Joshua Doble

Joshua Doble



I am an AHRC- funded doctoral candidate at the University of Leeds, supervised by Dr Shane Doyle and Dr Will Jackson. I previously completed a B.A. in History at the University of Leeds (2007-2010) and an M.St in Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford (2010-11) where I specialised in East African colonial history.

I am currently the Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow based at the Institute of Historical Research in London for 2018/19.

Invited Conference papers:

“You can judge a bad European by the number of big dogs he has” – the colonial legacies of racialised dogs in Kenya and Zambia, Sheffield Modern International History Group, Sheffield, 15th November 2018

Decolonisation, intimacy and belonging amongst Kenya and Zambia’s white settlers 1960 – 2010, Fellow's Seminar, Insitute of Historical Research London, 17th October 2018

The History of Emotions and Settler Colonialism in East Africa – 3rd Biennial Conference on African History, University of Leipzig, 20-22nd March 2016

Conference papers:

“You can judge a bad European by the number of big dogs he has”: a history of dogs, race and white settlers in Kenya and Zambia - African Studies Assocation UK, Birmingham, 11-13th September 2018

White identity and strategies of belonging in post-colonial Kenya – African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, 16th-18th November 2017

‘Kenya Cowboys’: the making and re-making of a postcolonial white African identity – Colonial/Postcolonial Workshop, Institute of Historical Research London, 2nd October 2017

Theorising Collective Identity, Emotional Communities and Britishness in Colonial Africa – ESRC Social History Conference, University of York, 2nd June 2016


Research interests

My research interests centre on the history of settler colonialism within the context of decolonising territories in East and Central Africa; approached through the prism of emotions and intimacy. This research intersects social science theories of intimacy and the senses with anthropological approaches to postcolonial whiteness in Africa. The thesis draws on extensive archival and ethnographic oral history research in Kenya and Zambia and examines the intimate relations between white settlers and the African people and environment around them to question what decolonisation means in these pseudo-settler postcolonial territories.

Despite growing literature on postcolonial white identities in Africa, there is still an overwhelming focus upon Zimbabwe and South Africa and few studies have addressed what decolonisation meant for settlers in parts of Africa outside the recalcitrant white supremacist states of southern Africa. This research will provide new insights into what a ‘white settler’ is in postcolonial Africa as well as into the complex relationships which these settlers have with Africans, the African state and the African environment.

Research interests:

  • decolonisation in Africa
  • settler colonialism and its legacies
  • history of emotions and intimacy
  • oral history
  • anthropological methodologies