Position title: Resident Fellow (2015-2016)
Ujamaa Urbanists: Street Archives and City Life in Socialist Tanzania
Urban migration in Africa in the second half of the twentieth century has been one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in history. Yet in the midst of this urban revolution, many African nationalist intellectuals and political leaders portrayed Africans as a rural people. Nowhere was this directive taken more seriously than in Tanzania, where from 1967 through 1985 president Julius Nyerere launched a campaign to relocate citizens into collective rural villages as the central policy of African socialism, or “Ujamaa.” Despite official policies, youth from throughout East Africa made their lives in Tanzania’s largest city of Dar es Salaam during the socialist era. Drawing together a range of unconventional sources, or “street archives,” this project reveals a concurrent world of cultural innovation, literary production, and the elaboration of a distinctly urban subjectivity among migrants and refugees in Dar es Salaam.
Emily Callaci is an Assistant Professor of modern African history at UW-Madison. Her research and teaching interests include global cities, African popular cultures, comparative socialisms and the global history of reproductive politics. Her work has appeared in the Journal of African History and Urban History. Building on her work on urban cultural and sexual politics in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, she has recently begun preliminary research for a second project on the transnational history of the family planning movement in Africa. She is spending her semester at the IRH working on a book that explores popular forms of urbanism in Tanzania during its socialist era, from 1967 through 1985.