Dr Josh Doble (BA (Hons), M.St, PhD, FHEA)
Before joining Edinburgh I was the Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. During that fellowship I finished my AHRC- funded PhD at the University of Leeds, which focused on the history of settler colonialism within the context of decolonising territories in East and Central Africa; approached through the prism of emotions and intimacy. The thesis was based upon archival and ethnographic oral history research in Kenya and Zambia and examined the intimate relations between 'white settlers' and the African people and environment around them to question what decolonisation means in these pseudo-settler postcolonial territories.
I previously studied at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford for my undergraduate and masters degrees.
Responsibilities & affiliations
Affiliated research centres
Edinburgh Centre for Global History, Centre of African Studies, Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History
Body and Power in Colonial Africa
Politics and Power in Post-Colonial East Africa
Historical Skills and Methods 1 and 2
The Historian's Toolkit
An Unhappy Valley: Mau Mau, culture and colonialism in Kenya's highlands ca.1895-ca.1964
Historical Research: Skills & Sources (campus and online)
Approaches to History
My research interests centre on histories of animals, settler colonialism and postcolonial whiteness, largely centred on decolonising territories in East and Central Africa. I approach these topics through oral histories, ethnographic methods and a theoretical focus on emotions, senses, memory and wellbeing.
- Comparative & Global History
- Medicine, Science & Technology
- Twentieth Century & After
Current research interestsMy doctoral research drew upon archival and ethnographic oral history sources in Kenya and Zambia to examine the intimate relations between white settlers and the African people and environment around them to question what decolonisation means in these pseudo-settler postcolonial territories. This research is being drawn up into a book focused upon the emotive and sensory dynamics of postcolonial whiteness in Africa, and the complex relationships which 'white settlers' have with Africans, the African state and the African environment.
I am currently preparing my next research project on the history of two distinct dog breeds in southern Africa; the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Boerboel. The project traces the movement of dogs, ideologies and notions of human/animal health from decolonising southern Africa to the US and the UK to question the uncomfortable relationship between dog breeding, health and racial politics.
Doble, Josh, ‘Can Dogs Be Racist? The Colonial Legacies of Racialized Dogs in Kenya and Zambia’, History Workshop Journal, 89 (2020), 68–89