“Oscar Kambona and the perils of African political biography”


April 22, 2013 - 4:00pm


University Capitol Centre, Room 2390

Contact Name: 

James Giblin

Contact Phone: 


Controversial African politician Oscar Kambona – who at one time served as the minister of foreign affairs and defense of Tanzania, secretary general of the country's ruling party (TANU), and chairman of the OAU's African Liberation Committee – was widely considered a traitor within Tanzania during his 25 years of exile, yet also stood as the leading opposition figure among an identifiable minority of citizens disaffected with Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere.

In an upcoming presentation at the University of Iowa, James R. Brennan, an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, seeks to dispel layers of misinformation about Kambona's life and show what the political stakes of his biography are in Tanzania today.

Brennan’s talk is titled “Writing the history of a nationalist/’traitor:’ Oscar Kambona and the perils of African political biography.”