Samuel Fury Childs Daly

Assistant Professor African and African American Studies

Bell Tower

I’m an Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies, History, and International Comparative Studies. My departmental webpage can be found here. I’m originally from California, and I arrived at Duke in 2017 by way of Milwaukee, New York, Lagos, and London. I have a PhD in African History from Columbia University, and master’s degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of Cambridge, where I was a Marshall Scholar. Before coming to Duke I was a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University, and before that I worked in many different places, from bars and call centers to archives and international organizations.

My academic interests are in law, militarism, and the points where they intersect. At Duke, I teach courses about many areas of African history, from the beginning of the Holocene era to the present day. The topics of my research are more specific: I specialize in the history of postcolonial Nigeria, and my recent book is about the Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafra War) in the late 1960s. My interests aren’t limited to Nigeria, however, and one of my current projects is a study of why soldiers run from battle, entitled The Good Soldier: A Global History of Military Deserters. I’m a wide dabbler, and I enjoy speaking with students about the visual arts, film, and literature.

When not in my office in the Friedl Building, I can be found boxing at Brodie Gym, biking the American Tobacco Trail, or browsing one of Durham’s fine bookstores (check out Rofhiwa Book Café, Letters Bookshop, The Regulator, and Golden Fig Books for starters).