Henryatta L. Ballah

Henryatta L. Ballah

Assistant Professor of History

B.A., The Pennsylvania State University
M.A., The Ohio State University
Ph.D., The Ohio State University


Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Africa

The Atlantic World

Civil wars

Youth history

Labor and social movements

Women's history

Henryatta L. Ballah is an historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Africa. Her scholarly research and teaching focus on ‘bottom up’ history, meaning an emphasis on ideas and methods of ordinary people dealing with complex issues within their particular historical moments.  She teaches courses on African Women, Pre-colonial Africa, Colonial Africa, Youth and Social Movements in Africa, and Terrorism in Contemporary Africa.  Ballah’s research has been presented at numerous conferences, both domestic and international. In 2012, she was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award by The Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council at The Ohio State University.

Her current manuscript, "Listen, Politics is Not for Children: Adult Authority, Social Conflicts and Youth Survival Strategies in Post-Civil War Liberia," explores the historical economic, social and political experiences of Liberian youth since the beginning of the Republic in 1847. It argues that despite their marginalization by the state, youths have played an integral role in the quest for democratization in the country, especially since the 1950s. The manuscript is the first detailed history of Liberian youth from the nineteenth into the twenty-first century.

The next research project she has embarked on, titled “Rubber is Slavery: Labor and the Firestone Rubber Company,” examines the company’s labor policies and workers’ protest on its one-million-acre-plantation in Liberia from 1925 to 1970.


Selected Publications:

  • “Liberia: A Colonized Nation and the Role of English in that Process,” Journal of West African History Vol.5, No. 1 (Spring 2019): 29-52.
  • Henryatta Ballah and December Green, “Violence against Women: Households, Wars, Refugees, and Resistance” in Holding the World Together: African Women in Changing Perspective, eds. Nwando Achebe and Claire Robertson (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019).
  • “Politics is Not for Children: Student Activism and State Repression in Liberia, 1944-1990,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Fall 2017): 362-379.
  • “Ethnicity, Politics and Social Conflicts: The Quest for Peace in Liberia,” The Pennsylvania State University McNair Scholars Journal, Vol. 10 (Summer 2003): 52-69.


Prior to joining Connecticut College, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the departments of History and Africana Studies at Oberlin College from 2013-2015. She joined the Department of History at The Ohio State University during the 2015-2016 academic year as a Visiting Scholar.

Contact Henryatta L. Ballah

Mailing Address

Henryatta L. Ballah
Connecticut College
Box # HISTORY/Winthrop
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


Winthrop 311