Domestic Service and Perceptions of Child Labour in Zambia, c. 1980-2010’, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (forthcoming, 2019).

‘Service and Solidarity: Domestic Workers, Informal Organising and the Limits of Unionisation in Zambia’, Journal of Southern African Studies (2019). Published online 11 Jan 2019, print version to follow.

'Bringing a Girl from the Village: Gender, Child Migration and Domestic Service in Post-Colonial Zambia', in Marie Rodet and Elodie Razy (eds), Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (Woodbridge: James Currey, 2016), pp. 69-84.

Book Reviews

'Rebecca Shumway and Trevor R. Getz (eds), Slavery and Its Legacy in Ghana and Diaspora (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)', in Cultural and Social History (forthcoming, 2019).

'Susanne M. Klausen, Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women's Reproductive Rights in South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)', in Journal of Southern African Studies, 44:1 (2018), pp. 190-192.

'S. E. Duff, Changing Childhoods in the Cape Colony: Dutch Reformed Church Evangelicalism and Colonial Childhood, 1860-1895 (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015)', in Journal of Southern African Studies, 43:4 (2017), pp. 842-843.

'Évelyne Trouillot, The Infamous Rosalie (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013)', in Women’s History Review, 24:3 (2015), pp. 462-464.

'Trevor R. Getz and Liz Clarke, Abina and the Important Men: a Graphic History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)', in Women’s History Review, 23:1 (2014), pp. 145-146.

Other Writing

‘Workers or Victims? Historicising Child Labour in Africa’, Past and Future: The Magazine of the Institute of Historical Research, 24 (Autumn/Winter 2018).

'Beyond the Home: new histories of domestic servants', Past & Present Blog, 22 September 2017.