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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

I will hold revised office hours in Term 3. A schedule is here.


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. Like many post-colonial African states, Zambia 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 employment in domestic service 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. The book significantly re-evaluates Zambian labour history, emphasising the centrality of domestic labour to the economy and the importance of women and child workers. More broadly, the book sheds new light on 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 ties 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, missionaries and other European actors constructed ideals of gendered and racialized childhoods; how these ideas informed labour policy; and how such policies were adopted, co-opted and challenged by African children, their parents and wider society, both in colony and metropole. These case studies will also provide a window onto debates on child labour that were taking place in this period in both Britain and at the international level through bodies such as the League of Nations and International Labour Organisation (ILO). Taking a child-centred approach to the history of colonialism in Africa, the project will provide new insights into labour relations under colonial rule, the functioning and structure of colonial economies, and relationships between children and the British colonial state.



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, Special Issue: Girlhoods and the Girling of Work (forthcoming, 2019).

‘Service and Solidarity: Domestic Workers, Informal Organising and the Limits of Unionisation in Zambia’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 45, 1 (2019), pp. 31-47.

'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. Advance access online, print version to follow.

'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.