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Kananoja, Kalle

Senior Research Fellow

University of Oulu, Finland


Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2012/2013

Ph.D. Institution

Åbo Akademi University, Finland


I received my Ph.D. in History from Åbo Akademi University in June 2012 with a dissertation on Central African identities and religious practices in colonial Minas Gerais.
My dissertation concentrates on the transatlantic linkages between West Central Africa and the Brazilian mining region in the eighteenth century. The first part of my study analyses demographic patterns of slave imports to Minas Gerais and discusses the formation of Central African slaves’ identities in colonial Brazil. The second part of the thesis concentrates on the religious life of Central Africans on both sides of the southern Atlantic.
Whereas the African diaspora in colonial Brazil has traditionally been studied in isolation from Africa, my research compares Brazil with parallel developments in West Central Africa and places Brazilian history squarely in a deeper African past.
I hold an M.A. in African Studies from the University of Helsinki and my work on Angolan history has been published in the International Journal of African Historical Studies and African Economic History.
During my Ph.D. studies I turned myself into a historian of the Atlantic world and have lectured on the Portuguese Atlantic. In spring 2012, I taught a course on Africa in global history.
My future research continues to examine the experiences of Africans in the Atlantic world. I also intend to study European settlement in precolonial Africa with a particular emphasis on cultural encounters between Europeans and Africans.
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