Brett L. Shadle

Brett L. Shadle

Brett L. Shadle

Professor and Chair of the Department of History


428 Major Williams Hall
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061




Department Membership



  • Kenya
  • Refugees
  • Race
  • International Service Learning

Professional Activities

  • Chair, Department of History
  • Originator and Coordinator, Virginia Tech Africa Coalition


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • B.A., Northern Illinois University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    VT Engage Faculty Fellow, 2014-15

    Excellence in International Initiatives, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2014

    Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2012



    Selected Publications


    The Souls of White Folk: White Settlers in Kenya, 1900-1920s, Reprint ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017.

    “Girl Cases”: Marriage and Colonialism in Gusiiland, Kenya, 1890-1970. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2006.


    “Settlers, Africans, and Inter-personal Violence in Early Colonial Kenya,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 45 (2012): 57-80. 

    “Cruelty and Empathy, Animals and Race, in Colonial Kenya,” Journal of Social History 45  (2012): 1097-1116 

    “Sexual Offences in Kenya Courts, 1960s-2008,” Kenya Law Review 2 (2008-10). Online at: 

    “White Settlers and the Law in Early Colonial Kenya,” Journal of Eastern African Studies 4 (November 2010): 509-23.

    Additional Information

    Current Research: History of refugees in Kenya

    “Debating ‘Early Marriage’ in Colonial Kenya, 1920-1950,” in Richard Roberts, Anne Bunting, and Benjamin Lawrance, eds., Marriage by Force? Contestations over Consent and Coercion in Africa (Ohio University Press, 2017).