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Robert C. H. Shell was advisor to the Prime Minister of Mauritius and formerly commissioner of the Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission. He is an extraordinary professor of Historical Demography at the University of the Western Cape.
In 2003 Shell was appointed for six months as the Nelson Mandela Chair of Africa studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India working with AIDS.
Professor Shell obtained his undergraduate and Honours degrees at University of Cape Town in the 1970s. He then went to the U.S. to complete his Masters degree at University of Rochester and in 1986 he completed his PhD at Yale University. For his doctoral studies at Yale, completed in 1986, Shell wrote the dissertation entitled “Slavery at the Cape of Good Hope, 1680-1731” under the advisorship of famed South African historian, Leonard M. Thompson.
- Shell has attended more than 41 international workshops where he has delivered papers on several topics but notably on Slavery, Islam and HIV/AIDS.
He has also published numerous articles and books, including Bibliographies of Bondage: Selected bibliographies of South African slavery and abolition and Children of Bondage: A Social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1838.