Priscilla Shilaro, PhD

Assistant Professor, Africa
(804) 828-9814

I am an Assistant Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University. I specialize in African History, with special emphasis on East Africa and West Africa. My teaching interests include precolonial, colonial and post-colonial Africa, with special attention on the intersection between industrialization and altered livelihoods. My research focuses on colonial land and labor policies, and the impact of mineral exploitation in colonial and postcolonial Africa.

I earned my Bachelor of Education (B.ED) Degree and a Masters (MA) Degree from Kenyatta University, Kenya. I earned my PhD from West Virginia University in 2000. Before joining VCU, I had taught at Washington University, MO, Stonehill College, MA, and West Virginia University, WV.

My book titled, A Failed Eldorado: Colonial Capitalism, Rural Industrialization, African Land Rights in Kenya, and the Kakamega Gold Rush, 1930-1952, examines the economic, political, and socio-cultural impact of the gold mining industry on the Luyia of Western Kenya from 1930 to 1952.

I have received highly competitive International Awards including the Rockefeller Foundation African Dissertation Internship Award, and the Association of American University Women International Fellowship.


  • East Africa to 1895
  • East Africa Since 1895
  • Survey of African History to 1800
  • Survey of African History Since 1800
  • West Africa to 1800
  • West Africa Since 1800
  • Colonialism in Africa: The Congo Free State, Kenya and South Africa

A Failed Eldorado

Shilaro CV