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Emeritus Professor, University of Basel

Patrick Harries is a professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Nantes, France. He investigates the rise of the slave trade from Mozambique to St Domingue in the last quarter of the 18th century and its diversion to South America in the following decades. He is particularly concerned to trace the role of the Cape in this trade as both a refreshment station and a destination for African slaves. He is as much concerned with the entrepreneurial side of this multi-national trade as with the horrors of the Middle Passage to the Cape.
His research also focuses on the activities of the Royal Navy’s anti-slavery squadron and the ’freeing’ of slaves at the Cape where they served lengthy apprenticeships. A major part of his work is devoted to the social history of this ’Mozambiquer’ or ’Mozbieker’ community at the Cape. The period covered is c.1770 - 1880. He graduated in African Studies at the University of Cape Town and completed his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He was professor of African History at the University of Basel from 2001 to 2015. He has held fellowships and teaching positions at Re:work in Berlin, Cambridge University, University of Wisconsin (Madison, USA) and the University of Lausanne. He is presently a research fellow at the Institute for Advances Studies, Nantes, France. Patrick Harries researches the history of (forced) emigration from Mozambique and the history of the ’Mozbieker’ community of immigrants at the Cape of Good Hope, c.1770-1880. His secondary field of research relates to the history of knowledge-production in Africa, particularly in the natural sciences.


  • 1994
    Work, Culture and Identity: Migrant Labour in Mozambique and South Africa, c.1860-1910., Heinemann,