Research Interests: Pre-colonial African History, East African History, Southern African history, and historical methods and theory.
- PhD: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- MA: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- BA: Williams College
- “Methods and Sources,” Journal of African History, 47(2006), 305-319.
- "Neo-Traditionalism and the Limits of Invention in British Colonial Africa," Journal of African History, 44(2003), 1-26.
- "Early Swahili History Reconsidered," International Journal of African Historical Studies, 33(2000), 256-288.
- "'A Town of Strangers' or 'A Model East African Town': Arusha and the Arusha" in D. A. Anderson & R. Rathbone (eds.), Africa's Urban Past (Oxford: James Currey; Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2000), 109-125.
- East African Expressions of Christianity (ed., with I.N. Kimambo). Oxford: James Currey; Athens, Ohio; Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota: Nairobi: EAEP, 1999.
- Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru. Oxford: James Currey, Berkeley: California, Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota, 1997.
- Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa (ed., with Richard Waller). London: James Curry, Athens: Ohio, Nairobi, EAEP, Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota, 1993.
- "Mutesa, the Missionaries, and Christian Conversion in Buganda" (with Jean Brierley), International Journal of African Historical Studies, 21(1988), 601-618.
- The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800-1500. (with Derek Nurse). Philadelphia: Pennsylvania, 1985.
- Kenya's Past: An Introduction to Historical Method in Africa. (London and New York: Longman, 1981).
- "Oral Traditions: Whose History?" History in Africa, 8(1981), 163-179. Revised and reprinted in Journal of Pacific History, 16(1981), 133-148.
- The Kaya Complex: A History of the Mijikenda Peoples of the Kenya Coast to 1900. (Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1978).
- John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1995-96
- University of Wisconsin: Vilas Associate, 1995-97
- Charles R. Keller Professor of History, Williams College, 1992
- Robert Gaudino Scholar, Williams College, 1989-91
- National Endowment for the Humanities: Fellowship for College Teachers, 1987-88
- Melville J. Herskovits Prize in African Studies: Finalist, 1986, for The Swahili (with Derek Nurse).
- Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies Foreign Area Fellowship, 1970-72
- A.C. Jordan Prize: Best Essay in African Studies, University of Wisconsin, 1972
History Courses Taught:
- History 377: History of Africa: 1500-1880
- History 378: History of Africa from 1880
- History 444: History of East Africa
- History 446: History of Southern Africa
- Africa and the Diaspora: Theory and Practice
- African Christianity
- African Environmental History
- Historical Methods for Pre-Literate Societies
- ‘Mau Mau’ and Colonialism in Kenya
- Religion and Resistance
- The Zulu State & the Mfecane