Bianca Murillo

Assistant Professor of History


  • Ph.D. 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 U.S., U.K., Europe, and parts of West Africa. Her research and teaching interests include the history of global capitalism, comparative consumer cultures, and critical race and gender studies. Her research has been published in Africa, Enterprise & Society, and Gender & History and last year she was awarded the prestigious 2013-2014 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. Her book, Conditional Sales: Global Commerce and the Making of an African Consumer Society is forthcoming with Ohio University Press as part of its New African Histories series.

Courses Recently Taught

Africa After 1945 HIST 273
Consumer Culture in Africa IDS 101
Expressive Cultures in African History HIST 360W
Gender and Power in Modern Africa HIST 131
Gender, Race, and Empire HIST 379
Introduction to Modern African History HIST 119
Oral History: Theory, Methods, Practice HIST 393

Selected Publications

Conditional Sales: Global Commerce and the Making of an African Consumer Society (Athens: Ohio University Press, forthcoming).

“Female Credit Customers, the United Africa Company, and Consumer Markets in Colonial Ghana” in Erika Rappaport, Mark J. Crowley, and Sandra Trudgen Dawson (eds.), Consuming Behaviours: Identity, Politics, and Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Britain (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).

“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

Willamette University Faculty Achievement Award (for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service), 2013-2014

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)