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date: 23 April 2019

The Dar es Salaam School of African History

Summary and Keywords

The Dar es Salaam School of African History refers to the work of a group of historians based at what became the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Led initially by Terrance O. Ranger, the scholars of the History Department there in the late 1960s focused on researching and writing a new history for a newly independent nation. The works produced focused on the idea of Africans making their own history and on the rise of anticolonial nationalism. They most immediately argued that common oppression by colonial states created the conditions for the development of organic national movements for liberation. This later aspect led this type of history to be called nationalist history.

By the late 1960s, historians at Dar es Salaam had developed a critique of nationalist history that used Marxist theory to explain the domination of Africa under colonialism and its continued subjection in the postcolonial era to the capitalist world system. Led at first by Walter Rodney but taken up by a number of younger Tanzanian historians, this movement led some to call it the New Dar es Salaam School. The proponents of this consciously radical approach to history argued that nationalist historians had romanticized African nationalist movements and failed to identify them as heirs to the opporesive and exploitative nature of colonialism. They concluded that independence represented only the first step in the true liberation of Africa. Both of these approaches to history have had significant influence on the study of African history across the continent.

Keywords: historiography, underdevelopment theory, nationalist history, Tanzania, Marxist theory

The Dar es Salaam School of African history refers to the work of historians at the then new University College Dar es Salaam (now the University of Dar es Salaam) that focused on showing the links between the African past and the emergence of newly independent African nation-states in the 1960s. More broadly, though, it can be thought of as setting off a series of debates among historians and others about the meaning and purpose of historical studies in Africa. These debates have led some observers to speak of two or even three separate Dar es Salaam schools. While the immediate subject of the works that sparked these debates concerned the history of Tanzania, the issues and questions raised by the works of the original Dar es Salaam School (and the responses to those works) shaped and continue to shape African history as a profession to this day.

The Dar es Salaam School came together at the newly formed University College, Dar es Salaam, beginning in 1964. T. O. Ranger received the appointment as the first professor of history shortly after his expulsion from Southern Rhodesia for his engagement with the liberation movement in that colony.1 Ranger recruited other expatriates to join the department including John Lonsdale, John Iliffe, J. E. G. Sutton, Walter Rodney, E. A. Alpers, and Andrew Roberts. By 1966, two Tanzanian scholars had joined the department—Isaria N. Kimambo and Arnold Temu.2 Under Ranger’s leadership, the department set out to provide the new nation of Tanzania with a “usable past.”3 Over the next several years the department sponsored a series of workshops designed to help develop school curriculum for the new nation, promoted scholarship on African history, established the Historical Association of Tanzania, published a series of short works oriented toward teaching,4 and sponsored the publication of several collections of essays and monographs that helped define the field of Tanzanian history. The department also trained a large number of Tanzanian and other African scholars. From the beginning the department sought to adopt a scholarly agenda that met the needs of the new state and nation. As such its members very consciously strove to focus on the emerging issues facing the new nation. The scholars working there took as their mantra the recovery of African initiative in the study of Africa. In the late 1960s, strongly influenced by Walter Rodney, members of the department debated first underdevelopment as a historical process and then, pushed by a younger cohort including B. Swai and Abdul Sheriff, turned toward a more explicitly Marxist materialist approach.5 Hence The Dar es Salaam School can refer both to the classic nationalist approach to African history developed there in the 1960s and the materialist approach to history from the later 1960s on developed by historians associated with the University of Dar es Salaam.

New History for a New Nation

The Dar es Salaam School began with the appointment of T. O. Ranger as the first professor of history at the then University College Dar es Salaam. As mentioned, Ranger received his appointment after the white minority government expelled him from then Southern Rhodesia for his participation in the liberation movement in that country.6 Ranger, the expatriate colleagues he recruited, and the first young Tanzanians to join the department set out to give the new nation of Tanzania a usable history both in the sense of writing a history of the peoples and places that had become Tanzania and in the sense of supporting the nation-building efforts of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) government led by President Julius Nyerere.7 These efforts focused on countering what became known as colonial history, which had focused on the deeds of white colonizers8 and creating not only scholarly works but also educational materials for use in schools and popular writings. They also set out not only to train Tanzanian (and other African) historians in the history of Tanzania but more broadly to give the department the ability to teach both African and global and comparative history.9

The result was a prodigious output of conferences, workshops, short papers, edited volumes, and monographs that primarily focused on Tanzanian history. In 1965, the department hosted the International Conference of African Historians (ICAH) which served to ignite the production of historical works. Several of the largest projects resulted from research seminars at the department where students collected oral history interviews.10 The Historical Association of Tanzania (HAT) formed to promote knowledge about the history of the country and held a number of workshops in different towns around the country designed to reach history teachers. These workshops did not just focus on Tanzanian history but on African history more broadly. HAT published a series of pamphlets designed for a popular audience (although only a few were translated into Kiswahili). These included works by Kimambo, Alpers, Iliffe, Ranger, Sutton, and Rodney.

