Idriss Fofana is a Ph.D. candidate in international and global history at Columbia University and a recent graduate of Yale Law School. He specializes in the history of international law and other forms of inter-polity order in Asia and Africa since the eighteenth century. He is especially interested in historical and contemporary attempts to regulate migration. His work spans the fields of modern Chinese history, the modern history of Atlantic Africa as well as the history of twentieth-century anti-colonial and Third World movements.
His dissertation is titled “The ‘Chinese Solution’ to the Labor Question in Africa: Chinese Workers, African Railroads & the International Regulation of Labor Migration, 1860-1935.” It investigates how European colonial administrations’ long-held ambition to use Chinese labor to exploit resources in tropical Africa gave way to a series of novel experiments in the regulation of labor and migration in southern China, Senegambia, and the Congo basin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.