B. 1941; MA 1964, University of Warsaw; PhD 1971, post-doctoral degree (habilitacja) 1981 (also UW). Has worked at the Institute of History, University of Warsaw, since 1964 as assistant lecturer, senior assistant lecturer, assistant professor, senior lecturer; associate professor since 1991, professor since 1993. Full professor since 2001. Deputy Director of the Institute of History, University of Warsaw, 1987-1989. Director of the Institute of History, University of Warsaw, 2002-2008. Chair of the Department of Medieval History at the Institute of History, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin 1984-1989; professor at the Faculty of Slavic studies at Paris IV-Sorbonne and Director of the Polish Civilisation Centre at the Sorbonne 1989-1993; member of the Executive Board of the Polish Historical Society 1972-1976; secretary to the Committee on Historical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences 1973-1974; head of the Sahara 74 academic expedition 1974-1975; member of the Central Committee of the History Contest 1975-1982; member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Non-European Countries, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1975-1981 and 1987-1989; deputy president of the Polish Society of African Studies 1993-1996; deputy director of the Polish Academy of Sciences Centre in Paris 1996-2000; deputy head of Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences 2002; member of the editorial board of Przegląd Historyczny 1973-1975, Hemispheres since 1984, Histoire et Afrique since 2006. Science editor (with R. Karpiński) of the “Great Problems in the History of Humanity” series of SW Czytelnik. Organiser of the section entitled “States and empires in Africa before 1800” during the 17th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Madrid 1990.
Member of the Advisory Board of OBTA and the Institute of Developing Countries – Department of Geography; member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, member of the Committee on Historical Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences.