Kyle Prochnow
Kyle Prochnow

Kyle Prochnow

Kyle Prochnow specializes in the history of the African diaspora and the Atlantic world with particular interest in colonial war and policing, slavery and abolition, and disease and ‘tropical medicine.’

His current book project, Britain’s Black Battalions: African Soldiers, War, and Empire in the Atlantic Tropics, explores the history of the West India Regiments – an imperial corps of African infantry who served Britain in the Caribbean and Africa in the nineteenth century. The book reconstructs the day-to-day lives and experiences of the African rank and file and analyzes their complex interactions with British colonialism. It shows that while the troops were generally reliable enforcers of imperial power, they were also impactful protagonists in affecting and challenging the British empire on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.




B.A., Saint Mary’s College of California

M.A., Boston College

Ph.D., York University


African history

World history

Colonialism and decolonization

History of disease and medicine

Research Interests

Colonialism, race, and structures of power

Slavery and abolition

Colonial wars, policing, and violence

Disease and ‘tropical medicine’

British empire

Recent Work

Articles and book chapters

“‘Saving an extraordinary expense to the nation’: African recruitment for the West India Regiments in the British Atlantic world,” Atlantic Studies 18, no. 2 (2021): 149-171.

“‘Perpetual expatriation’: forced migration and Liberated African apprenticeship in the Gambia,” in Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, ed. Richard Anderson and Henry Lovejoy (Rochester: Rochester University Press, 2020), 347-364.

Book reviews

Review of Tim Lockley, Military Medicine and the Making of Race: Life and Death in the West India Regiments. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 52, no. 4 (2022): 613-615.

Review of Mary Wills, Envoys of Abolition: British Naval Officers and the Campaign against the Slave Trade in West Africa. Slavery & Abolition 42, no. 2 (2021): 406-407.