Alden Young

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alden Young is a Mellon Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow and a part of the Penn Humanities Forum. He is currently based in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in August 2013 from the Princeton History Department. An historian of Africa and the Middle East, he combines political and administrative history with the history of economic expertise in order to understand the specificity of the decolonizing state. In order to recapture the choices that elites made as they created the decolonizing state, he traces the competing and overlapping visions of political and economic community held by colonial and Sudanese officials.He has also begun working on a new project tentatively titled Elite Retreat: Sudanese Bureaucrats, Intellectuals, Traders and the Search for an Alternative to the State which follows the decisions of these three groups of elites to alternatively attempt to reform or abandon the state project during the two decade period between the popular Sudanese revolts of 1964 and 1984/85. In particular, I am interested in the different strategies that public officials, intellectuals and traders have adopted to become less dependent on a frequently unstable state, while developing alternatives networks of belonging.