This burst of the creation of new historical knowledge shared more than just a historical subject—the history of what became Tanzania; it also shared a broad approach. Ranger highlighted this approach in his address to the ICAH and again in his inaugural lecture.11 Ranger summed up the central point of much of the work produced in this context with his emphasis on the “recovery of African initiative.” This emphasis was shared by most of the early works of Africanist historians in the 1960s, whether focused on precolonial or colonial history. Works in this vein consciously sought to undermine what the authors labeled colonial history and focused on proving that African states, communities, leaders, merchants, farmers, hunters, and pastoralists (although during the 1960s, with few exceptions, not so much African women) made their own history by creating their own societies. With the coming of European conquest Africans first fought to preserve their autonomy and then sought new ways to assert control over themselves in the context of colonial rule. Ranger outlined other main subjects or approaches to creating a history for a new nation in his address where he emphasized five key themes: trade and the creation of large states in the precolonial era; resistance to colonial rule and its connection to expanded political action; changes in religion and African belief systems, then the emergence of new groups under colonial rule that sought to drive social and political change; and the creation of mass nationalism.12 In the central publications to come out of this movement these impulses became a history of the building of the Tanzanian nation under the leadership of Julius Nyerere and TANU.13

A volume edited by Isario N. Kimambo and Arnold Temu served as the defining document of the early Dar es Salaam School and offered primer on the creation of a national history. The essays in the volume covered the history of the places and peoples that became part of Tanzania in the 1960s. While the authors all approached their given topics in different ways, they adhered to what seemed a basic template as defined in Ranger’s seminal documents about history in Tanzania. Focusing on the idea of recovering African initiatives, the collection also emphasized both history in what would become Tanzania but also a narrative of Tanzania coming together. The chapters on precolonial topics by Sutton, Alpers, and Kimambo did not anachronistically ascribe “Tanzanianess” to a past where it did not exist,14 instead placing developments within appropriate regional and global contexts. The essays on the colonial era though both focused on events within the two colonies that would become Tanzania and taken collectively presented an almost Whiggish narrative leading up to the rise of TANU, gaining independence, and the development of Ujamaa—Nyerere’s formulation of African socialism—as the ideology of the new state.15 While the essays have many strengths and often contain keen insights that complicate such a simple view as expressed in the previous sentence, the overall effect was striking in its clarity of focus.

One question that deserves more attention is the way that the history of Tanzania shaped the Dar es Salaam School of nationalist history. Kimambo has argued that the politics of nation building drove the collective concerns of the history department at Dar es Salaam, both in the 1960s and later.16 The Tanzania that existed after 1964 seemed to fit the nationalist model developed for it. Independence had come peacefully after a decade-long campaign by a nationalist movement that had succeeded in unifying almost all political forces in the colony. Under the leadership of Nyerere, it had embarked on an ambitious but self-reflective effort to build Ujamaa na kujitegemea (African socialism and self-reliance). It had brought the formerly separate colony of Zanzibar into a union after its bloody revolution. It doubled down on the colonial policy of promoting Kiswahili by making it the national language, one of the few African states to do so with an African language. It became a bulwark in the nonaligned movement and a critical backer, including with its military, of liberation movements in southern Africa. It had withstood an attempted putsch by its colonial-trained military by mobilizing popular support (and military intervention by the former colonial power). Scholars and visitors tended to be afflicted by what Ali Mazrui called “Tanzaphilia,” which he suggested robbed them of all perspective on the country.17 Tanzania, to the outside, seemed the great hope for African liberation for a moment. Mahmood Mamdani later characterized it as standing “for a single unified citizenship, both deracialized and deethnicized. . . . Tanzania came to be a paragon of political stability in the region, the one postcolonial state that did not turn entire groups into refugees.”18

