Farmers, Miners and the State in Colonial Zimbabwe, c.1895 to 1961


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


History Department


This study explores the long and entangled relationship between farmers, miners and the state in colonial Zimbabwe. It does not start from any teleological assumptions about a static, synchronic state of relations; instead, it demonstrates a diachronic, shifting set of relationships, showing that these groups were heterogeneous, changeable and diverse. It thus engages the protean nature of colonial state policies, exploring how they influenced the interaction of settler farmers and miners from 1895 to 1961, highlighting their reaction and agency in resisting or complying with such policies. Using a chronological survey of miner-farmer relations in Southern Rhodesia, the study contributes to emerging studies of white settlers that emphasize differentiated settler interests. The project is therefore intended as a detailed and nuanced exploration of how Southern Rhodesia's mining law and taxation policies shaped the contours of conflict between these settler constituencies over time.