I am a historian of eastern Africa, with special interests in the region’s history of soldiering and warfare. My first book, Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa explores the social and cultural history of African soldiers (askari) in the colonial army of German East Africa, today’s Tanzania. The book examines how askari identities were shaped by their geographical and sociological origins, their ways of war, and their roles as agents of the colonial state. I am currently at work on a short book entitled Africa, Africans, and the First World War, which will examine the spectrum of African experiences in the war, especially as soldiers and workers. I am also researching the social, cultural, and international political history of the 1979 Kagera War fought between Tanzania and Uganda for a future book-length project. Another research project, which is in very early stages, involves examining the historical links between colonial militaries and work across different imperial experiences. I am particularly interested in bringing the experience of nineteenth-century African-American soldiers into a broader analysis of soldiers of empire.
My teaching draws on overlapping interests in African history; histories of conflict, militarization, and humanitarianism; the history of World War I and its aftermaths; and labor history. Over the next couple of years, I will be developing a course entitled “The Ethics of Helping Others: Humanitarianism in Modern History,” which brings together all of these interests.