Bianca Murillo

Bianca Murillo


  • Ph.D. History, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A. History, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A. History, Law & Society, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research and Teaching

Professor Murillo specializes in the history of modern Africa and has conducted archival and oral history research in the US, UK, Europe, and parts of West Africa. Her research and teaching interests include the history of global markets and trade, post-colonial states and societies, gender and power, and comparative consumer cultures. She is currently completing her book manuscript, Conditional Sales: Global Commerce and the Making of an African Consumer Society for publication and was recently awarded the prestigious 2013-2014 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship.

Courses Recently Taught

HIST 119: Introduction to Modern African History
HIST 131: Gender & Power in Modern Africa
HIST 273: Africa After 1945
HIST 360: Expressive Cultures in African History
HIST 393: Oral History: Theory, Methods, Practice

Selected Publications

“The Modern Shopping Experience: Kingsway Department Store and Consumer Politics in Ghana,” Africa, 82, 3 (2012): 368-92. 

“The Devil We Know:” Gold Coast Consumers, Local Employees, and the United Africa Company, 1940-60,”Enterprise & Society, 12, 2 (2011): 317-55. 

“Situating Histories of Consumption and Consumers in Africa,” Review Essay, Ghana Studies 11 (2010): 217-230. 

“Ideal Homes and the Gender Politics of Consumerism in Ghana, 1960-70,” Gender & History, Special Issue: Homes & Homecomings 21, 3 (2009): 560-75.

Curatorial Experience

Co-Curator, Edible Empire: African Cocoa in a Global Economy exhibition, University of California, Santa Barbara, November 14-29, 2006.

Recent Campus Awards and Funding

Lilly Grant Award—Organizer/Project Leader of “Beyond Community Outreach: Faculty Engagement in Linking the Academy Pipeline Program with Willamette University,” Office of the Dean (2011-2012) 

Hewlett Award—“Developing an Interdisciplinary African Studies Curriculum and Community,” Office of the President, Willamette University (2010-2011)