As Ranger acknowledged in one of his defenses of the work of the department under his stewardship, the mass nationalism that helped drive the independence movement in Tanzania was certainly not a universal phenomenon.19 Even though the bulk of Ranger’s work as well as that of others associated with the school, such as Roberts, Lonsdale, and Rodney, covered other parts of Africa, the Tanzanian case as put forward in their publications gave the label “nationalist history” to the approach. As Paul Bjerk has written, despite the debates about the policy failures of Ujamaa, it proved “successful politics” that “created as their context a robust sense of Tanzanian nationhood.”20

Perhaps no historical topic exemplified the nationalist approach to history than the issue of resistance to colonial domination and specifically the connections between resistance to conquest and the development of anticolonial nationalism in the20th century. The Maji Maji uprising of 1905 inspired one of the most significant research projects associated with the school. Under the direction of Gilbert Gwassa and John Iliffe, students went into southern Tanzania to collect oral histories of the uprising. In a series of publications, the historians of Dar es Salaam developed what has become the accepted explanation for the uprising and a model for analyzing other colonial uprisings. Based on the evidence gathered through the oral history project Gwassa, Iliffe, and Ranger argued that spirit mediums who circulated throughout the southeastern portion of the new colony began to mobilize support for an uprising that would unite people from many different ethnic communities. Using sacred water, which was said to give protection to those who took it and inspired by the medium Kinjikitile, as the symbol of the uprising, emissaries were sent as far as the Ngoni states in the southwest of the colony. The uprising killed a number of Germans and Africans working for them or for missions, and the ferocious German response relied on scorched earth tactics that left the population of the areas that had risen dramatically reduced.21

Two issues immediately became points of contention over this interpretation. First, Ranger linked the uprising to the development of anticolonial nationalism. Following a point made by Julius Nyerere in a speech to the United Nations in 1956,22 Ranger argued that common oppression helped build unity and that early episodes of resistance served as models for the development of anticolonial nationalism.23 Such an argument risks conflating what were uprisings driven in part by a developing sense of racial solidarity with later movements that focused on territorial unity. Second, and more directly historical in nature, later scholars have queried the accepted narrative of an ideological drive for unity represented by the maji with closer examinations of who participated in the uprising and on what terms. Rather than an overarching drive for unity, scholars have explored what led particular states, communities, and individuals to join or resist the uprising. For example, Patrick Redmond in the 1970s argued that Ngoni participation in Maji Maji was driven by the precolonial Ngoni elite that was losing power and wealth under German rule and resisted by many commoners.24 Marcia Wright, reviewing Germans accounts, questioned the accepted narrative of an ideological drive toward unification.25 A collection edited by James Giblin and Jamie Monson brings together accounts that demonstrate the range of motivations across the area of the revolt26 and, especially in Giblin’s contribution, questions both the unitary nature of the uprising and its place in local historical memories as model for political action.27 Despite the work revealing the complexity of the both the motivations and methods of the uprising, as Felicitas Becker has noted, the revisionist works more add nuance to earlier interpretations than undermine its conclusions that the uprising united people against a common oppressor and served as a reminder of the power of unity.28

Iliffe eventually produced the most refined work in the tradition of the original Dar es Salaam School. His A Modern History of Tanganyika, published in 1979, is often recognized as the best history of a single African country produced by Africanist history. In pulling together the disparate strands that make the history of what became Tanganyika, he identifies five themes that run throughout the book: enlargement of scale, the “impact of capitalism and the growth of capitalist relations among Tanganyikans,”29 African agency, periodization, and the colonization of the land. Iliffe follows these themes to show how the societies that came to make up Tanganyika gradually came together through ties of trade, belief, political action, and eventually colonial rule. He also clearly notes how differentiation also emerged with the creation of winners and losers under colonialism. The work closes with a rather dour assessment from a scholar long noted as a nationalist historian, noting in response to a quote from Nyerere saying at independence that “we are fighting not man but nature” that “it was more complicated than that.”30

Radical Responses to Nationalist History

The desirability of viewing the creation of a usable past for the new nations of Africa as an achievement became the spark for critiques of the nationalist approach to African history and led to the emergence of the “New Dar es Salaam School” in the 1970s.31 The questioning of the nationalist school had both historiographic and political aspects. Historiographically, the biggest challenge lay in the attempt to write histories for nations that had not existed before the 1950s or 1960s.32 While skillful practitioners such as Iliffe in A Modern History attacked this problem through a clear analysis of the periodization of history and a focus on the building of something akin to a national feeling over the course of colonial rule, the emphasis on history within national boundaries did lead to works sometimes focused too narrowly and that missed broader forces at that shaped the past. Ranger himself answered part of these critiques by claiming that part of his emphasis lay in the history of anticolonial nationalism itself, which had different trajectories in different parts of Africa.33

