Associate Professor - Africa, Oral History, International Politics
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Paul Bjerk teaches African History, with a particular emphasis on the continuities across the ruptures of the twentieth century. His research has focused on modern Tanzania under Julius Nyerere, and his dissertation, "Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanganyika" was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, Dr. Bjerk has a particular interest in helping students understand the analysis and use of oral history, and its interaction with scholarship on myth and memory. Dr. Bjerk received a Fulbright Fellowship for dissertation research in Tanzania, and has published articles on Tanzania and pre-colonial South Africa in the Journal of Religion in Africa and the Journal of African history among others. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Bjerk taught for three years at Tumaini University in Tanzania as a Lutheran volunteer. There he participated in publishing a college newspaper with wide community distribution and helped to develop and implement a voters' education project that reached nearly 140,000 people in preparation for the 2000 elections in Tanzania.
Office: 50 Holden Hall