Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford
Politics and Development Studies
Research: I am principally interested in the social politics of inequality in Africa, which I examine using disease, public health, violence, and social suffering as organising frameworks for both historical and contemporary case studies. Motivated by my previous work as a medical doctor, first book, The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe (under contract with Cambridge University Press), examines the social and political causes and consequences of Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak in 2008/09, the most extensive in African history. My book argues that cholera was a politically constructed disaster; it illustrates how an epidemic delineates the contours of inclusion and abjection within the body politic; and it demonstrates critical weaknesses in the global humanitarian response to medical disasters. I approach the study of epidemics from the perspective of an interdisciplinary social scientist, drawing liberally from concepts and methodologies in politics, anthropology and history. Building on this work, I am currently working on a new research project on the contemporary history of outbreak narratives and how they shape the geopolitics of global health and security in Africa. My research informs my teaching and I offer an advanced option course for graduate students called: Pathologies of Power: Politics, Epidemics and Global Health in Africa. I am also working a book of narrative non-fiction that explores themes of nationhood, anti-colonialism, exile and belonging using a combination of personal history and transnational history between Britain and Zimbabwe.
For more information see: https://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/people/simukai-chigudu https://twitter.com/SimuChigudu
Relevant publications include:
Chigudu, Simukai. 2020. The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reviews: The Journal of Modern African Studies, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Biosocieties
Press: The Washington Post, Open Democracy, Mail and Guardian (South Africa), The Star (Kenya), The Elephant (Kenya), Zimbabwe Independent.
Chigudu, Simukai. 2020. “‘The Government is the One Who Caused Cholera’: State Transformation and the Politics of Public Health During Zimbabwe’s Crisis.” In The Oxford Handbook of Zimbabwean Politics, edited by Blessing-Miles Tendi, JoAnn McGregor, and Jocelyn Alexander, 1–19. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chigudu, Simukai. 2019. “The Politics of Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship: ‘People Were Dying Like Flies.’” African Affairs 118 (472): 413–34.
Chigudu, Simukai 2016. “Health Security and the International Politics of Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak, 2008-09” Global Health Governance, 2016. X(3): 41–53.