I teach and research African cultural, social and economic histories with a specialization on Southern Africa. I particularly center African perspectives, methodologies, epistemologies and forms of selfcraft that have long been marginalized by Northern epistemologies that reify the colonial written archive as the site of knowledge and subject production. In an age of entrenched hegemonies and pathological systems of power, my teaching and writing constitute intellectual Chimurenga–African epistemic insurgency. Chimurenga scholarship means forcing the hegemonic archive to confess its mission, to reveal what it seeks to silence and, ultimately, to transcend its logics of meaning-making.
Research and Teaching Interests:
- Southern Africa
- Colonialism and Self-Liberation
- Music and Cultural Histories
- Radio and State Making
- Electrification and Urban Histories
- Political Economics of Beer
- The Politics of State (Un)making: Music, Media and Power in Zimbabwe since Independence
- Tool of Empire, Technology of Self-Liberation: Radio Broadcasting and State Making in Colonial Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, 1920s-1980
- African Music, Power and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe, Indiana University Press, 2015.
Articles, Book Chapters
- “Is Propaganda Modernity? Press and Radio Broadcasting to Africans in Colonial Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, 1939-1950s,” Modernization as Spectacle in Africa, Stephan Miescher, Peter Bloom and Takywa Manuh (eds.), Indiana UP, 2014.
- “Performing and Contesting Modernity: Zimbabwean Urban Musicians and Cultural Self-Constructions, 1930s-1950s,” African Music, Performance and Identities, Tyler Fleming and Toyin Falola (eds.), Rochester University Press, 2012, pp.213-248.
- “Thompson Samkange: A Patriarch of Zimbabwean Nationalism,” Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- “The Third Chimurenga: Land and Song in Zimbabwe’s Ultra-Nationalist State Ideology, 2000-2007,” Redemptive or Grotesque Nationalism? Rethinking Contemporary Politics in Zimbabwe, Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni & J. Muzondidya, (Eds.) Peter Lang (AG) International, 2011, pp.291-313.
- Review of Bob White’s Rumba Rules: The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu’s Zaire, Canadian Journal of African Studies 44, 2, 2010.
- “‘Our People Father, They haven’t Learned yet’: Music and Postcolonial Identities in Zimbabwe, 1980-2000” Journal of Southern African Studies 34, 1, 2008, pp.145-160.
- “Subalternating Currents: Electrification And Power Politics in Bulawayo, Journal of Southern African Studies, 33, 2, 2007.
- “The State and Music Policy in Post-colonial Zimbabwe, 1980-2000,” Muziki: Journal of Music Research in Africa 4, 1, 2007.
Undergraduate Lecture Courses and Seminars
- Survey of African History to 1800: Societies, Technologies and International Relations
- Survey of African History since 1800: Colonialism, Innovations and Self-Liberation
- Southern African Civilizations to 1800: Zambezian State Systems
- Colonial Southern Africa to Independence
- African Urban History: From the Ancient City-State to the Contemporary Metropolis
- African Labor History: From Ancient Economies to Colonial Political Economies
- Settler Colonialism in Southern Africa: Reading the Archives
- Re/membering Mandela: Research Seminar in Southern African Colonial History
- Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa
- Ancient African Civilizations
- Comparative Colonialism/s: Africa and Beyond
- African Nationalism and Self-Liberation
- Subaltern Studies: Africa and Beyond
Honors and Professional Activities:
- Charles A. Ryskamp American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Research Fellowship, 2014-17
- UCSB Faculty Senate Individual Research Award, 2014-15
- ACLS Visiting Research Professor, Wits University, 2014-2015
- Indiana University African Studies Research Fellowship, June 2014
- UC Center for New Racial Studies, 2014-15
- Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship, UCSB, 2012-13
- Hellman Family Faculty Fellowship, 2011-12
- IHC Time Release Fellowship, UCSB, 2010
- Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship, University of California Santa Barbara, 2011
- Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis (Vernacular Epistemologies Project) Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 2008
- Killam Scholarship, Dalhousie University, 2003-2008
- Dalhousie University Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship, 2007-8.
- IEEE History Special Research Grant, Rutgers University, 2004.
- University Book Prizes, 2000 and 2001, University of Zimbabwe