Jocelyn Alexander’s research interests lie in the social and political history of southern Africa, particularly liberation struggles and their legacies, law and punishment, violence and memory, and rural politics and land reform. She is currently working on a Leverhulme-funded collaborative research project titled ‘Global Soldiers in the Cold War: Making southern Africa’s liberation armies’, and writing a history of political imprisonment in Zimbabwe.
She has taught at Sussex and Bristol Universities and has been a Research Associate at the University of Zimbabwe. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern African Studies and the publications committee of the International Africa Institute.
She is co-author with JoAnn McGregor and Terence Ranger of Violence and Memory: One Hundred Years in the 'Dark Forests' of Matabeleland (James Currey, 2000), and author of The Unsettled Land: The Politics of Land and State-making in Zimbabwe, 1893-2003 (James Currey, 2006).
Jocelyn Alexander teaches primarily on the MPhil in Development Studies and the DPhil in International Development.
Jocelyn Alexander's research concerns the social and political history of southern Africa and uses qualitative methodologies, notably oral history and archival research. She is happy to consider applications within this broad field. More specifically, she is interested in projects concerned with the history and legacies of nationalism and liberation struggles; disciplinary regimes and law, and the making of state institutions more generally; rural politics, particularly as it concerns ideas, movements and institutions; and the politics of memory. Note that much of her research reaches into the present and is concerned with the legacies of contested histories.
She is also interested in projects that make use of innovative qualitative methodologies and cross-disciplinary approaches (history, anthropology, politics, literature). She occasionally supervises topics outside southern Africa where they are thematically linked to her research interests.
Books and monographsAlexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor, Blessing-Miles Tendi )(2020) 'Transnational Histories of Southern Africa’s Liberation Movements ', RoutledgeAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor, B-M Tendi )(2014) 'Politics, Patronage and Violence in Zimbabwe ', Harare: Weaver PressAlexander, Jocelyn (with Lionel Cliffe, Ben Cousins and Rudo Gaidzanwa )(2012) 'Outcomes of Post-2000 Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe ', London: RoutledgeAlexander, Jocelyn (2006) 'The Unsettled Land: State-making and the Politics of Land in Zimbabwe 1893-2003 ', James Currey; Ohio University Press; Weaver Press : pps 230Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor, T Ranger )(2000) 'Violence and Memory: One Hundred Years in the 'Dark Forests' of Matabeleland ', Oxford: James Currey; Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann; Harare: Weaver Press
Journal articles and special issuesAlexander, Jocelyn (2021) 'The Noisy Silence of Gukurahundi: Truth, Recognition and Belonging ', Journal of Southern African Studies 47 (5) : 763-85Alexander, Jocelyn (with Astrid Rasch, Minna Johanna Niemi )(2021) 'Special Issue: Writing Repression in Zimbabwe ', Journal of Southern African Studies 47 (5)Alexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor )(2020) 'Adelante! Cuban trainers, Zimbabwean soldiers and the making of a liberation movement army in Angola ', Comparative Studies in Society and History 62 (3) : 619-50Alexander, Jocelyn (with Paolo Israel, Miles Larmer and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira )(2020) 'Liberation Beyond the Nation: An Introduction ', Journal of Southern African Studies 46 (5)Alexander, Jocelyn (with Paolo Israel, Miles Larmer and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira )(2020) 'Liberation Beyond the Nation: Interactions, Cultural Productions and Legacies ', Journal of Southern African Studies 46 (5)Alexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor )(2020) 'The Travelling Toyi-Toyi: Soldiers