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Gone to Ground

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In this podcast, Dr. Emily Brownell (University of Edinburgh) discusses with Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC) her recently-published book, Gone to Ground: A history of environment and infrastructure in Dar es Salaam (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Dr. Brownell’s book breaks new ground in urban environmental history, discussing how Dar es Salaam’s urban inhabitants oriented themselves to the city’s rural peripheries to literally ‘build’ the urban environment in the 1970s and early 1980s. In so doing, she puts into conversation the everyday experiences of commuters, farmers, and factory workers with concerns about broader structures, including climate change, the 1970s oil crisis, and international conservationism. In this discussion, Dr. Brownell also touches on themes of gender and the idea of ‘crisis’ in Africanist scholarly writing, and she discusses aspects of her forthcoming project: Stories from the Substrate, which aims to narrate East African history from the soil through a variety of case studies of how people, animals, and plants have made and remade the region in the last century.

For more on Dr. Brownell’s work, see her university profile.

For more on Gone to Ground, see her page with University of Pittsburgh Press.

This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC), Archisman Chaudhuri and Philip Gooding (both postdoctoral fellows, IOWC, McGill).