The City Electric: Infrastructure and Ingenuity in Postsocialist Tanzania


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , ACLS Fellowship Program




This book project is an ethnographic account of an urban power grid in a postsocialist, African metropolis. Over 20 years of neoliberal reform, electricity in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has become less reliable even as its importance has increased. “The City Electric” describes the informal economies that develop around emergency power contracts, blackouts, reconnection, repair, and theft, and charts their effects on the rhythms and textures of daily life. In turn, it explores how infrastructure mediates relations with the state in the aftermath of a morally charged African socialism.