Ruramisai Charumbira

- Associate Professor 

picture of Ruramisai Charumbira
PhD, Yale University, 2006
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 86521
Office: Lawson Hall 1220
Office Hours: Mondays, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, and Thursdays, 4:30 - 5:30 pm

Research Interests

African feminist theory; history and memory; indigenous ways of knowing; nature, spirits, and culture, empire and resistance.

Selected Courses:

  • Uncolonized Global Histories
  • Resistance to Apartheid in South African and Global History
  • Ubuntu: Indigenous Perspectives in Global History
  • African Civilizations to 1800
  • History of Southern Africa (Research)
  • Becoming African: Europeans in Southern African History (Research)
  • Apartheid and Resistance in South African History
  • African Women’s History (Research)
  • History and Memory (Research)
  • International Development in Historical Perspective
  • African Intellectual Life in the 20th Century

Recent Projects

Transformative Inclusivity, A Collaborative Project within the Memory Studies Association (MSA)

Selected Publications

Charumbira, R. (2015). Imagining a Nation: History and Memory in Making Zimbabwe. (Series: Reconsiderations in Southern African History). Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press. Finalist, Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians Book Prize.

Book Chapters (Refereed)
Charumbira, R. (2022b) “Memory Activism and the Global Production of Knowledge” (73) In Yifat Gutman and Jenny Wüstenberg (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism.

Charumbira, R. (2022a) The Historian as Memory Practitioner. In Cassandra Mark-Thiesen, Moritz Mihatsch, Michelle Sikes (Eds.), Commemoration and the Politics of Historical Memory in Africa. De Gruyter Oldenburg (open access).

Charumbira, R. (2020) “Historians and Nehanda of Zimbabwe in History and Memory.” In Boyd Cothran, Joan Judge, Adrian Schubert (Eds.), Women Warriors and National Heroes: Global Histories (39-54). Bloomsbury Academic (open access).

Charumbira, R. (2015). Becoming Imperial: A Swiss Woman’s Shifting Identity in British Southern Africa. In P. Purtschert and H. Fischer-Tiné (Eds.), Colonial Switzerland: Rethinking Colonialism from the Margins (157-178). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Public Humanities
Charumbira, R. Nov. 2022, “Death by a Thousand Cuts, Thoughts on Quotidian Racism” published in German translation as Der Tod durch tausend kleine Schnitte,” Surprise (November 18—Dec 1), 538/22, 13

Charumbira, R. Dec. 2021, “On Transformative Inclusivity in the Memory Studies Association (MSA)” MSA December Newsletter:

Moderator, Public Panel Discussion, Dance, Racism, Public Engagement and Anthropological Knowledge: Public Performance & Discussion. THoR: Taking the Humanities on the Road, Walter Benjamin Kolleg, Uni Bern, November 05, 2021.

Charumbira, R. April 2020. “In Praise of Empathy.” AGITATE! Blog: Originally published in March 2020 at:

Charumbira, R. and Toggweiler, M. (January 2019). THoR’s Take: Taking the Humanities on the Road. Walter Benjamin Kolleg, University of Bern.