Simukai Chigudu will spend the fellowship year writing a book entitled When Will We Be Free? Living in the Shadow of Empire and the Struggle for Decolonization (forthcoming with Crown, 2024). The book is a work of literary nonfiction in which Chigudu will interweave his personal and family story with the history of Africa’s anti-colonial struggles from the 1950s to the present in order to provide an intimate and nuanced account of colonization not merely as a historical or political phenomenon but as something that inescapably affects a person’s heart and mind, a person’s sense of identity and home—and he investigates what it would mean to be truly free of it.
Chigudu is an associate professor of African politics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Antony’s College. His monograph, The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship Zimbabwe (Cambridge University Press, 2020), won the prestigious Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award from the American Political Science Association. Before coming to academia, he worked as a physician in the UK’s National Health Service for three years. He holds an MD from Newcastle University, an MPH from Imperial College London, and a DPhil in International Development from the University of Oxford.