school and education




Department of History


Dr Wesley Mwatwara
BA Gen, War Studies & Economic History - (2004) - University of Zimbabwe, BA Spec Hons (2005) - University of Zimbabwe, MA (2007) – Economic History- University of Zimbabwe, PhD History (2014) University of Stellenbosch, SA
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Chairperson's Statement
The Department of History at the University of Zimbabwe has a long and proud tradition of academic excellence, professional leadership and social sensitivity. It is the oldest university history department in Zimbabwe dating back to 1957, two years after the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was established. As one of the largest and prestigious departments in the Faculty of Arts, the History Department is a very vibrant research citadel specialising in archaeological, historical and war and strategic studies. It has a very strong postgraduate teaching tradition dating back to 1960s when the Master of Arts (History) programme was launched. Not surprisingly, the Department was among the first to produce doctoral graduates. With time, it also spawned new subject areas, namely Political Science and Economic History which became full departments in 1976 and 1989 respectively. In 1982, two more disciplines were established in the Department, namely Archaeology and War and Strategic Studies. Since then, these have remained integral components of the Department.
Offering programs of study for undergraduate and graduate students in History, Archaeology and War and Strategic studies makes the History Department a home to a vibrant and dynamic community of scholars.Currently, the Department has 22 faculty members with a wide range of research specialties spanning geographically from Asia, Western Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, West Africa, East Africa to southern Africa; and thematically from strategic studies, social history to archaeology.
The Department’s research and teaching records rest on very solid grounds as reflected by the output of scholarship. Over the years, Academic Staff members have authored or edited numerous books as well as published several hundred peer-reviewed journal articles in national, regional and international journals. The Department hosts a number of international scholars, research fellows and associates. Furthermore, over the years, it has engaged in several collaborative researches with institutions and sister departments in the region and beyond. It has also hosted major regional and international conferences including the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologist, Zimbabwe Historical Association’s Biennial Conference, Pan-African Congress for African Archaeology. The Department also has working relationships and Memoranda of Understanding with institutions such as the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ), National Monuments and Museums of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and is continuously broadening its networks.
The Department has over the years remained very popular with students. Each year a new intake of at least three hundred undergraduates is admitted in the Department. Our programmes equip these students with in-depth knowledge about the interplay between past and present. The present did not come about by accident, but has been shaped by complex processes in the past. Accordingly, the three units making up the department complement each other in providing a fuller understanding of the past, identifying values and resources that require protection, and strategizing for peace maintenance. The programmes in the department create graduates who are well rounded in their understanding of Zimbabwe and its position in southern Africa and beyond. The graduates are challenged to contribute positively to society and the country as they would be fully aware of achievements, pitfalls and lessons from the past.
Our advice is “ignore history to your peril!!”

To be the centre of excellence in producing qualified Historians, Archaeologists and Strategists who are responsible, conscious to national and international social relevance, and are an integral part of their communities.
To produce well-rounded graduates and strategists who can contribute to a fuller understanding of the Human Condition in both the historical and cultural contexts.
Core Values
1. Professionalism
2. Transparency
3. Knowledge
4. Diligence
5. Integrity
6. Accountability


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