Dr Morenikeji Asaaju

Dr Morenikeji Asaaju

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Cadbury Postdoctoral Fellow in African Studies

Contact details

I am a historian of Africa with particular thematic interest in gender, marriage, family, slavery, emancipation, and the slave trade. My interest also lies in understanding the colonial political and legal changes in twentieth century Africa. My doctoral thesis examined changes in gender and marital relations in colonial Abeokuta, south-western Nigeria.


  • PhD, African History (University of Bayreuth)
  • MPhil, History (Obafemi Awolowo University)
  • BA, History and International Relations (Obafemi Awolowo University)


I joined the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University in 2012, where I taught undergraduate history courses. In 2014, I moved to Bayreuth in Germany, to earn my doctorate under the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Graduate School Scholarship Programme at the University of Bayreuth. Before joining the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, as a Research fellow in 2022, I was a Leventis Scholar at SOAS, University of London in 2020, and an A.G Leventis Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cambridge 2021-2022.


  • History of Africa and Its Diaspora (core module for first-year undergraduates)
  • Research Skills and Methods in African Studies (core module for Master’s students)
  • Gender and Colonialism in African History (optional module for second and third year undergraduates)


My research focuses on gender, marriage and social change in Africa. My doctoral research illustrates the central role of marriage in maintaining political stability in colonial Abeokuta and by extension Yorubaland. This year I am working on my book project which explores the social and cultural processes of heterosexuality relationship as African societies confront changes imposed by the colonial order. Focusing on Abeokuta, a major urban community in southwestern Nigeria, it explores how marriage practices shifted with changing political regimes and conventions of masculinity and femininity.

As well as this, I am also developing a new research project on Gender, Islam and Marriage in South-western Nigeria. It seeks to understand how Islam influenced African marriage practices and transformed gender relations. The central question will be: at what point in time was Islam colliding with indigenous marriage practices? Basically, this research seeks to put religion and marriage in conversation with one another.