Stephen Rockel

Stephen Rockel

Associate Professor
History / African Studies
(416) 287-7145


Professor Stephen Rockel is a specialist in African history, particularly in Tanzania, East Africa and South Africa. After completing his PhD at the University of Toronto he taught in the Department of Economic History at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa before returning to Toronto in 1999.

He has particular interests in labour history, slavery, urbanization, colonialism, nationalism, and war and society throughout the African continent and beyond. His book, Carriers of Culture: Labor on the Road in Nineteenth-Century East Africa, was awarded the Joel Gregory Prize by the Canadian Association of African Studies for the best book on Africa written by a Canadian and published in 2006 or 2007.

His current projects include a history of Tabora – a nineteenth century commercial city in Tanzania, as well as research on Tanzanian national identity, and South African anti-apartheid exiles in Canada. In 2009 he published (with Rick Halpern), Inventing Collateral Damage: Civilian Casualties, War and Empire.

Research Interests: 

  • African History
  • African Studies
  • Eastern Africa
  • Central Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Indian Ocean
  • Tanzania
  • South Africa
  • Social History
  • Labour History
  • History of Slavery
  • Urban History
  • War and Society
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Conflicts
  • History and Film


M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto)