Photo of Alicia Decker

Alicia Decker

Promoted to Associate Professor
History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
acdecker@purdue.edu 

Alicia C. Decker holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in Women's Studies from Emory University in 2007. She also has a master's degree in Gender Studies from Makerere University in Uganda and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching interests include gender and militarism, African women’s history, sustainable development, and global feminisms. She is the author of In Idi Amin’s Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda (Ohio University Press, forthcoming 2014), and co-author with Andrea Arrington of Africanizing Democracies: 1980 to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2014). Her scholarly articles have appeared in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Women’s History Review, Journal of Eastern African Studies, History Teacher, and Afriche e Orienti, as well as various edited book collections. She has been invited to present her research at the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia), the University of Zadar (Croatia), the Bellagio Center (Italy), the University of Bologna (Italy), the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), Makerere University (Uganda), and the University of Roskilde (Denmark), as well as numerous universities and conferences throughout the United States. 

Decker is currently working on a new book titled Public Secrets: A Gendered History of Enforced Disappearance in Post-Colonial Africa. Using transcripts from various truth commissions and commissions of inquiry from across the continent, as well as other types of archival and ethnographic data, this project explores the ways in which gender influences patterns and experiences of forcible abduction by the state. Decker is particularly interested in looking at disappearance, and other forms of political violence, as gendered scripts that are enacted by the state in order to maintain a certain performance of power. She is also curious about the ways in which various communities “read” these scripts, and how they engage with such knowledge, across space and time. Her study involves comparative research in multiple African countries, including South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and Algeria. 

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