Benedetta Rossi is a social and labor historian of Africa, trained as an anthropologist. Her work focuses on twentieth century African and global labor history, slavery and other forms of unfreedom, migration, planned development aid, gender and sexuality. Benedetta is working on her second book, Slavery and Abolition in Twentieth Century Africa, contracted to Cambridge University Press (New Approaches to African History Series). She is associate editor for a forthcoming World History of Slavery (Histoire mondiale de l’esclavage published by Seuil, main editor: Paulin Ismard) and a forthcoming Encyclopaedia of African Slavery, the Slave Trade and the Diaspora for the on-line Oxford Research Encyclopaedia (main editor: Martin Klein). Benedetta is Associate Professor in African History and Anthropology at the Department of History of University College London (UCL), UK. Until 2025, she holds a European Commission Advanced Grant on ‘African Abolitionism: The Rise and Transformations of Anti-Slavery in Africa’ (AFRAB).
Benedetta’s first book, From Slavery to Aid: Politics, Labour, and Ecology in the Nigerien Sahel, 1800-2000 (Cambridge University Press 2015, African Studies Series) was one of the five finalists of the 2016 Melville J. Herskovits Award awarded by the African Studies Association (USA) and one of the six finalists of the 2016 Fage and Oliver Prize awarded by the African Studies Association (UK). She is the editor of Reconfiguring Slavery: West African Trajectories (Liverpool University Press, second paperback edition 2016), co-editor with Anne Haour of Being and Becoming Hausa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Brill, 2010), and co-editor with Toby Green of Landscapes, Sources, and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past: Essays in Honour of Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias (Brill, 2018). She serves on the Advisory Editorial Board of Slavery and Abolition, African Economic History, African Studies Review (journal of the African Studies Association, US), and Esclavages & post~esclavages (online journal of the Centre international de recherches sur les esclavages et post-esclavages, CIRESC, France).