Robert Harms

Robert Harms's picture
Henry J. Heinz Professor of History & African Studies
On Leave: 
Spring 2024
HQ 231
Fields of interest: 

Sub-Saharan Africa


Robert Harms received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978.  He is the author of River of Wealth, River of Sorrow: The Central Zaire Basin in the Era of the Slave and Ivory Trade (1981), Games Against Nature: An Eco-Cultural History of the Nunu of Equatorial Africa (1988/1999), The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade (2002), Africa in Global History (2018), and Land of Tears: The Exploration and Exploitation of Equatorial Africa (2019).  His graduate courses include seminars on African environmental history, African agrarian history, colonialism in Africa, and decolonization.

Professor Harms’ celebrated book The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade, is based on the extraordinary journal of French lieutenant Robert Durand, who participated in the slave trade.  Click here to watch a short TV news report about Professor Harms’ research. Then look at the sample entry from Lieutenant Durand’s journal below, which is located in Yale’s Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.