Katherine Bruce-Lockhart is an Assistant Professor in History at the University of Waterloo. Previously, she was a SSHRC/CHCI Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute and the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Katherine’s research critically examines the legacies of colonial carceral institutions, particularly prisons. Her work historicizes the ways in which the prison became a global institution, linking this to wider discussions about decolonization and prison abolition. Katherine’s current book manuscript, which is under contract with Ohio University Press in the New African Histories Series, explores the social and political history of the prison system in postcolonial Uganda. Moving from the everyday routines of prison life to the global arena in which ideas about the prison were created and contested, this book examines the prison’s colonial origins and postcolonial persistence. Katherine’s previous research looked at the connections between gender, deviancy, and punishment in late colonial Kenya, focusing specifically on the detention camp system created by the British in the 1950s. She is also currently working on several additional projects, including an edited volume on the politics of knowledge production in Uganda Studies, projects on the police and military during Idi Amin’s regime, and two comparative projects: one that historicizes why governments choose to release prisoners en masse, as has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic; and another that examines how prisons were reimagined and resisted across the Global South in the aftermath of formal colonial rule.
Katherine’s research both informs and is informed by her teaching, which is grounded on student-centered learning and ongoing engagement with critical and decolonial pedagogies. Along with her research and teaching, Katherine has also worked on several archival restoration projects in Uganda, a reparations case between Kenyan citizens who experienced colonial violence in the 1950s and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a report for the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.
- PhD History, University of Cambridge
- MSc. African Studies, University of Oxford
- BA (Honours) University of Toronto
Research, Teaching, and Supervision Interests:
- Global History
- History of prisons and punishment
- African History
- Gender History
- Social History
- Critical Archive Studies
- Oral History
- HIST263 – The Age of Revolution: Europe in the 19th Century
- HIST391 – The Global History of the Prison
- HIST605 – Global Governance in Historical Perspective
Selected Awards and Honours
- Alice Wilson Award, Royal Society of Canada
- SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Gates Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge
- Clarendon Scholarship, University of Oxford
Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “The Archival Afterlives of Prison Officers in Idi Amin’s Uganda: Writing Social Histories of the Postcolonial State.” History in Africa 45 (2018): 245-274.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine and Jonathon L. Earle. “Uganda Studies and Researching Institutional Life in Modern Africa.” History in Africa 45 (2018): 175-191.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “Reconsidering Women’s Roles in the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya, 1952-1960.” In Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies. Edited by Martin Thomas and Gareth Curless, 227-256.London: Bloomsbury, 2017.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “The ‘Truth’ about Kenya: Connection and Contestation in the 1956 Kamiti Controversy.” Journal of World History 26:4 (2015): 815-838.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “‘Unsound’ minds and broken bodies: the detention of ‘hardcore’ Mau Mau women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954-1960.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 8:4 (2014): 590-608. Reprinted in Politics and Violence in Eastern Africa: The Struggles of Emerging States. Edited by David M. Anderson and Øystein H. Rolandsen. London: Routledge, 2015. Featured: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/how-the-british-treated-hardcore-mau-mau-women
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “How politics have played a big role in the release of prisoners.” The Conversation. June 15, 2020.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “New Perspectives on the Postcolonial Prison.” Humanities at Large Blog. February 2019.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “Becoming ‘Amin’s Soldiers.’” Humanities at Large Blog. March 2018.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. “From incitement to self-censorship: the media in the Kenyan elections of 2007 and 2013.” Free Speech Debate. February 14, 2014.
- Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine.“When does hate speech become dangerous speech? Consider Kenya and Rwanda.” Free Speech Debate. April 26, 2013.
- Unlawful Killings in Africa. Collaboration between the Centre for Governance and Human Rights (Cambridge) and UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. June 2014.