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Chau J Kelly

Associate Professor

History | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

African History

History of Modern India

History of Science and Medicine

Environmental History

History of Imperialism

Imperial Medicine, Science, and Hygiene


Ph.D. 2011: University of California, Davis



American Society for Environmental History

African Studies Association

Tanzania Studies Association

Urban History Association
American Historical Association

Publications & Presentations


  • “’A Pleasant and Tidy Arrangement:’ Housing Development and Economies of Segregation in Mtwara Tanganyika, 1949-1954,” The Journal of Urban History, January 26, 2017 (first published online: DOI: 10.1177/0096144216688898)  
  • “Cattle Dip and Shark Liver Oil in a Techno-Chemical Colonial State: The Poisoning at Malangali School, Tanzania 1934,” The Journal of African History, Vol. 57, No. 3 (2016): 437-463.
  • “Commodifying Water in Coastal Tanzania: Natural Resource Management and Social Relations, 1926-1937,” African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 2, (2016): 1-25.
  • “Asha binti Awadh’s Awqaf: Muslim Endurance Despite Colonial Law in Mikindani, Tanganyika,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1 (2014): 1-20.


Conference Papers

  • October 13-16, 2016: Urban History Association, Chicago IL, “Urban Africa: Landscapes of Knowledge and Power."
  • March 18-20, 2015: American Society for Environmental History, Washington DC, “Commodifying Water in Coastal Tanzania: Poverty, Social Relations, and Natural Resources, 1930-37.”
  • October 10, 2014: Urban History Association, Philadelphia, PA, “Mtwara, From Sisal to Port City: Urban Development, Protest, and Environmental Change in Tanzania, 1950-1954.” 
  • March 11-14, 2014: American Society for Environmental History, San Francisco, CA, “Graduate Student Writing Workshop."
  • February 1-2, 2014: Florida Conference of Historians, St. Augustine, FL,“Crying Out in His Name: Redemptive Justice in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission”.
  • November 2013: African Studies Association, Baltimore, MD, “Mtwara: Planned for an Empire, Reshaped by Tanganyikans, 1950-1960”
    • April 3-6, 2013: American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), Toronto, ONT, Canada, “Cattle Dip, Shark Oil, and the Cult of Science: Acute Arsenic Poisoning at Malangali School, Tanzania, 1934”
    • March 1-2, 2013: Florida Conference of Historians, Sarasota, FL, Chair/Discussant, “Power, Identity, and Social Change: A World Historical Perspective.”
    • March 28-31, 2012: American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), Madison, WI; “Farm and Fly: village concentrations in southeastern Tanganyika, 1933-1945”
    • November 21, 2010: African Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, CA; “Mosques and Roads: South Asians and Contested Space in Mikindani Tanganyika, 1930-1935.”
    • January 9, 2010: American Historical Association Conference, San Diego, CA; “Consuming Development in Coastal Tanzania: Space, Commodification, and the Indian Ocean Littoral in Mikindani, Tanzania.”
    • September 24-26, 2008: University of California, Santa Barbara – Subaltern and Popular Culture Multi-Campus Research Group; “A Tale of Two Cities: Mtwara & Mikindani, Tanzania 1948-1990.”
    • November 14-17, 2006: African Studies Association, San Francisco, CA; “’If I count them today, then tomorrow some may die:’ Early-Childhood and Infant Mortality and the State in Late Colonial Tanganyika, 1949-1955.”
    • February 19, 2006: University of California, Irvine – World History Multi-Campus Research Group Conference—Gender in/and World History: “Lady Twining’s Burden: Child Health, Hygiene and Nutrition in Tanganyika, 1949-1965.”

Book Reviews

• Tamara Giles-Vernick & James L.A. Webb Jr. eds., Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2013. 246 pp. Reviewed by Chau Johnsen Kelly in Journal of Retracing Africa, (Forthcoming).

• Robert B. Munson. The Nature of Christianity in Northern Tanzania: Environmental and Social Change, 1890-1916. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2013. 379 pp. Reviewed by Chau Johnsen Kelly in Environmental History, 19 (October, 2014), 777-779

• Eric Allina. Slavery by Any Other Name: African Life under Company Rule in Colonial Mozambique. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011. 255pp. Reviewed by Chau J. Kelly, “Poverty of Empire and Forced Labor,” H-Net Reviews for H-Empire, (May 2014).

• Catherine Higgs. 2012. Chocolate Islands: cocoa, slavery, and colonial Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press. 230p. Reviewed by Chau Johnsen Kelly in African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1-2 (Nov. 2013).


Invited Lectures and Papers:

  • “Forgotten and Invisible: Poison, Medicine, and Scientific Development at Malangali,” UNF International Studies Lecture Series, January 27, 2017.
  • “From Sisal to Port City: Urban Development and Crisis in Mtwara, 1950-1954,” at University of Florida, African Studies Baraza Series, April 11, 2014.
  • “China in Africa: History and Legacies of Development,” at UNF Great Decisions, April 9, 2014.
  • “Cattle Dip, Shark Oil, and the Cult of Science,” UNF Past to Present Seminar, November 14, 2013.
  • “Nigeria, Biafra, and the Resource Curse,” UNF Environmental Center, film series, Sweet Crude, March 5, 2012.

Contact Information

Building 0009, Room 2512

(904) 620-5234

Office Hours

See syllabus