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Julie Weiskopf

Specialty area(s)

Africa, colonial and postcolonial Tanzanian history, histories of resettlement, public health, and conservation.

Brief biography

My interest in studying African history began in college when reading African novels and studying the politics of the English language in former colonies. Since then, my interests have expanded but there are ways in which they remain rooted in what initially interested me: understandings rooted in African worldviews and examination of how Africans engaged with colonialism and colonial legacies. My work now focuses on the colonial and postcolonial history of Tanzania, particularly in the intersection of public health, conservation, and resettlement campaigns.

Before joining UW-L in 2010, I lived most of my life in the marvelous Northwest. I grew up in Spokane, WA, went to college in Seattle, and spent a fantastic year in weird, wonderful Portland. Moving to Minnesota for graduate school imparted in me a healthy respect for those who survive extreme weather conditions and a healthy fear of hot dish.

Current courses at UWL

HIS 101 Global Origins of the Modern World (Hybrid)
HIS 392 African History through Film

In summer 2014, I led a 3+ week study tour during which I taughtHIS 300 Popular Culture and Popular Politics in Tanzania's History as we traveled to several sites in Tanzania and attended at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

The 2016 version was even more exciting as it was in partnership with Dr. Daniel Sambu and his GEO 321 course. My HIS 300 course focused on Tanzanian Environmental History and we toured different conservation sites in northern Tanzania and on the islands of Zanzibar.  The 2018 version will be announced soon!


Ph. D. History, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, 2011
B.A. History and English, Seattle University, Seattle, WA 2001

Teaching history

HIS 200 Historiography and Historical Methods

HIS 285 Survey of Modern Africa
HIS 379 African Environmental History
HIS 380 Beyond Rwanda: War and Genocide in Africa's Great Lakes
HIS 381 Health and Healing in African History

HIS 392 African History through Film
HIS 397 African Nationalism
HIS 398 Colonial Africa


Professional history

Associate Professor, UWL, 2016-current

Assistant Professor, UWL, 2010-2016

Adjunct Instructor, Gonzaga University, 2009-2010

Research and publishing


“Living in ‘Cold Storage’: An Interior History of Tanzania’s Sleeping Sickness Concentrations, 1933-1946,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 49.1 (2016), 1-22.

“Socialism on Safari: Wildlife and Nation-Building in Postcolonial Tanzania, 1961-1977,” The Journal of African History 56.3 (2015), 429-447.

Selected Presentations

“‘To Prevent Diseases We Must Follow the Rules of Health’: Health Education on the Radio in Tanzania.” African Studies Association Conference (ASA): Washington, DC. December 1, 2016.

“Broadcasting the Seeds of Self-Reliance: Public Health, Adult Literacy, and Tanzania’s 1973 Mtu ni Afya Radio Campaign.” African Studies Association Conference: San Diego, CA. November 20, 2015.

“Socialism on Safari: the Nation-Building Politics of the Wildlife Economy in Tanzania, 1961-1977.” American Society for Environmental History: Washington, DC, March 9, 2015.

“‘For the Benefit of the Whole Nation’: Framing Tanzania’s Moyowosi Game Reserve as Nationalist and Local Resource,” Invited talk, University of Wisconsin-Madison (November 13, 2013) and Emory University (December 5, 2013).

“Rooting New Communities in Tanzania’s Sleeping Sickness Concentrations.” African Studies Association Conference: Baltimore, MD. November 22, 2013.

“‘A healer must be loved when he heals the people’: Sleeping Sickness Auxiliaries’ Changing Roles in Colonial and Postcolonial western Tanzania, 1947-1985.” African Studies Association Conference: Philadelphia, PA. December 1, 2012.

“Tanzania’s Moyowosi Game Reserve as a Nation-Building Site, 1959-79.” African Studies Association Conference: Washington, DC. November 19, 2011.

“Building Umukutano from Ugwimo: Shaping Kigoma Region’s (Tanzania) Sleeping Sickness Concentrations, 1933-55.” African Studies Association Conference: New Orleans, LA. November 20, 2009.

Co-author, “Creating a Graduate Course in Public History and Confronting the Divide.” Radical History Review 102 (2008): 73-89.