Alumni Senior Fellow

Dr Steven Pierce

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 196
47059 Duisburg

Tel: +49 (0)203 29861-100
Fax: +49 (0)203 29861-199
E-mail: pierce@spam


Dr. Steven Pierce joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow. He will be conducted his research in Research Unit 2 “Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Cooperation” from July to December 2013.

Research Project at the Centre

Government and the Body in Pain: Humanitarianism, Vulnerability, and the Culpabilities of Power

This research project contributes to the historical assessment of how global initiatives for humanitarianism and human rights have developed in tandem with paradigms of human difference. Cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity can be seen as something more than a simple impediment to cross-cultural cooperation. Rather, the past several centuries have witnessed the emergence of a new politics of diversity and new systems of knowledge to describe human variation—everything from scientific racism to the culture-concept—at precisely the time western societies became ideologically invested in an ethos of humanitarianism. This research places the dialectical relationship between representations of suffering and paradigms of cultural alterity within the history of colonialism and postcolonialism.

Research Interests

  • Northern Nigeria
  • Africa
  • Historical Anthropology
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Gender and Sexuality

Current Projects

  • Government and the Body in Pain: Humanitarianism, Vulnerability, and the Culpabilities of Power
  • Rights and the Human
  • A Moral Economy of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Northern Nigeria


Since 01/2006 University of Manchester, UK
Department of History
Lecturer in Modern African History
09/2010-08/2011 Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA
School of Social Science
07/2000-12/2005 Tulane University, USA
Department of History
Assistant Professor of History
01/2000-06/2000 Yale University, USA
Department of History
Lecturer in African History

Selected Publications

Pierce, Steven (2013): The Public, the Private, and the Sanitary: Domesticity and Development in Northern Nigeria, in: Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 13:3

Pierce, Steven (2013): Pointing to Property: Colonialism, Knowledge, and Land Tenure in Northern Nigeria, in: Africa 34:1

Pierce, Steven (2012): A Moral Economy of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Northern Nigeria, under contract to Duke University Press

Pierce, Steven (2008): Identity, Performance, and Secrecy: Gendered Life and the ‘Modern’ in Northern Nigeria, in: Feminist Studies 33:3

Pierce, Steven / Anupama Rao (eds.) (2006): Discipline and the Other Body: Correction, Corporeality, Colonialism, Duke University Press

Pierce, Steven (2006): Looking Like a State: Colonialism and the Discourse of Corruption in Northern Nigeria, in: Comparative Studies in Society and History 48:4

Pierce, Steven (2005): Farmers and the State in Colonial Kano: Land Tenure and the Legal Imagination, Indiana University Press

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Body (MA, convenor and contributor, Manchester)
  • Methodologies of World History (MA, convenor and contributor, Manchester)
  • Colonial Encounters (level 2, contributor, Manchester)
  • Globalisation in Historical Perspective (level 1, contributor, Manchester)
  • Themes, Methods, and Approaches in African History (MA, Manchester)
  • History Beyond the Nation-State (MA, contributor, Manchester)

Seminars and Conferences

  • "Violence, Prostitution, and the Gendered Public”, Berkshires Conference on Women’s History, 11 June 2011
  • "Global Wounds", Organizing committee, University of Manchester, 25-26 May 2009
  • “Questioning Same-Sex Relations in West Africa” (with Rudolf Gaudio), Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois, 14 November 2008
  • "History Seminar" (with Laurence Brown), University of Manchester, 2005-2006


  • American Historical Association
  • African Studies Association
  • American Anthropological Association

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Gerardo Bracho

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Dr Petra Gümplová

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Joe Hoover

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair