Amy Redgrave

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Colonial Anxieties, Local Debates and Struggles over 'Prostitution' in Southern Nigeria, 1890-1960.
Supervisor: Dr Insa Nolte and Dr Benedetta Rossi
PhD African Studies


  • MA World History (University of Manchester)
  • BA History (University of Manchester)


I began a PhD in African Studies at the University of Birmingham in September 2016, under the supervision of Dr Insa Nolte and Dr Benedetta Rossi. My research is funded through the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. I completed my previous degrees at the University of Manchester, where I focused on the history of gender in sub-Saharan Africa. I am returning to Manchester in September 2019 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.


My thesis focuses on debates about prostitution in colonial south Nigeria, particularly in Lagos and a series of towns and villages that provided in-migration to the city. It asks what they can tell us about conflicts over gender and gender relations in this period. My research suggests that 'prostitution' was used a by-word for a set of concerns about the ways in which relationships between men and women were changing in this period. One recurring theme is that 'prostitution' was deployed as a counterfoil to both colonial and local conceptions of marriage. Overall, the project aims to provide an insight into local and colonial ideas around gender, at a time that was characterized by vast political and socio-economic changes. 

Other activities

Scholarly and public engagement activities

11-13 September 2018: Annual Conference of the African Studies Association of the UK: University of Birmingham

  • Paper: ''Prostitution', Print and Politics in Colonial Lagos: Elite Men and the Marriage Debate, 1890-1920.'

Professional memberships

  • African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK): Member
  • Royal African Society (RAS): Member