Making Spatial and Historical Contexts: Racial Thought and Urban Life in Uganda, 1959-1972


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the intersection of racial thought, urban governance, and urban sociability in late colonial and postcolonial Uganda. Struggles over the gendered division of political and economic space nourished a transnational arena of racial thought, with which Ugandans constantly renegotiated rights to economic accumulation and urban citizenship. Idi Amin’s Asian expulsion decree of 1972 intervened in intellectual, legal, and social fields in which an array of actors had worked to recast the historical and spatial contexts that made racial categories legible. This work shifts focus away from teleological narratives of racialization and toward arenas of contestation in the production of race, space, and history.