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Research

My thesis, provisionally titled ‘Harnessing the wind: East-Central African activists in an anti-colonial world, 1952-64’, asks how various routes to independence were perceived by a particular set of young, educated, mobile anti-colonial activists from what was then Tanganyika, Uganda, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia.

I’m particularly interested in how these actors’ ideas concerning freedom of information, flows of skills and democratic knowledge drove their work outside of their own territories, notably in London, New Delhi, Cairo, and parts of Eastern Europe.

These were not isolated nationalist movements (despite colonial attempts to contain them), and the work of emerging political figures cannot be understood solely as the mobilisation of popular grievances and the dissemination of the political thought of a single national hero-leader.

Instead, these actors tell us a different story about how anti-colonial activists navigated and negotiated a world of colonial constraints, Cold War discourses and international networks, and about shifting ideas concerning ‘information’ on the eve of the ‘Global 60s’.

My broader research interests include decolonisation, youth in the 1950s, East African print cultures, colonial intelligence, education as development, transnational advocacy networks, and the British Left.

My thesis is supervised by Professor Corinna Unger, my second reader is Professor Lucy Riall, and my external adviser is Dr. Rob Skinner, University of Bristol.