A more powerful critique emerged from historians influenced by Marxist theory. The critique came not only from outside Dar es Salaam, as was case of Denoon and Kuper, but from within the department among some of the historians originally associated with the nationalist history movement as well as from younger historians trained in part in the department. Walter Rodney came to the department with the expatriates invited by Ranger to join him at University College. Rodney, influenced both by underdevelopment theory and by his experience at Dar es Salaam, famously argued that newly independent African states represented a new phase in capitalist exploitation marked by “flag independence” and neocolonialism.34

Rodney played a critical role in the political ferment that roiled the University of Dar es Salaam in the late 1960s and early 1970s.35 As Kimambo notes in his history of the department of history, politics drove much of the work of the historians at Dar es Salaam.36 In this case, the general disquiet with the failure of independence to produce immediate economic and political results led to the questioning of the fruits of independence. At Dar es Salaam, many went beyond Rodney in his use of underdevelopment theory to a more focused materialist approach that emphasized not only capitalist exploitation but also the formation of a local bourgeoisie that lived off the exploitation of African workers and peasants. Ernest Wamba dia Wamba and Henry Slater proved the most influential teachers in the department advocating for materialist history. This line of analysis came out in a series of works criticizing nationalist history as produced in Dar es Salaam. In 1978 and 1979 Henry Bernstein and Jacques Dupelchin published two articles that argued nationalist history had produced works both empiricist and nihilist—meaning that such histories being devoid of theory leading to revolutionary liberation stood for nothing. They called for historical studies both informed by materialist theory and for scholars to become committed to revolutionary liberation.37 In 1981 Arnold Temu and Bonaventure Swai, both expelled from the faculty of the University of Dar es Salaam in a purge of radicals in the early 1970s, published a book-length critique. They noted that the emphasis on African initiative in nationalist history seemed little more than a drive to counter colonial history.38 They argued that the emphasis on nationalism in works on colonial history only told part of the story. Africans had precious little choice as they were violently incorporated into the global capitalist system, and national independence represented only the first step in liberation. Nationalism was itself subject to a hijacking by a rising local bourgeoisie complicit in the exploitation of workers and peasants.39 Henry Slater in 1986 highlighted the move toward the more complete adoption of a materialist approach by members of the history department at Dar es Salaam and the debates the ensued about the appropriate use of modes of production analysis.40

The New Dar es Salaam School produced a number of notable works. Although he was not a historian, Issa Shivji did perhaps the most to define the terms of the debate about materialist analysis in Tanzania. He more than most emphasized the emerging class struggle within Tanzania.41 A volume edited by M. H. Y. Kaniki and based on a workshop held in 1974 marked the coming out of the new approach. Its contributors included Walter Rodney who applied his underdevelopment approach to colonial Tanganyika.42 A companion work on the colonial history of Zanzibar likewise emphasized a materialist approach.43 Perhaps the most influential of the works produced in this mode was Abdul Sheriff’s Slaves, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar, which masterfully marshalled the evidence for penetration of merchant capital into East Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries.44

The materialist approach garnered its own critics. Ranger famously warned that historians intent on providing Africa with a history might face their harshest critics among the “radical pessimists” who argued that nothing Africans did mattered in the face of capitalist domination. Ranger explicitly saw continued cause for hope in the struggle against colonialism that could carry forward into the postcolonial era.45 Others called materialist history dogmatic, overdetermined, and based on the Marxist model developed to explain the rise of capitalism in Europe.46 The model had its impact beyond the doctrinal debates it sometimes provoked. Iliffe identified one of the main themes of his history of Tanzania as the penetration of capitalist and the development of capitalist relations within African communities.

