Steven Press

Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D, Harvard University
A.M., Harvard University
B.A., Vanderbilt University
Steven Press
Steven Press is an Assistant Professor of History and an affiliated member of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the Stanford Center for Law and History.

Press' first book, Rogue Empires: Conmen and Contracts in Europe's Scramble for Africa (published Spring 2017 with Harvard University Press), draws on archival work in ten countries and three languages. The book offers a new approach to understanding the European Scramble for Africa by examining one of its pivotal projects: empires run by companies and individual adventurers.

Press' second book, Blood and Diamonds: Germany's Imperial Ambitions in Africa, will appear in April 2021 with Harvard University Press.

In his article in the Journal of Modern History, Press explored the exchanges between Germany, China, and Cuba that led to the USA's lease for Guantanamo Bay in 1903. His article on post-Napoleonic European nationalism appeared in Central European History.

Press received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard and Vanderbilt before coming to Stanford. His research interests include European sovereignty, international relations, and commodity networks.

Featured News

August 24, 2018
Professor Steven Press is the 2018 recipient of the American Historical Association- Pacific Coast Branch Award for his book Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe's Scramble for Africa.       
April 11, 2017
Steven Press uncovers an overlooked method of empire-building in the late 1800s that saw Europe make an indelible mark on Africa. Press documents these historic events in his new book.   Stanford historian Steven Press has published his first book about the con artists who gained control of much of Africa.   (Image credit: Pui Shiau)...