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Sonia Vaz Borges

Sonia Vaz Borges, PhD

Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies
Department of History
Africana Studies
Center for Interdisciplinary Study
Office: 4020 MacAlister

Additional Sites:


  • Postdoctoral, CUNY – The Graduate Center, 2019
  • PhD, Humboldt University Berlin, 2016
  • MA, Faculty of Humanities of the University of Lisbon, 2009
  • BA, Politics and International Affairs, ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, 2003
  • Accredited Adult Educator, Instituto de Artes e Ciências. Lisbon, 2003

Curriculum Vitae:

Download [PDF]

Research Interests:

  • African History
  • Black Studies
  • Liberation Struggles Studies
  • Social Movements Studies
  • History of Education
  • Decolonial Studies and Methodologies
  • Oral History
  • Militant Research
  • Walking archives
  • Migration and diasporas


Professor Vaz Borges is currently an Assistant Professor in History and Africana Studies Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia (USA). She describes herself as a militant interdisciplinary historian and social-political organizer.

Born and raised in Portugal, she is the daughter of Cape Verdean immigrants to Portugal during the colonial occupation. Vaz Borges has a passion for interdisciplinary history, with a great focus on the silenced histories of people, and people’s actions and roles during historic moments of socio-political change. The liberation struggles and social movements around the world and the international solidarity, in relation to the fields of education and memories are some of her research interests.

She received her PhD in History of Education from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). She is the author of the book, Militant Education, Liberation Struggle, Consciousness: The PAIGC education in Guinea Bissau 1963–1978 (2019). In collaboration with Tricontinental - Studies on National Liberation, she wrote The PAIGC’s political education for liberation in Guinea Bissau. 1963-1974 (2022), available online in Portuguese, Spanish and English. As a result of her research Vaz Borges co-authored the short films, Navigating the Pilot School (2016) and Mangrove School (2022). This last film was awarded The No. 1 African Film Award, at the Ann Arbor Film Festival 2023.

Professor Vaz Borges is also the author of the book Na Pó Di Spéra. Percursos nos Bairros da Estrada Militar, de Santa Filomena e da Encosta Nascente (2014) and editor of the Zines, Caderno Consciência e Resistência Negra (2007-2011).

For her next book, Professor Vaz Borges continues to write on education and liberation struggles but now with focus on her developing concept of the “walking archive”.