Neil Kodesh

Position title: Faculty Director


Phone: (608) 262-1760

UW Madison - Department of History 3211 George Mosse Humanities Bldg.
455 N. Park St., Mailbox 5023 Mosse Humanities

Neil Kodesh is a historian of East Africa with a particular emphasis on the Great Lakes region. His research and teaching interests center on medical history, historical anthropology, and multidisciplinary methodologies for writing African history. His first book, Beyond the Royal Gaze: Clanship and Public Healing in Buganda, examined how the domains of politics and public healing were intimately entwined in Buganda, a kingdom located on the northwest shores of Lake Victoria in present-day Uganda, from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. The book won the Melville Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association.

He is currently working on two projects. The first is a historical ethnography of Mengo Hospital, the first hospital established in present-day Uganda. The second – Mapping Hot Spots: ‘One Health’ and the History of Infectious Disease Research in Africa – is part of a collaborative research cluster with Tony Goldberg (Pathobiological Sciences) and Josh Garoon(Community and Environmental Sociology). This project emerged from an earlier collaboration with Claire Wendland (Anthropology) and Pablo Gomez (Medical History) that created a program to expand graduate-level teaching and the development of research partnerships on the theme of “Health, Healing, and Science in Africa.” The program culminated with an international conference on “Big Stories and Close (Up) Research: Health and Science in the African World.”