Kathleen Sheldon

Photo of Kathleen SheldonKathleen Sheldon received her PhD in History from UCLA in 1988 and her MA in African Area Studies in 1977. She is a historian who has primarily written about African women and Mozambique. Her most recent book is African Women: Early History to the 21st Century.

She is an editor on the H-Luso-Africa network which focuses on the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa.



2017. African Women: Early History to the 21st Century. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2016. Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa., 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

2002. Pounders of Grain: A History of Women, Work, and Politics in Mozambique. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

1996. Courtyards, Markets, City Streets: Urban Women in Africa. Editor. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Selected articles:

2020. “Women in Africa and Pan-Africanism.” In The Routledge Handbook of Pan-Africanism, ed. Reiland Rabaka, 330-342. New York: Routledge.

2020. “‘Down with Bridewealth!’ The Organization of Mozambican Women Debates Women’s Issues.” In Women’s Political Communication in Africa: Issues and Perspectives, ed. Sharon Adetutu Omotoso, 9-26. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

2019. “Colonialism and Resistance: Protests and National Liberation Movements.” In Holding the World Together: African Women in Changing Perspective, ed. Nwando Achebe and Claire Robertson, 81-100. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

2018. “Finding My Way in African Women’s History.” In Reshaping Women’s History: Voices of Nontraditional Women Historians, ed. Julie A. Gallagher and Barbara Winslow, 14-27. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

2017. “From Frenzied Mobs to Savvy Businesswomen: Researching the History of Market Women in Africa.” In Changing Horizons of African History, ed. Awet T. Weldemichael, Anthony A. Lee, and Edward A. Alpers. Lawrenceville, NJ: Africa World Press.

2010. “Creating an Archive of Working Women’s Oral Histories in Beira, Mozambique.” In Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources, ed. Nupur Chaudhuri, Sherry J. Katz, and Mary Elizabeth Perry. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

2010. “No more cookies or cake now, ‘C’est la guerre’: An American Nurse in Turkey, 1919 to 1920.” Social Sciences and Missions 23(1). Based on a diary kept by Sheldon’s great-aunt, Sylvia Thankful Eddy.

Editorial work:

A two-part forum on Women and Gender in Africa for the African Studies Review, coedited with Judith Van Allen, that appeared in December 2015 and April 2016.

Editor for women’s entries for the Dictionary of African Biography (2011).

Editor for Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies, for which she wrote the entries on Women and African History (rev., 2016) and Women and Colonialism (rev., 2018).

Senior editor for the online resource, Oxford Research Encyclopedia in African History.