National History in an Era of Globalization

Since the 1980s, these debates, though enshrined in the historiography of Africa, have faded. In Dar es Salaam itself, the history department weathered the economic crises of the 1980s and introduction of neoliberal policies that cut support for education but continued to try to maintain a focus on creating a usable past. Under the leadership of Kimambo, for many years it moved from materialist analysis to a focus on the relationship between environment and history, most notably in the works of Kimambo and Y.Q. Lawi.47 Since the early 2000s, while much of the work of its students has continued to be on the colonial era, in the 2000s students and faculty have turned to the study of culture, politics, religion, and health.48

Outside Tanzania, both the original nationalist history and the materialist response have cast a long shadow over the study of African history, especially of the 19th and 20th centuries. Much of both the political and cultural history of modern Africa reflects the concerns of nationalist history, if not always with the same implicit faith in the outcome of the struggle by people for liberation. James Scott provided one of the most influential if superficial summaries of the effects of nationalism on Tanzania in his well-known work Seeing Like a State.49 Informed by postcolonial and subaltern studies,50 works, in the case of Tanzania, by Giblin,51 Monson,52 Askew,53 Burton,54 Becker,55 Schneider,56 Sunseri,57 and Ivaska58 have explored not just the nation as it was built in Tanzania but also the way it has served as an alien and oppressive force in the lives of Tanzanians. Brennan and Glassman have examined the nationalist movement itself and seen in its populist tendencies not the liberal, integrative vision associated with Nyerere but a racialist nativism that scholars such as Mamdani have said was relatively absent in Tanzania.59 Scholars studying culture have tended to chart the way a “national” culture centered on the Swahili language came to stretch across the state.60 More recent works by Lal and Hunter have focused on the way Tanzanians debated the meaning of the nation in the postcolonial era.61 Bjerk’s reassessment of the influence of Nyerere’s thought and practice of politics have likewise tended to reinforce the primacy of the struggle for sovereignty and enlargement of scale an central themes in Tanzania’s history.62

As Kimambo noted about the original Dar es Salaam School and its reaction, politics has tended to help determine the focus of historical studies not just in Tanzania but in Africa. If the 1960s brought an emphasis on African initiative and nation-building and the 1970s and 1980s on the failures of “flag independence” and the necessity for socialist transformation, so the neoliberal era that began in the 1980s brought out renewed questioning of the nationalist narrative. Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba noted, “The youth, born after independence, hardly lives the memories of the historical experiences of national independence struggles that their parents have been unable to pass on to them.”63 At a history teachers conference in Dar es Salaam in 2000, as reported by Maddox and Giblin, one of the teachers asked the assembled historians: “what can history do for my students now?”64 The question remains as relevant then as when Ranger and Kimambo took up the cudgels against colonial history.

Discussion of the Literature

One of the most striking things about the Dar es Salaam School of history is how self-conscious about the whole project the participants were. Ranger from the beginning of his tenure sought to define the aims for history work in Tanzania in an explicit way in both his address to the ICAH, which was later published as the introduction to the proceedings.65 He also used his inaugural lecture to further refine the focus of the project.66 This approach to history came under attack almost immediately. Donald Denoon and Adam Kuper published the first critique of the approach in 1969 focusing on both the tendency toward anachronism inherent in writing the history of nations that did not exist before the middle of the 20th century and on the danger of nationalist history becoming a tool of repression in increasingly authoritarian and ineffective postcolonial states.67 Ranger’s rejoinder to theme denied that a Dar es Salaam School even existed and warned of the danger of “radical pessimism” in linking African history, even the history of African nationalism, to any set of outcomes.68 Ranger’s defense dissembled a bit on the existence of a school, as he himself later took ownership of its founding.69

Radical critiques of the nationalist approach to history developed early in Dar es Salaam and elsewhere. Walter Rodney became in some senses the first pole around which engagement with Marxist theory led to a rethinking of the issue of African agency as the central tenant of African history. Other participants in the debates included Issa Shivji, Arnold Temu, and Bonaventure Swai.70 Bernstein and Dupelchin published a long summary of the arguments made in favor of materialist history that emphasized a rigorous approach to the use of Marxist theory.71 Temu and Swai’s book, while perhaps not as theoretically rigid as the work of Bernstein and Dupelchin, grounded their critique in their deep knowledge of Tanzanian history.72 Henry Slater weighed in with a further refinement of the argument for materialist history.73 Bogumil Jewsiewicki provided a critique of the materialist approach to history that set it within the context of its emergence out of nationalist history.74

Since the heyday of the debates over nationalist and materialist history, scholars have continued to reckon with the legacy of the creation of both schools. Kimambo and Wamba dia Wamba, both central figures in the debates themselves, have produced surveys of the work of the history department at Dar es Salaam.75 Paul Bjerk has written of the relationship between nationalist historiography and national history.76 Brizuela-Garcia has studied the process of domesticating history at Dar es Salaam.77 Masebo has surveyed the interests of the scholars in the department since the 1980s.78 It is a testement to the importance of the issues raised in and about Dar es Salaam that these debates continue to help shape the production of knowledge about Africa and Tanzania.

