I am a historian of modern Africa specializing on issues where science, medicine, technology, and politics intersect. I work primarily in east Africa, and am writing a book on the history of a major cancer research center in Uganda currently entitled Research is Our Resource: Surviving Experiments and Politics at an African Cancer Institute. I am in the early stages of a project on material and spatial histories of medical waste, Where There is No Incinerator, which examines the thin line between disposability and reuse in health work in sub-Saharan Africa. I will also be returning to Uganda to pursue Magendo Lives, a social, material, and political history of the rise of the illicit or shadow economy in the 1970s.
I currently teach African history at the University of San Francisco and am a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Science, Medicine, Technology, and Society.
Before teaching and studying African history, I worked in international development and public health. I have engaged with the African continent since 2002 as a student, Peace Corps volunteer, public health researcher, and finally as a historian. I lived for extended periods of time in South Africa, Togo, and Uganda. I am from California, but have spent much of the past decade either in sub-Saharan Africa or on the East Coast. When I am not reading, writing, researching, or stuck on a minibus to the Equator, I can be found buying produce at farmer’s markets, hiking in the redwoods, and spending time with family and friends who are scattered across three continents.