Imagining A Nation

History and Memory in Making Zimbabwe

Ruramisai Charumbira



In Imagining a Nation, Ruramisai Charumbira analyzes competing narratives of the founding of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe constructed by political and cultural nationalists both black and white since occupation in 1890. The book uses a wide array of sources―including archives, oral histories, and a national monument―to explore the birth of the racialized national memories and parallel identities that were in vigorous contention as memory sought to present itself as history. In contrast with current global politics plagued by divisions of outsider and insider, patriot and traitor, Charumbira invites the reader into the liminal spaces of the region’s history.


This remarkable book achieves the difficult goal of being both a rigorous piece of scholarship and a moving testimony about the experience of decolonization. - Gérard Bouchard, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi


Ruramisai Charumbira is a passionate cultural historian with research and teaching interests in African and Global histories. She teaches history at the University of Texas at Austin.