Man with dark hair and beard wearing navy sweater and plaid scarf

Jonathon L. Earle

Marlene and David Grissom Associate Professor of Social Studies

Co-Chair of Uganda Studies Group (African Studies Association)

Senior Editor of Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History

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PhD from University of Cambridge


Earle joined Centre’s faculty in 2012 as visiting assistant professor of history. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in religion and theology, respectively, he completed his doctoral studies in history at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, he was named a Centre Scholar.

At Cambridge, he facilitated tutorials, lectures and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate level, teaching on the history of modern Africa and historical methodology. At Centre, Earle has worked to develop a creative pedagogy, which often leads him to incorporate community-based learning into the heart of his courses. This includes offering regular studies abroad to eastern Africa (2014, 2015, 2019) and co-directing the Centre-in-London program in 2017. He has also worked with Centre students in Uganda and the United Kingdom.

At Centre, Earle has maintained an aggressive research agenda. His first book—on religious thought and historical imagination in late colonial Uganda (Cambridge University Press, 2017)—was a finalist for the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize (2018), which is the highest award given by the African Studies Association in East African Studies. His second book (co-authored with the award-winning J.J. Carney) explores the political biography of Uganda’s first elected prime minister, Benedicto Kiwanuka, and the history of political intimidation. It will be published with James Currey (Oxford) in 2020. In the past three years, he has also published four peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters with the Journal of African History, History in Africa, and Ohio University Press. His most recent chapter on African Intellectual History is published with Oxford University Press (2019).

Earle has presented at or organized no fewer than 16 conferences or workshops since Fall 2013. These venues include the African Studies Association, and the Universities of Cambridge, Makerere (in partnership with the School of Oriental and African Studies), and Yale. He was also a co-organizer for a workshop on Terrorism in Africa at the University of Oxford (2016), which was one of the first forums to date—comprised of scholars, policymakers and international development workers—to imagine interdisciplinary ways of understanding modern terrorism in Africa. He also helped conceptualize and co-organize a workshop on Emerging Approaches in Uganda Studies at University College London (2017), the results of which will be published next year with James Currey.

Earle is the recipient of numerous awards. For outstanding teaching, scholarship and service, he was appointed a Centre Scholar in 2016 and 2019, and he was awarded a Stodghill Research Professorship in 2017. He was named the Delta Delta Delta Professor of the Year in 2016.



Decolonising State & Society in Uganda: The Politics of Knowledge & Public Life (Oxford: James Currey, Fall 2022), co-edited with Bruce-Lockhart, Nakanyike B. Musisi, and Edgar Curtis Taylor

Contesting Catholics: Benedicto Kiwanuka and the Birth of Postcolonial Uganda (Oxford: James Currey, 2021), with James J. Carney

Colonial Buganda and the End of Empire: Political Thought and Historical Imagination in Africa, African Studies Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (Finalist for the Ogot Prize)

Journal Articles

Political Activism and Other Life Forms in Colonial Buganda, History in Africa, 45 (2018)

Uganda Studies and Researching Institutional Life in Modern Africa, History in Africa, 45 (2018), 175. With Katherine Bruce-Lockhart

Dreams and Political Imagination in Colonial Buganda, Journal of African History, 58.1 (2017)

Reading Revolution in Late Colonial Uganda, Journal of Eastern African History, 6.3 (2012)

Book Chapters

"Obuganda Buladde": Power, Anxiety and Calm in Postcolonial Buganda, Anxiety in and about Africa: Multidisciplinary Perspectives and Approaches, ed. by Andrea Grant and Yolana Pringle (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2020)

Intellectual History and Historiography, in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia: Guide to Methods, Sources and Historiography in African History, ed. by Thomas Spear (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Competing Conceptions of Political Justice in Colonial Buganda, in Pursuing Justice in Africa: Competing Imaginaries and Contested Practices, ed. by Jessica Johnson and George Karekwaivanane (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2018)

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