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Allegra Otsaye Ayida

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Allegra Otsaye Ayida is currently a PhD student in History at Yale University, and a WHC Environmental Humanities Fellow. 

A strong advocate for the push against the Eurocentric nature of the writing of African history as told through the lens of European conquest and domination, her personal connection as a diasporic Nigerian fuels her passion for writing Nigerian History. In addition, she is a founding member of Museum of Ode-Itsekiri Initiative (MOII), an online repository that aims to collect, collate, preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Itsekiri people.


Allegra received a BA in History from Wesleyan University, an MA in World History from Kings’ College London and an Mphil in African Studies from Cambridge University.


Research Interests

Environmental Humanities; Maritime & Oceanic history; Blue Humanities; Capitalism; Natural Resources and the environment; Empire and Colonialism; Longue Durée History; African history


Latest Publication

Pre-colonial Lusophone Kingship and Elite Migrations: A Case Study of the Warri Kingdom

This paper examines how African kingship changed as a result of cross-cultural interaction due to the Portuguese presence in the Niger Delta on the Gulf of Guinea in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The early modern Warri Kingdom had connections to the wider Lusophone world and Europe through the diplomatic missions and migrations of its princes. The Warri Kingdom’s dynasty is composed of twenty-one olus (kings) with the most recent olu being crowned in 2021. This paper examines the biographies of three successive olus who reigned between the late-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries and approaches the lives of these olus as a coeval prism through which to view and better understand the entanglements of religion, commerce, and elite migration.

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Allegra O. Ayida

New Haven, CT

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