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Alicia Decker

Alicia Decker

Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies

128B Willard Building
Office Phone: (814) 867-3561


Alicia C. Decker earned her PhD in Women’s Studies from Emory University. She also has a master’s degree in Gender Studies from Makerere University in Uganda and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching interests include gender and militarism, African women’s history, and global feminisms. She is the author of In Idi Amin’s Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda (Ohio University Press, 2014), and co-author with Andrea Arrington of Africanizing Democracies: 1980 to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2015). Her scholarly articles have appeared in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Women’s History Review, Journal of Eastern African Studies, History Teacher, Afriche e Orienti, Feminist Studies, and Journal of African Military History, as well as various edited book collections. She is co-editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Women’s History (forthcoming 2019) and serves on the editorial board at the Journal of African Military History.


Decker is currently working on a new book titled “Women and the Specter of Militarism: Uganda after Military Rule.” In this text, she considers the gendered aftermath of Amin’s rule. What did it mean to be a woman (or a man) in Uganda after nearly nine years of military governance? How were ideas about gender reworked and/or re-inscribed? How has militarism carried on in subtle and not so subtle ways (i.e. values, strategies, structures)? Although the book is still in its early conceptual stages, she expects to argue that once the military has been in power, militarism becomes entrenched in society, and never really goes away. Furthermore, she expects to find that this militarism plays out in highly gendered ways, affecting women very differently than men. This book serves as a sequel to her first, In Idi Amin’s Shadow (2014), and is based on more than one hundred interviews conducted with various Ugandan women in 2017 (e.g. UPC party supporters and officials, soldiers, police officers, prison administrators, and “civilians” from all walks of life), as well as extensive archival research. 


Research Interests:

African and African Diaspora Studies