University of Wisconsin–Madison

Emily Callaci

Assistant Professor of History


Office: 5116 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 5028 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: Mondays 1:00-3:00

Emily Callaci


I am an historian of modern East Africa, with a research focus on twentieth century urban Tanzania. I am currently at work on a book about urban migration and cultural politics during Tanzania’s socialist era, from 1967 through 1985. Urban migration in Africa in the second half of the twentieth century has been one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in history. Yet in the midst of this urban revolution, African nationalist intellectuals and political leaders portrayed Africans as a rural people. Nowhere was this directive taken more seriously than in Tanzania, where from 1967 through 1985 president Julius Nyerere launched a campaign to relocate citizens into collective rural villages as the central policy of African socialism, or “Ujamaa.” Despite official policies, youth from throughout East Africa made their lives in Tanzania’s largest city of Dar es Salaam during the socialist era. Drawing together a range of unconventional sources, or “street archives,” this project reveals a concurrent world of cultural innovation, literary production, and the elaboration of a distinctly urban subjectivity among migrants and refugees in Dar es Salaam.

Building on my exploration of the politics of race, decolonization, and sexuality in urban Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, I have begun research for a second project on the transnational history of the family planning movement in twentieth century Africa.


Ph.D., Northwestern University
M.A., Northwestern University
B.A., Kenyon College


Selected Publications

  • “Injectable Development:” Depo-Provera and the Mapping of the Global South,” (under review)
  • “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 59: 1 (2017).
  • “‘Chief Village in a Nation of Villages’: History, Race and Authority in Tanzania’s Dodoma Plan”, (forthcoming, Urban History, 2015).
  • “Dancehall Politics: Mobility, Sexuality, and Spectacles of Racial Respectability in Late Colonial Tanganyika, 1930s-1961,” The Journal of African History, 52:3, (2011).

Selected Awards

  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2015-16
  • UW Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities Residential Fellowship, 2015-16
  • UW Madison Center for the Humanities First Book Award, 2013-2014
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, 2008-2009
  • U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, 2006-2011
  • Graduate Research Grant, The Graduate School, Northwestern University, 2007 and 2010

Advisor To

History Courses

  • History 105 – Africa Since 1940 – Syllabus 2013 (pdf)
  • History 201 – The Historians Craft: History of Humanitarianism – Syllabus 2017 (pdf)
  • History 225 – Globalization and the African City – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
  • History 283 – Gender, Sexuality and the Making of the Self in Modern Africa – Syllabus 2012 (pdf)
  • History 500 – The Pill and the World: Family Planning, Population Control and Feminism in World History – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
  • History 600 – Decolonization and African Nationalism – Syllabus 2013 (pdf)
  • History 861 – Historical Approaches to the Twentieth Century African City
  • History 861 – The African Postcolony