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Milo Gough


Personal profile


I am a historian of urban West Africa during the 19th and 20th centuries. I am interested in the spatial organisation of cities and the spatial practices of city dwellers under colonial rule. Research conducted for my PhD focused on Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Research interests

African Cities:
The built environment and urban life from precolonial to postcolonial times. My interest is centred around my in depth research of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Peripheral Urbanisation:
I am interested in the historical production of peripheral urbanisation in Africa beyond the horizon of structural adjustment. I am working on a project proposal that explores legacies of (post)colonial modernist building at urban peripheries.

I recently finished working as a postdoctoral researcher on a project that traced late colonial and postcolonial histories of fishing and fisheries science in Lake Malawi. In terms of my research on Freetown, I am interested in the historical production of the city as a drenched, soaked and at times drowned place.

I have been thinking about how we can use maps, and think creatively with maps, to help us understand urban pasts.


I studied for a BA in History at King's College London and an MA in African Studies at SOAS. In a break from university life, I took six months to cycle from Spain to Sierra Leone. On returning to London I studied for a PhD at Goldsmiths, passing my viva in 2022.

Before joining Manchester I worked as a Guest Teacher at LSE (2020-2023) and as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde (2022-2023).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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