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Joshua Pritchard


I am a CHSS funded PhD student at the University of Cambridge.

I have an MA in African History from SOAS, University of London, and a BA(Hons) in Modern and Contemporary History from Aberystwyth University.

My previous research includes the attitude of the white Rhodesian population to the Internal Settlement of 1978-1979 in Southern Rhodesia as part of my Master's Degree. Prior to that I explored the reality that threats of military violence against Ian Smith's regime in the immediate aftermath of UDI faced within the British public and the British press. I have also written on slavery and abolition in Sierra Leone, the Border Wars in Southern Africa, and the dissemination of Portuguese culture in colonial Rhodesia. I have had two non-peer reviewed articles published on the 1896-97 Uprisings in Southern Rhodesia, and the role of Academic Activists at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1957-1966. 

Research Interests


The focus of my thesis is the history of race and nationalism in colonial Zimbabwe and the role of non-Africans in the years preceding the violent liberation struggle. The research and its conclusions are intended to provide a more nuanced perspective on the history of nationalism in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, through a focus on race relations and the cooperative actions of Africans, whites, Asians and Coloureds in the building on an independent Zimbabwe in the second half of the twentieth century.

This thesis will seek to advance the revisionist histories of nationalism in Africa by concentrating on the concept of multi-racialism and non-racialism and using the example of colonial Zimbabwe's troubled decolonisation as a detailed case study. Bringing together what have previously been regarded as the separate narratives of African nationalism and non-African 'Africanists' in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, this research aims to provide historical evidence for multi-racialism throughout the pan-African liberation movement across the continent, with emphasis on the Zimbabwean case study.

The lessons that can be learnt about the attitudes and relationships of non-African and African nationalists can be applied to former settler states throughout Africa and can assist policy makers in contemporary African in issues relating to race relations with minority populations, as well as the issues of memory for those nationalist supporters who have often been marginalised because of their race. In light of the contemporary situation in Zimbabwe, understanding better the history of non-racial nationalism as a political and social practice can help re-address the misconceptions and deliberate misuses of race relations within the nation state. 


Research Supervision

I am supervised by David Maxwell, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge.

My advisor is Dr. Zoe Groves, Lecturer in African History, University of Cambridge