As Professor of Global History at the University of Potsdam, I am committed to the study of Africa and Africans as an integral part of writing global history. My research interests include the history of migration and processes of refuge seeking, labor history, education history, oral and life history, African and global history and the history of international organizations.

I received my Ph.D. in history at Princeton University in September 2017, and hold an M.Sc. in African Studies from the University of Oxford. My dissertation Socialist Solidarities and their Aftermath: Histories and Memories of Angolan and Mozambican migrants to the German Democratic Republic, 1975-2015, traces the lived experience and memories of Angolan and Mozambican migrants to East Germany and back. Peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Africa, African Economic History, Labor History, Stichproben, and Atelier.

Marcia C. Schenck

What is new?

The brand new History Dialogues Website is out! 

History Dialogues, a programme I founded and am teaching within the framework of the Global History Lab at Princeton University, supports, guides, and shares original research by student-researchers around the world. By training them in oral history and other historical research methods, we help new voices become narrators of history, and expand conceptions of what history is, and who its authors are. We believe in the right to research and the power of historical inquiry to spark conversations and connections across borders. Visit the website to participate in the global conversation about global history. 

Africa is a Country has launched a new blog series titled "Histories of Refuge". This series a product of an exploratory Workshop “Rethinking Refuge: Processes of Refuge Seeking” I organized in June 2019 at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin. Madina Thiam has graciously curated this series, which features Christoph Kalter, Lazlo Passemiers, Rose Jaji, Keren Weitzberg, Alfred Tembo, Jochen Lingelbach, Aderito Machava, Njung George, Anita Vukovic, and myself. 

I started my second semester at the University of Potsdam in Germany and am looking forward to many more to come!

I am thrilled to announce the open access publication of our edited volume Navigating Socialist Encounters. Moorings and (Dis)Entanglements between Africa and East Germany during the Cold War!


Edited by Eric Burton, Anne Dietrich, Immanuel Harisch, and myself, this book firmly anchors African history in global history by illuminating the connections between African and East German actors and institutions during the Cold War. With a particular focus on agency and African influences on the GDR (and vice versa), the volume illuminates personal and institutional agency, reciprocal cultural transfers, migration, development, and solidarity.

I am excited to announce the launch of our H-Net Cross-Network “Refugees in African History”, which will bring together contributions from throughout H-Africa and H-Migration, and will serve as a space to exchange thoughts, interesting reads and helpful resources on the topic. Come check it out and subscribe! This, too, is the result of the exploratory workshop “Rethinking Refuge: Processes of Refuge Seeking” I organized in June 2019 at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin, and I could not have done this without the help of the other editors Keren Weitzberg, Jochen Lingelbach and Johanna Wetzel. 

Fellow at Historisches Kolleg in Munich 22-23

I am thrilled to be able to work on my second monograph about historical refugee management on the African continent at the Kaulbach-Villa in Munich as a Fellow of the Historisches Kolleg for the academic year 2022-23.