Further Reading

Alpers, Edward I. The East African Slave Trade. Historical Association of Tanzania Papers 3. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1967.Find this resource:

Askew, Kelly M. Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Becker, Felicitas. “Traders and Prophets: Political Continuity and Crisis in the Maji Maji Rebellion in Southeast Tanzania.” The Journal of African History 45, no. 1 (2004): 1–22.Find this resource:

Bernstein, Henry, and Jacques Depelchin. “The Object of African History: A Materialist Perspective.” History in Africa 5 (1978): 1–19.Find this resource:

Bernstein, Henry, and Jacques Depelchin. “The Object of African History: A Materialist Perspective: II.” History in Africa 6 (1979): 17–43.Find this resource:

Bjerk, Paul K. “Sovereignty and Socialism in Tanzania: The Historiography of an African State.” History in Africa 37 (2010): 275–319.Find this resource:

Brennan, James R. Taifa: Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2012.Find this resource:

Brizuela-Garcia, Esperanza. “The History of Africanization and the Africanization of History.” History in Africa 33 (2006): 85–100.Find this resource:

Brizuela-Garcia, Esperanza. “Literacy and the Decolonization of Africa’s Intellectual History.” History in Africa 38 (2011): 35–46.Find this resource:

Coupland, Reginald. East Africa and Its Invaders: From the Earliest Times to the Death of Seyyid Said in 1856. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938.Find this resource:

Coupland, Reginald. The Exploitation of East Africa. London: Faber and Faber, 1939.Find this resource:

Denoon, Donald, and Adam Kuper. “Nationalist Historians in Search of a Nation: The New Historiography in Dar Es Salaam.” African Affairs 69 (1970): 329–349.Find this resource:

Denoon, Donald, and Adam Kuper. “The New Historiography in Dar Es Salaam: A Rejoinder.” African Affairs 70 (1971): 287–288.Find this resource:

Giblin, James L. “Taking Oral Sources Beyond the Documentary Record of Maji Maji: The Example of the War of Korosani at Yakobi, Njombe.” In Maji Maji: Lifting the Fog of War. Edited by James Giblin and Jamie Monson, 259–291. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010.Find this resource:

Giblin, James L., and Blandina Kaduma Giblin. A History of the Excluded: Making Family a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania. Oxford: James Currey, 2005.Find this resource:

Giblin, James L., and Jamie Monson, eds. Maji Maji: Lifting the Fog of War. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010.Find this resource:

Glassman, Jonathon. War of Words, War of Stones: Racial Thought and Violence in Colonial Zanzibar. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011.Find this resource:

Gwassa, G. C. K., and John Iliffe. Records of the Maji Maji Uprising: Part One. Nairobi, Kenya: East Africa Literature Bureau, 1968.Find this resource:

International Congress of African Historians, and T. O. Ranger. Emerging Themes of African History: Proceedings of the International Congress of African Historians Held at University College, Dar Es Salaam, October 1965. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1968.Find this resource:

Iliffe, John. “The Organization of the Maji Maji Rebellion.” Journal of African History 8, no. 3 (1967): 495–512.Find this resource:

Iliffe, John. Tanganyika under German Rule, 1905–1913. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1969.Find this resource:

Iliffe, John. “The Age of Improvement and Differentiation, (1907–45).” In A History of Tanzania. Edited by I. N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, 123–160. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Iliffe, John. Agricultural Change in Modern Tanganyika: An Outline History. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1971.Find this resource:

Iliffe, John, ed. Modern Tanzanians: A Volume of Biographies. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1973.Find this resource:

Jewsiewicki, Bogumil. “African Historical Studies: Academic Knowledge as ‘Usable Past’ and Radical Scholarship.” African Studies Review 23, no.3 (1989): 1–76.Find this resource:

Kaniki, M., ed. Tanzania under Colonial Rule. London: Longman, 1980.Find this resource:

Kimambo, Isaria N. “The Interior before 1800.” In A History of Tanzania. Edited by I. N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, 14–34. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Kimambo, Isaria N. Mbiru: Popular Protest in Colonial Tanzania. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1971.Find this resource:

Kimambo, Isaria N. Three Decades of the Production of Historical Knowledge at Dar Es Salaam. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: University of Dar es Salaam Press, 1993.Find this resource:

