Robert Rouphail

Department: History

Assistant Professor of History

  • Education
  • PHD, Univ of Illinois Urbana
  • MA, North Carolina State Univ Raleigh
  • BA, Univ of North Carolina Chapel Hill
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I hold a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and am primarily interested in the social and cultural histories of race, gender, empire and the environment in East Africa and the Indian Ocean world. 

My current research is on the modern histories of cyclonic weather in Mauritius, a multiethnic and religiously plural island nation off the coast of southeastern Africa, and the Indian Ocean World. My book manuscript, Cyclonic Lives: Disaster and Society in Modern Mauritius, is an environmental history from below. It seeks to understand how everyday people reckoned with these meteorological phenomena in Mauritius. This project traces how popular ideas of race, gender and national belonging in Mauritius transformed in relation to the destruction caused by tropical cyclones and reconstruction efforts that followed.

I am also broadly interested in the intersecting histories of Afro-Asian politics, decolonization, technology and the natural world in the 20th century Indian Ocean World.

Courses taught:

  • HIST-172 Early Modern Africa
  • HIST-390 African Cosmopolitans
  • HIST-390 Science and Empire in Africa
  • HONS-301 African Cosmopolitans