Africa at Noon on December 2, 2015

Guerrilla Healthcare Innovation: Creative Resilience in Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga, 1971-1980

Clapperton Mavhunga
Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Download Poster (PDF)

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


What if we reimagined sites of national liberation struggles as theaters of innovation? And, not just by political leaders and guerrilla commanders, but guerrillas and the people? What if we rethought the “guerrilla rear bases” and “the front” as open laboratories? With what implications for science, technology, and innovation discourse and practice, among other things?


Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga is an associate professor of science, technology, and society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is interested in one question: What do science, technology, and innovation mean from Africa. He has published many articles and book chapters, including “Vermin Beings.” Prof. Mavhunga is the author of Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (MIT Press, 2014), and has just finished his second book, tentatively entitled What Does Science Mean from Africa? A View from Dzimbahwe and an edited volume entitled What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? At MIT he teaches courses such as Africa for Engineers; Technology and Innovation in Africa; Technology in History; and Energy, Environment, and Society. The paper he will present is part of a new project on Chimurenga as Innovation, now at write up stage. The project is proceeding alongside another African Chemistry, focusing primarily on poison- and medicine-making as scientific and technological pursuits prior to and despite the colonial moment.