and the Politics of Drill ', Journal of Southern African Studies 46 (5)Alexander, Jocelyn (2019) 'The Productivity of Political Imprisonment: Stories from Rhodesia ', The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 47 (2) : 300-24Alexander, Jocelyn (2019) 'State writing, subversion and citizenship in Southern Rhodesia’s state of emergency, 1959–1960 ', Canadian Journal of African Studies 52 (3) : 289-309Alexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor )(2017) 'African Soldiers in the USSR: Oral Histories of ZAPU Intelligence Cadres’ Soviet Training, 1964-1979 ', Journal of Southern African Studies 43 (1) : 49-66Alexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor)(2017) 'The Transnational Histories of Southern African Liberation Movements: An Introduction ', Journal of Southern African Studies 43 (1) : 1-12Alexander, Jocelyn (2017) 'Loyalty and liberation: the political life of Zephaniah Moyo ', Journal of Eastern African Studies 11 (1) : 166-87Alexander, Jocelyn (with Miles Tendi, JoAnn McGregor )(2013) 'Special Issue: Politics, Patronage and Violence in Zimbabwe ', Journal of Southern African Studies 39 (4)Alexander, Jocelyn (2013) 'Militarisation and State Institutions: ‘Professionals’ and ‘Soldiers’ inside the Zimbabwe Prison Service ', Journal of Southern African Studies 39 (4) : 807-28Alexander, Jocelyn (with JoAnn McGregor )(2013) 'Introduction: Politics, Patronage and Violence in Zimbabwe ', Journal of Southern African Studies 39 (4) : 749-63Alexander, Jocelyn (2012) '"Hooligans, Spivs and Loafers": The politics of vagrancy in 1960s Southern Rhodesia ', Journal of African History 53 (3) : 345-66Alexander, Jocelyn (2012) 'Rethinking the State and Political Opposition through the Prism of the Prison ', Critical African Studies 6 : 1-15Alexander, Jocelyn (with Lionel Cliffe, Ben Cousins and Rudo Gaidzanwa )(2011) 'Special Issue: Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe ', Journal of Peasant Studies 38 (5)Alexander, Jocelyn (with G Kynoch )(2011) 'Special Issue: Histories and Legacies of Punishment in Southern Africa ', Journal of Southern African Studies 37 (3)Alexander, Jocelyn (with G Kynoch )(2011) ' Introduction: Histories and Legacies of Punishment in Southern Africa ', Journal of Southern African Studies 37 (3) : 395-413Alexander, Jocelyn (2011) 'Nationalism and Self-government in Rhodesian Detention: Gonakudzingwa, 1964–1974 ', Journal of Southern African Studies 37 (3) : 551-569Alexander, Jocelyn (with Lionel Cliffe, Ben Cousins and Rudo Gaidzanwa )(2011) 'An Overview of Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe: Editorial Introduction ', Journal of Peasant Studies 38 (5) : 907-38Alexander, Jocelyn (with K Chitofiri )(2010) 'The Consequences of Violent Politics in Norton, Zimbabwe ', The Round Table 99 (411) : 673-86Alexander, Jocelyn (2010) 'The Political Imaginaries and Social Lives of Political Prisoners in post-2000 Zimbabwe ', Journal of Southern African Studies 36 (2) : 483-503Alexander, Jocelyn (2009) 'Death and Disease in Zimbabwe's Prisons ', The Lancet 373 (March 21) : 995-6Alexander, Jocelyn (2008) 'Political Prisoners' Memoirs in Zimbabwe: Narratives of Self and Nation ', Cultural and Social History 5(4) : 395-409Alexander, Jocelyn (with M Tendi )(2008) 'A Tale of Two Elections: Zimbabwe at the Polls in 2008 ', ACAS Bulletin (Special Issue on Zimbabwe 2) 80 : 5-17Alexander, Jocelyn (with C Anderson )(2008) 'Politics, Penality and (Post) Colonialism: An Introduction ', Cultural and Social History 5(4) : 391-4Alexander, Jocelyn (with M Tendi )(2008) 'La Violence et les Urnes: Le Zimbabwe en 2008 ', Politique Africaine 111 : 111-29Alexander, Jocelyn (with C Anderson )(2008) 'Special Issue on Prisons and the Political ', Cultural and Social History 5(4)Alexander, Jocelyn (2007) 'Institutions, Ideas and Authority over the Land in Zimbabwe ', Afriche e Orienti (Special Issue on Competing Rights: Land and Natural Resources in Africa) 9 : 108-27Alexander, Jocelyn (2007) 'The Historiography of Land in Zimbabwe: Strengths, Silences and Questions ', Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 