PhD, New York University, 2011
Modern African history, with a focus on East Africa; decolonization and nationalism; development; African socialism; gender
Professor Lal teaches courses on African history, modern world history, and historical methods. Her research focuses on the politics of national development in decolonization-era and postcolonial Africa. Professor Lal's first book, a study of Tanzania's ujamaa villagization initiative of 1967-75, will be published by Cambridge University Press in the fall of 2015. African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania: Between the Village and the World examines the political imaginary of ujamaa (Swahili for "familyhood") and explores the varied ways in which ujamaa policy was implemented and experienced. More broadly, it seeks to restore a sense of possibility and process to the early years of African independence, refine prevailing theories of nation-building and postcolonial development, and expand our understanding of the 1960s and 70s world. Currently, Professor Lal is beginning research for a second book, tentatively entitled Human Resources, about the training, labor, and circulation of skilled medical and educational workers in and beyond southeastern Africa since independence.
“African Socialism and the Limits of Global Familyhood: Tanzania and the NIEO Movement in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Humanity (forthcoming).
“Maoism in Tanzania: Material Connections and Shared Imaginaries,” in Alexander Cook, ed., Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
“Self-Reliance and the State: The Multiple Meanings of Development in Early Post-Colonial Tanzania,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 82, 2 (2012) 212–234.
“Militants, Mothers, and the National Family: Ujamaa, Gender, and Rural Development in Postcolonial Tanzania,” Journal of African History 51, 1 (2010) 1–20.