My work focuses on the economic and financial history of Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which an emphasis on Africa’s connections to the global economy. I have recently completed my second monograph, Sovereignty without Power: Liberia in the Age of Empires, 1822-1980 (Cambridge, 2022), which uses the case of one of the only African countries to remain independent through the colonial period to examine the Liberian government’s exercise of economic sovereignty and the ways that it shaped the country’s economic development over the long run. Previous work has focused on the institutional legacies of colonialism in Africa and the relationship between African countries and international financial and monetary systems.
My work on the latter has been the foundation for a partnership with the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian. We have created several digital and physical displays of African monetary objects, which show how these objects offer a new perspective on Africa’s economic, political and social history.
- EH211 Africa and the World Economy, 1500-2000
- EH401 Historical Analysis of Economic Change
- EH421 Economic History of Colonialism
- Research Associate, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian
- Research Associate in African Economic History, University of Stellenbosch
Download Dr Gardner's CV here: Leigh Gardner CV