Kimambo, Isaria N., Bertran B. Mapunda, and Yusufu Q. Lawi, eds. In Search of Relevance: A History of the University of Dar Es Salaam. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Dar es Salaam University Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Kimambo, Isaria N., and A. J. Temu, eds. A History of Tanzania. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1969.Find this resource:

Maddox, Gregory H., and James L. Giblin, eds. In Search of a Nation: Histories of Authority and Dissidence from Tanzania. Eastern African Studies Series. Oxford: James Currey, 2005.Find this resource:

Mamdani, Mahmood. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.Find this resource:

Masebo, Oswald. “New Thematic Directions in History at the University of Dar Es Salaam.” Tanzania Zamani 9, no. 2 (2017): 1–67.Find this resource:

Mazrui, Ali. “Tanzaphilia.” Transition 31 (1967): 20–26.Find this resource:

Mbembe, J.-A. On the Postcolony. Berkley: University of California Press, 2001.Find this resource:

McCracken, John. “Terry Ranger: A Personal Appreciation.” Journal of Southern African Studies 23, no. 2 (1997): 175–185.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. “Connections between ‘Primary Resistance’ Movements and Modern Mass Nationalism in East and Central Africa, Part I.” Journal of African History 9, no. 3 (1968): 437–453.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. “Connections between ‘Primary Resistance’ Movements and Modern Mass Nationalism in East and Central Africa, Part II.” Journal of African History 9, no. 4 (1968): 631–641.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. The African Churches of Tanzania. Historical Association of Tanzania Papers 5. Nairobi, Kenya: Nairobi East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. “The Movement of Ideas, 1850–1939.” In A History of Tanzania. Edited by Isario N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, 161–188. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. The Recovery of African Initiative in Tanzanian History. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: University College, 1969.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. “The ‘New Historiography’ in Dar Es Salaam: An Answer.” African Affairs 70, no.278 (1971): 50–61.Find this resource:

Ranger, T. O. Writing Revolt: An Engagement with African Nationalism, 1957–67. Harare, Zimbabwe: Weaver Press, 2013.Find this resource:

Rodney, Walter. West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade. Historical Association of Tanzania Papers. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1967.Find this resource:

Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1982.Find this resource:

Sheriff, Abdul. Slaves, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Sheriff, Abdul, and Ed Ferguson, eds. Zanzibar under Colonial Rule. London: James Currey, 1991.Find this resource:

Shivji, Issa G. Class Struggles in Tanzania. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976.Find this resource:

Shivji, Issa G. Law, State and the Working Class in Tanzania @ 1920–1984. London: James Currey, 1986.Find this resource:

Shivji, Issa G. Intellectuals at the Hill: Essays and Talks 1969–1993. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Dar es Salaam University Press, 1993.Find this resource:

Slater, Henry. “Dar Es Salaam and the Postnationalist Historiography of Africa.” In African Historiographies: What History for Which Africa? Edited by Bogumil Jewsiewicki and David Newbury, 236–248. Beverley Hills, CA: SAGE, 1986.Find this resource:

Sutton, J. E. G. “The Peopling of Tanzania.” In A History of Tanzania. Edited by I. N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, 1–13. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Sutton, J. E. G. Early Trade in Eastern Africa. Historical Association of Tanzania Papers 11. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1973.Find this resource:

Temu, Arnold J. “The Rise and Triumph of Nationalism.” In A History of Tanzania. Edited by I. N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, 189–214. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.Find this resource:

Temu, Arnold J., and Bonaventure Swai. Historians and Africanist History: A Critique. London: Zed Press, 1981.Find this resource:

Wamba dia Wamba, Ernest. “African History and Teaching History in Dar Es Salaam.” Tanzania Zamani 1, no. 3 (1993): 1–20.Find this resource:

Wright, Marcia. “Maji Maji: Prophecy and Historiography.” In Revealing Prophets: Prophecy in Eastern African History. Edited by David M. Anderson and Douglas H. Johnson, 124–142. London: James Currey, 1995.Find this resource:


(6.) McCracken, 1997, 177–178. See Luise White, “Terence Ranger in Fact and Fiction,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 44, no. 2 (2011): 325–331, for an interesting discussion of Ranger’s activism at the time; Terence Ranger, Writing Revolt: An Engagement with African Nationalism, 1957–1967 (Harare, Zimbabwe: Weaver Press, 2013), 149–182.

(7.) See Kimambo 1993 for an explicit discussion of the way political concerns shaped the early efforts of the members of the department.

(9.) For example, F. J. Kaijage, who, like most of the first generation trained at Dar es Salaam, went on to obtain a doctorate outside Tanzania, in this case at Warwick, where he wrote a dissertation on English labor history.

