Matera’s book The Women’s War of 1929: Gender and Violence in Colonial Nigeria (Palgrave Macmillan 2011) was co-authored with Susan K. Kent and Misty Bastian.
The Women’s War, an uprising of tens of thousands of women, rocked the British colonial state in southeastern Nigeria in late 1929. The book considers this event from the perspective of local women in the region, examines the history of British colonialism in Nigeria and British representations of African women, and looks closely at the colonial officials responsible for the violent suppression of this women’s movement.
Matera is completing revisions on a second book, Black Intellectuals in the Imperial Metropolis, detailing the lives of people of African descent in London between 1919 and 1950. Between the two World Wars, colonized people from across the British empire were drawn to London, creating a dense network of political linkages, cultural expressions, and personal relationships that later helped to shape the postcolonial world. Matera's work recreates that era and examines the future that black intellectuals in London imagined at a moment of international ferment.
Matera has also published articles in the Journal of British Studies and Twentieth Century British History. He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he first developed a love of history and feminist studies. Initially a journalism and creative writing major, he was inspired to study history by two professors—one a German studies and feminist scholar, the other a historian of modern Britain who first introduced him to black British history. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned his M.A., and at Rutgers University, where he received his Ph.D., he writes that he “was mentored by brilliant teacher-scholars who continue to inspire my teaching and inform my research interests.” Before joining the UCSC faculty, he taught for four years at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.