Department of History


In line with the broader mission of the University of Dar es Salaam, the department of History is to enable students to reach their highest potential through realizing the University Mission.  In this regard, the department of history provides students with opportunities to gain broad knowledge of African and world history based on diverse theoretical perspectives, temporal settings and spatial focusing.  The academic programmes in the department promote critical thinking and analysis about the past and present. Also they promote historical analytic and writing skills in historical discourses. Above all, the department inculcates a sense of sensitivity to and appreciation of values essential for students to become effective citizens in the local, national, and international communities.  This includes the desire and will to serve others, and a tendency to be curious about the meaning and value of life, not only within their own culture, but also in the culturally diverse world.




  1. To acquire skills and awareness of the diverse socio-political and economic dynamics influencing change and continuity in human affairs.
  2. To become actively engaged in ceaseless inquiry to develop a sense of responsibility for one’s own learning and to cultivate the intellectual habits and skills needed for life-long learning.
  3. To prepare for all aspects of life beyond university, including work, service, and leadership within local, national, and international communities.
  4. To appreciate the diversity of cultures present in Tanzania and the world, and to relate sensitively to persons with disparate cultural backgrounds and perspectives.




  1. To constitute a community of scholars in which teaching and learning are the activities with the highest priority.
  2. To grow professionally, contributing to the department and the larger academic community through research, creative expression, innovative teaching, and interdisciplinary dialogue.
  3. To be active participants in the historians’ common imperative to produce historical knowledge of the highest possible quality and to ensure significant presence of the department in international historical scholarship.
  4. To participate in governing the department, developing its academic programmes, and enriching its cultural environment.
  5. To be models and mentors who support the development of students as independent




The Department of history is one of the oldest establishments at the University of Dar es Salaam. Upon its creation in 1964, the department engaged in a combination of liberal and progressive scholarship deriving from the spirit of African nationalism and optimism of the immediate postcolonial period. It boasts the footmarks and the influence of renowned historians of Africa, such as Terence Ranger, John Illife, Walter Rodney, IsariaKimambo, Wamba-dia-Wamba just to mention a few. A combination of scholarly initiatives and an enabling social context in 1960s and 1970 resulted in the development of the much-acclaimed Dar es Salaam school of historiography. In 1985, the department of history established an Archaeology Unit with the aim of strengthening its teaching programme. Over the years the Unit developed into an independent department in the year 2013.


Activities of the department

The Department has concentrated its activities on three major areas: research, teaching and consultancy.  The Department has a strong tradition of field research in and outside Tanzania. Teaching: The department is currently hosting two Undergraduate programmes, BA History and BA History and Political Science. From the 2018/19 academic year the department will launch two more new degree programmes, BA Diplomatic and Military History and BA History, Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Through its vibrant members of staff, the department has managed to attract a reasonable number of students in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Apart from the Undergraduate programmes the department also offers postgraduate programmes i.e. MA History and PhD in History.Research and dissemination of knowledge: the department of history has a strong tradition of research and dissemination of knowledge. Research is done in a wide array of areas of specialization of its members of the department and collaborating partners from academics coming from abroad. Just to mention a few, the department researches on, economic history, political history, environmental history, labour history, social history, religious history, agricultural history and cultural heritage history. In dissemination of knowledge, the department of history has a long established tradition of having weekly seminars. The weekly seminars attract scholars from various disciplines both from Tanzania and outside. In 2015, the Department named these seminars Isaria Kimambo Seminars (IKHS) in honour of the (now retired) Professor Isaria Kimambo, the first African Professor of History in Tanzania, the first African Assistant Principal of the University College, Dar es Salaam and the University of Dar es Salaam Chief Academic Officer for 12 years. Most importantly on dissemination of knowledge, the department of history hosts the Historical Association of Tanzania (HAT) which was re-established in 2015 following nearly two decades of dormancy. HAT holds annual conferences and publishes its proceedings in Tanzania Zamani, a journal jointly owned by the department of History and Historical Association of Tanzania.



The following is the list of members of staff together with their qualifications, specialization, areas of research and consultancy.   

Staff list for department of History