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Chernoh Alpha M. Bah

Chabraja Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Service

PhD Northwestern University, 2023


Geographic Field(s):  African History; Modern European History: Britain and Its Empire

Thematic Field(s):  Economic and Labor History; Environmental History; History of Science, Technology, and Medicine; Legal and Criminal History

Principal Research Interest(s):  Carceral Studies, Prison Labor, Public Health, Biosecurity, Medical Experimentation, Epidemics, and Financial Journalism

Chernoh Alpha M. Bah specializes in medical, legal, and economic history of West Africa with complementary interests in Africanist anthropology. Under the auspices of the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies he is currently working for the online periodical The Africanist Press.

Bah’s research focuses on the history of medicine and medical experimentation in colonial West Africa. His current book project examines how prison labor was central to different kinds of medical and agricultural projects in Sierra Leone between the First and Second World Wars; and the ways medical researchers from Liverpool and colonial officials in Sierra Leone conceptualized and justified the use of convict labor.

 Bah has also worked extensively in West Africa as a journalist, political activist, and writer. He is the author of The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Corporate Gangsters, Multinationals, and Rogue Politicians (2015), and Neocolonialism in West Africa: A Collection of Essays (2014), and is currently the editor-in chief of the Africanist Press, a media agency and investigative journalism project focusing on anti-corruption, democracy, and free speech in Africa. His investigative journalism has been featured on the BBC, Radio France International, AFP, DW, among others.

Bah is presently working on a transnational project designed to document the sources of illicit financial flows in the Mano River corridor of West Africa. The project aims to build a database on transnational crime and corruption in West Africa from 1975 to present. Bah is also a founding member of the Write for Justice Campaign, a collective group of journalists and academics investigating and documenting human rights violations and injustices in Africa.