Ahmad Sikainga is a professor of African History at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. His academic interests embrace the study of Africa, the African Diaspora, and the Middle East with a focus on slavery, labor, urban history, and popular culture. The geographical focus of Sikainga’s research is the Sudan, the Nile Valley, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf.
His publications include: Sudan Defense Force: Origin and Role, 1925-1955 (1983), Western Bahr al-Ghazal under British Rule, 1898-1956 (1991), Slaves into Workers: Emancipation and Labor in Colonial Sudan (1996), City of Steel and Fire: A Social History of Atbara, Sudan's Railway Town, 1906-1984 (2002). He co-edited Africa and World War II (Cambridge, 2015), Post-conflict Reconstruction in Africa (2006), and Civil War in the Sudan, 1983-1989 (1993). In addition, Sikainga has published dozens of articles and book chapters. His research was supported by fellowships and grants from such institutions as the Andrew Mellon Fellowship at Harvard University, National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the J. William Fulbright program, and the Social Science Research Council, just to name a few. Sikainga is currently working on two book projects: Free and Unfree Labor in a Changing Economy: Slavery, Oil, and Wage Labor in Qatar examines the link between slavery, the oil industry, and wage labor in Qatar from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and Slavery, Ethnicity. The second projected, titled Identity, and the Development of Popular Culture in Contemporary Sudan explores the role of former slaves, their descendants, immigrants, and other subaltern groups in the development of distinct styles of music, dance, and fashion that have shaped Sudanese urban popular culture.