Position Type
- Present

Jo Tague is a historian of Sub-Saharan Africa with particular interests in refugee settlement, international humanitarianism, and African liberation movements. Her first monograph, Displaced Mozambicans in Postcolonial Tanzania, examines a wide range of lived experiences—from refugees and asylum seekers to liberation leaders, students, and migrant workers—during Mozambique’s war for independence from Portugal (1964-1974) and their settlement in Tanzania and beyond. Throughout the war, two distinct communities of Mozambicans emerged. While a minority of students and liberation leaders congregated in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, most Mozambicans settled in refugee camps in southern Tanzania. Displaced Mozambicans in Postcolonial Tanzania juxtaposes the experiences of the two groups to showcase the many ways in which the displaced could act as their own agents to strategize their trajectories during exile. The book compels us to reconsider how governments, humanitarian organizations, aid agencies, local citizens, and the displaced themselves defined, debated, and reconstituted what it meant to be a refugee in Africa during decolonization, and it demonstrates how the state of being a refugee could be generative and productive, rather than debilitating and destructive, during this time.

Dr. Tague’s research has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation (Pre-Tenure Career Enhancement Fellowship); the National History Center (International Seminar on Decolonization funded by the American Historical Association, the Mellon Foundation, the Kluge Center, and the Library of Congress); Fulbright-Hays (GPA in Tanzania); the Denison University Research Foundation (DURF); the U.S. Department of Education (Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships in 2005, 2004, and 2003); and the Summer Cooperative African Language Institute (SCALI).

An advocate of the power of international education, as an undergraduate Dr. Tague studied abroad in Zimbabwe through the School for International Training. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps and was in one of the first groups to serve in post-apartheid South Africa. Prior to joining the faculty at Denison, she taught courses at the University of California/Davis, California State University/Sacramento, as well as at California State University/Chico.

B.A., George Washington University; M.A., Ohio University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of California, Davis.

Learning & Teaching

  • HIST 131: Pre-Colonial Africa
  • HIST 132: Africa Since 1880
  • HIST 133: Introduction to South Africa
  • HIST 134: 19th and 20th Century East Africa
  • HIST 201: Doing History/Debating Colonial Africa
  • HIST 205: Humanitarian Thought and Action
  • HIST 230/330: Women and Gender in African History
  • HIST 430: Senior Seminar/African Liberation—Exile and Activism



Monographs and Edited Volumes

  • Displaced Mozambicans in Postcolonial Tanzania: Refugee Power, Mobility, Education, and Rural Development. London: Routledge Press, 2019; pbk 2021.
  • African Asylum at a Crossroads: Activism, Expert Testimony, and Refugee Rights. Ohio University Press, 2016.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Refugees in East Africa” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History (2022, forthcoming).
  • “African Peace Traditions and Resistance to Colonial Rule” in the Oxford Handbook of Peace History. Christian Peterson, David Hostetter, Deborah Buffton, and Charles F. Howlett, eds (2022, forthcoming).
  • “Refugee settlement as dialogue: conversations and contestations between the Tanzanian state, Mozambican liberation leaders and humanitarian officials (1964-1971)” in the Canadian Journal of African Studies 55, 3 (2021): 497-517.
  • “In the City of Waiting: Education and Mozambican Liberation Exiles in Dar es Salaam, 1960- 1975” in Africans in Exile: Mobility, Law, and Identity, Past and Present, edited by Nathan Riley Carpenter and Benjamin Lawrance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018): 137- 152.
  • “An Activist in Exile: Janet Mondlane and the Mozambican Liberation Movement” in Routledge History of World Peace since 1750, edited by William Knoblauch, Christian Peterson, Michael Loadenthal (New York: Routledge, 2018): 393-403.
  • “Displaced Agents of Development: Mozambican Refugees and Tanzanian Nation-Building Projects, 1964-1975,” International Journal of African Historical Studies Vol 50, No 1 (2017): 121-145.
  • “American Humanitarianism at the End of Portugal’s African Empire: Institutional and Governmental Interests in Assisting Angolan Refugees in the Congo, 1961-1974,” Portuguese Journal of Social Science Vol 14, No 3 (2015): 343-359.


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