Samia Errazzouki

Samia Errazzouki Portrait

Position Title
PhD Candidate



  • MA, Arab Studies, Georgetown University (2015)
  • BA, Global Affairs and French, George Mason University (2012)


Samia Errazzouki is a PhD candidate in History, with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory. She is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya and Assistant Editor of The Journal of North African Studies. Samia is actively engaged in advocating for press freedom and human rights in North Africa through her work as a Non-Resident Fellow with the Tahrir Institute of Middle East Policy and co-founder of Khmissa, a Moroccan feminist NGO.

Samia's dissertation “The Saharan Passage: Sugar, Slavery, and Empire in the African Atlantic,” examines the history of sugar production in Northwest Africa during the sixteenth century. Her dissertation draws from a triangulation of archival sources on both sides of the Atlantic to build upon the study of color, race, and slavery in the early modern Islamic world, Africa’s role in the emergence of capitalism, and the history of sugar production in the early modern Atlantic world. In doing so, her project uses sugar to generate a new historiographical space that challenges existing taxonomies which have relegated the Maghreb region to the margins. By tracing the dialectical processes that transformed sugar from a luxury into a commodity, the Maghreb serves as a vital node in the development of racial capitalism.

Prior to UC Davis, she worked as a journalist based in Morocco reporting for the Associated Press, and later with Reuters. Samia also worked as a research associate in Morocco with the University of Cambridge, researching the dynamics of surveillance and citizen media in light of the "Arab Spring." Her work and commentary has appeared in various platforms including the Washington Post, BBC, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, the Carnegie Endowment's Sada Journal, and the Middle East Institute, among others. On Twitter: @S_Errazzouki.

Research Focus

African History, Middle East History, Early Modern World History, Atlantic History, Race, Slavery, Racial Capitalism, Political Economy, Critical Theory


2022 - Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, UC Davis.
2021 - Wakeham Mentoring Fellowship, UC Davis.
2020 - Reed-Smith Research Fellowship, UC Davis.
2020 - The American Institute for Maghrib Studies Mark Tessler Graduate Student Prize
2020 - The American Institute for Maghrib Studies, Short-Term Research Grant.
2019 - West African Research Association, Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.
2019 - Suad Joseph Research Award for Middle East/South Asia Studies.
2018 - UC Davis Provost’s Fellowship.
2018 - Mellon Research Initiative in Racial Capitalism Research Grant.

Academic Publications

“The People Vs. the Palace: Power and Politics in Morocco since 2011,” in Struggles for Political Change in the Arab World: Regimes, Oppositions, and External Actors after the Spring (University of Michigan Press, 2022).

"Partners in Empire: Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur and Queen Elizabeth I,The Journal of North African Studies, Fall 2022.

"Between the ‘yellow-skinned enemy’ and the ‘black-skinned slave’: early modern genealogies of race and slavery in Sa`dian Morocco," The Journal of North African Studies, May 2021.

“Under watchful eyes: internet surveillance and citizen media in Morocco, the case of Mamfakinch,” in Media and Politics in the Southern Mediterranean: Communicating Power in Transition After 2011 (Routledge, 2021).

Ten years after Morocco’s Mudawwana: The rhetoric and reality of women’s rights,” Mediterranean Politics 23 no.4 (June 2017): 539-545.

Working class women revolt: gendered political economy in Morocco,” The Journal of North African Studies 19 no. 2 (March 2014): 259-267.

Selected Public Writing

"A Maghreb United in Discord," The Tahrir Institute of Middle East Policy, 20 December 2022.

Morocco: Time for the United States to Take Off the Rose-Colored Glasses,” The Project on Middle East Democracy, 01 April 2022.

Morocco’s Diplomatic Morass,” Foreign Policy, 4 January 2022.

A crackdown on the press is demolishing what’s left of Morocco’s liberal reputation,” Washington Post, 30 December 2019.

"A young woman embodied Morocco’s future. Instead she was shot while trying to emigrate," Washington Post, October 2, 2018.

"The hollow war drums of the Western Sahara conflict," The Middle East Institute, April 10, 2018.

The Political Inconvenience of Morocco’s Currency Reforms,” The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 27, 2017.

"Marrakech's historic booksellers once again face eviction," Reuters, June 6, 2017.

What the domestic-violence makeup show tells us about women's rights in Morocco,” The Guardian, November 29, 2016.

"Moroccan vault protects seeds from climate change and war," The Associated Press, November 16, 2016.

Selected Presentations

"The Maghreb Archiving Project,” Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference, Denver, December 2022

“Blackness in Question,” Mellon Sawyer Seminar Workshop, City University of New York, September 2022.

“Le Maroc Noir: Une histoire de l’esclavage, de la race et de l’islam,” Le Centre Jacques-Berque and la Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc, Rabat, June 2022.

“Unfreedom in the Premodern World: Comparative Perspectives on Slavery, Servitude & Captivity,” Trinity College, Dublin, June 2022.

“Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in Morocco,” Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, United States Congress, Washington D.C., August 2021.

“Imperial Endurances: Moroccan Statecraft and Western Sahara,” New York University, New York City, June 2021.

“Racial Capitalism and Morocco’s Invasion of the Songhai Empire (1591),” Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference, October 2020.

“The Maghreb in Stagnation: The Afterlives of the 2011 Uprisings,” High-School Teachers Teach-In, Fairfax, March 2020. 

“Political and Economic Stagnation in Morocco: Twenty Years into King Mohamed VI’s Reign,” Stanford University, Palo Alto, October 2019.

“Beyond the Headlines: Morocco 8 Years after the February 20th Movement,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 2019.

“The colonial roots of nationalist modernity: Rereading Abdallah Laroui,” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Denver, November 2018.

“Security, Prosperity, and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C., September 2017.

Selected Interviews

"How Morocco’s unlikely World Cup success unified Arabs," CNN, December 2022.

"Will University of California Academic Workers End the Strike?The New York Times, December 2022.

"Thousands of Migrants Cross into Ceuta & the Moroccan-Spanish Dispute," Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, Summer 2021.

"Colonialism, But Make It Sexy Vol. 3: We'll Always Have Paris...French Imperialism Meet Cutes," IDE Impolite Conversation Podcast, November 2020

"U.S. recognition of Morocco's claims over disputed region threatens more tension," The Washington Post, December 2020.

"Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment," The Committee to Protect Journalists, July 2019.


Graduate Student Instructor
Spring 2023, Africa Today

Teaching Assistant
Winter 2023, Indian Civilization
Fall 2022, History of Science and Technology
Spring 2021, Africa to 1900
Winter 2021, The World Since 1850
Fall 2020, World History, 1850-2000
Spring 2020, Global Sexualities
Winter 2020, World History Since 1850
Spring 2019, History of the Jewish People Since 1700
Fall 2018, Introduction to the Middle East

Membership and Service
  • Arab Studies Institute (ASI)
  • American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS)
  • Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)
  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
  • The Mediterranean Seminar
  • West African Research Association (WARA)