8(2) : 183-98Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2004) 'War Stories: Guerrilla Narratives from Zimbabwe's Liberation War ', History Workshop Journal 57 : 79-100Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2001) 'Elections, Land and the Politics of Opposition in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe ', Journal of Agrarian Change 1(4) : 510-34Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2001) 'Les elections, la terre et l'emergence de l'opposition dans le Matabeleland ', Politique Africaine 81 : 80-100Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2000) 'Wildlife and Politics: CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe ', Development and Change 31 (3) : 605-27Alexander, Jocelyn (1998) 'Dissident Perspectives on Zimbabwe's Post-Independence War ', Africa 68(2) : 151-82Alexander, Jocelyn (with T Ranger )(1998) 'Competition and Integration in the Religious History of North-Western Zimbabwe ', Journal of Religion in Africa 28(1) : 3-31Alexander, Jocelyn (with G Littlejohn, J McGregor )(1998) 'Special Issue: Mozambique ', Journal of Southern African Studies 24(1)Alexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(1997) 'Modernity and Ethnicity in a Frontier Society: Understanding Difference in Northwest Zimbabwe ', Journal of Southern African Studies 23(2) : 187-201Alexander, Jocelyn (1997) 'The Local State in Post-War Mozambique: Political Practice and Ideas about Authority ', Africa 67(1) : 1-26
ChaptersAlexander, Jocelyn (2018) 'The Politics of States and Chiefs in Zimbabwe ', In John L Comaroff, Jean Comaroff (eds) The Politics of Custom: Chiefs, Capital and Culture in Contemporary Africa Chicago University PressAlexander, Jocelyn (2009) 'Zimbabwe Since 1997: Land and the Legacies of War ', In AR Mustapha, L Whitfield (eds) Turning Points in African Democracy Rochester: Boydell and BrewerAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2006) 'Veterans, Violence and Nationalism in Zimbabwe ', In E Bay, D Donham (eds) States of Violence: Politics, Youth and Memory in Conemporary Africa University of Virginia PressAlexander, Jocelyn (2006) 'Rethinking the Legacies of Violence in Matabeleland ', In P Kaarsholm (eds) Violence, Politics Culture and Development in Africa Oxford: James CurreyAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2004) 'Hunger, Violence and the Moral Economy of War in Zimbabwe ', In V Broch-Due (eds) Violence and Belonging: Boundaries and Identities in Post-Colonial Africa London: RoutledgeAlexander, Jocelyn (2003) ''Squatters', Veterans and the State in Zimbabwe ', In A Hammer, B Raftopolous, S Jensen (eds) Unfinished Business: Land, State and Citizenship in Zimbabwe Harare: Weaver PressAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2003) 'Democracy, Development and Political Conflict: Rural Institutions in Matabeleland North ', In T Ranger (eds) Nationalism, Democracy and Human Rights in Zimbabwe Harare: UZ PressAlexander, Jocelyn (2000) 'The Enduring Appeal of Technical Development in Zimbabwe's Agrarian Reform ', In T Bowyer-Bower, C Stoneman (eds) Land Reform in Zimbabwe: Constraints and Prospects Aldershot: AshgateAlexander, Jocelyn (2000) 'Technical Development and Human Science: Scientific Debates in the Rhodesian Native Affairs Department ', In S Dubow (eds) Science and Society in Southern Africa Manchester: Manchester University PressAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(1999) 'Representing Violence in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe: Press and Internet Debates ', In T Allen (eds) The Media of Conflict: War Reporting and Representations of Ethnic Violence London: Zed PressAlexander, Jocelyn (1995) 'Things Fall Apart, The Centre Can Hold: Processes of Postwar Political Demobilisation in Zimbabwe's Rural Areas ', In N Bhebe, T Ranger (eds) The Zimbabwean War of Liberation: Society London: James Currey; Harare: Baobab Books
ReportsAlexander, Jocelyn (with J McGregor )(2009) 'Commentary on July 2009 Home Office Report on Zimbabwe ', London: Independent Advisory Group on Country Information