Joshua Grace is a historian of Africa with a particular interest in cultures of technology, mobility, and development. His research examines the politics of development in Tanzania from the 1870s to the 1980s by showing how Africans transformed cars and roads from technologies of imperial power into tools for pursuing different visions of social and economic change. By focusing on the use and modification of automobiles by Africans, his work provides an alternative to narratives of technological backwardness and economic underdevelopment that dominate representations of twentieth-century Africa. His dissertation, “Modernization Bubu: Cars, Roads, and the Politics of Development in Tanzania, 1870s-1980s” (2013) examines modernization from the perspective of the mechanics, drivers, and passengers who used technology and mobility to contest hierarchies of race, class, and gender. He is a recipient of Fulbright and Andrew W. Mellon research fellowships.
I currently teach Hist. 106 (Introduction to African History) and Hist. 352 (Africa Since 1800). I am developing an upper level course called, “Saving Africa: Humanitarianism and Development in Historical Perspective,” and another on the history of East Africa and the Indian Ocean.