(12.) Ranger always argued that as important as he felt these themes were, they were not the only ones worthy of study. Terence Ranger, “The ‘New Historiography’ in Dar Es Salaam: An Answer,” African Affairs 70, no. 278 (1971): 50–61.

(13.) See the essays in Isaria N. Kimambo and A. J. Temu, eds., A History of Tanzania (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1969).

(16.) Kimambo, 1993.

(19.) Ranger, 1971, 52.

(21.) Gwassa and Iliffe, 1968; John Iliffe, “The Organization of the Maji Maji Rebellion,” Journal of African History 8, no. 3 (1967); Tanganyika under German Rule, 1905–1913 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1969), 9–29; and A Modern History of Tanganyika (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 168–202.

(22.) Quoted in Gwassa, 1969, 118.

(23.) T. O. Ranger, “Connections between ‘Primary Resistance’ Movements and Modern Mass Nationalism in East and Central Africa, Part I,” Journal of African History 9, no. 3 (1968): 437–453; “Connections between ‘Primary Resistance’ Movements and Modern Mass Nationalism in East and Central Africa, Part II,” Journal of African History 9, no. 4 (1968): 631–641.

(24.) Partick M. Redmond, “Maji Maji in Ungoni: A Reappraisal of Existing Historiography,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 8, no. 3 (1975): 407–424.

(29.) Iliffe, 1979, 2.

(30.) Iliffe, 1979, 576.

(33.) Ranger, 1971.

(36.) Kimambo, 1993.

(37.) Henry Bernstein and Jacques Depelchin, “The Object of African History: A Materialist Perspective: II,” History in Africa 6 (1979): 17–43; and “The Object of African History: A Materialist Perspective,” History in Africa 5 (1978): 1–19.

(39.) Tenu and Swai, 1981, 155.

(41.) Issa G. Shivji, Law, State and the Working Class in Tanzania @ 1920–1984 (London: James Currey, 1986); and Class Struggles in Tanzania (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976).

(45.) Ranger, 1971, 53.

(46.) Jewsiewicki, 1989.

(47.) Kimambo, “Environmental Control and Hunger in the Mountains and Plains of Northeastern Tanzania,” In Custodians of the Land: Ecology and Culture in the History of Tanzania, ed. Gregory H. Maddox, James L. Giblin and I. N. Kimambo (London: James Currey, 1996), 71–95, and Y. Q. Lawi “Where Physical and Ideological Landscapes Meet: Landscape Use and Ecological Knowledge Use in Iraqw, Northern Tanzania, 1920s–1950s,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 32, no. 2/3 (1999): 281–310.

(49.) James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1998).

(50.) Two of the more influential works are J.-A. Mbembe, On the Postcolony (Berekley: University of California Press, 2001); and Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

(52.) Jamie Monson, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009).

(54.) Andrew Burton, African Underclass: Urbanisation, Crime and Colonial Order in Dar Es Salaam (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2005).

(55.) Felicitas Becker, Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania 1890–2000, A British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monograph (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

(56.) Leander Schneider, Government of Development: Peasants and Politicians in Postcolonial Tanzania (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014).

(57.) Thaddeus Sunseri, Vilimani: Labor Migration and Rural Change in Early Colonial Tanzania (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002); and Thaddeus Raymond Sunseri, Wielding the Ax: State Forestry and Social Conflict in Tanzania, 1820–2000 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009).

(58.) Andrew M. Ivaska, Cultured States: Youth, Gender, and Modern Style in 1960s Dar Es Salaam (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011).

(60.) Askew, 2002; Ivaska, 2011; Burton, 2005.

(61.) Priya Lal, African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania: Between the Village and the World (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2015); and Emma Hunter, Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

(62.) Bjerk, 2010; Paul Bjerk, “Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960–1964,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 51, no. 1 (2017): 168–170.

(66.) Ranger, 1971.

(67.) Denoon and Kuper, 1970.

(68.) Ranger, 1971; and Denoon and Kuper, 1971.

(69.) Ranger, 2013.

(70.) Shivji, 1993.

(71.) Bernstein and Depelchin, 1979.

(72.) Temu and Swai, 1981.

(73.) Slater, 1986.

(74.) Jewsiewicki, 1989.

(75.) Kimambo, 1993; Wamba dia Wamba, 1993.

(76.) Bjerk, 2010.

(78.) Masebo, 2017.