headshot photo of Dr. Erin Mosely

Dr. Erin Mosely

Assistant Professor
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of History
Office Location: Roosevelt Hall 137
Office Hours: M/W 10a-12p
Phone: 714-997-6867
Northwestern University, Bachelor of Arts
University of London, Master of Science
Harvard University, Ph.D.


I am an assistant professor of African history. My research interests include the politics of history and memory in colonial and postcolonial Africa, the impact of human rights archiving on historical research, and the increasing turn to legal frameworks and vocabularies in managing legacies of violence and injustice. I am also very interested in post-conflict artistic and cultural production as a potential counterpoint to official state narratives. Geographically, my work focuses on the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, and Uganda), though I have also done comparative research on South Africa, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.

My current book manuscript, The Future of Rwanda’s Past: Human Rights, Atrocity Archives, and the Remaking of History after Genocide, examines the changing political, legal, and archival landscape in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide, and its broader consequences for the Rwandan historical field. While the book focuses largely on contemporary processes of historical reckoning and revision, it argues that, in the Rwandan case, these form part of a much longer story of crisis and contestation around knowledge production, nation building, and state power. 

In addition to my academic pursuits, I have been involved in various other projects, including ongoing work with the Genocide Archive of Rwanda; research for the landmark Mau Mau reparations case in London’s High Court, which culminated in a financial payout and public apology by the British government for torture and other crimes committed in colonial Kenya during the 1950s; the development of a traveling history exhibit in partnership with the National Museums of Kenya; and youth empowerment and arts advocacy in Goma, DRC as a volunteer for the Salaam Kivu International Film Festival.

National Awards and Fellowships

  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Fulbright-IIE Grant for Research in Rwanda         
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Research in Rwanda


  • “Visualizing Apartheid: Reframing Truth and Reconciliation through South African Art,” in Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places, eds. Erica Lehrer, Cynthia Milton, and Monica Patterson (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).


At Chapman, I teach a wide variety of courses on Sub-Saharan African history. I am also affiliated with the MA Program in War and Society and the Peace Studies Department.

Courses Offered

  • HIST 170: Why Africa Matters: African History 1800–Present
  • HIST 222: Apartheid and Resistance in South Africa
  • HIST 320: History on Trial: African Struggles for Truth and Justice
  • HIST 324: African History through Film, Literature, and Music
  • HIST 510B: Readings in Global Transitional Justice (Graduate)