Adam Joseph LoBue

 Adam LoBue

Contact Information

History, 309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Interests

  • African History
  • Indian Ocean World
  • Global History
  • Race, Labor and Diaspora
  • Radical History and Movements

Research Description

Thematically, my research interests include the history of radical movements, infrastructure, race, labor, and diaspora politics. Geographically, I focus on how East Africa and the Indian Ocean World fit into broader global histories of radicalism and internationalist political projects. I approach these topics primarily through labor diasporas, print culture, and infrastructure. My dissertation, tentatively titled "Seeds of Modernity, Fruits of Revolution: Race, Print Culture, and Genealogies of Radicalism in East Africa, 1915-1970" uses three episodes of public political dissent in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to chart a broader history of left wing radicalism in East Africa. I argue that embrace of left wing radicalism, particularly communism, was not simply an instrumental ploy to obtain Soviet Bloc or Chinese aid, nor was it necessarily an instance of 'nationalism in disguise' as it is so often portrayed in colonial archives and historiography alike. Rather, I argue that these three events, and the people, spaces, and ideas involved in them, represent sincere attempts to challenge the racial exclusions of both colonial rule and postcolonial nationalism. This project adds to the growing body of scholarship on histories of radicalism in Africa and its intersections with the Global Cold War, while arguing for the expansion of the temporal and geographical frameworks within which this work is conducted. 


  • B.A. Boston University, 2010
  • M.A. New York University, 2014

Distinctions / Awards

  • Joseph Ward Swain Award for Unpublished Seminar Paper, 2018


  • FLAS, Swahili AY 2017-2018; AY 2018-2019
  • Critical Language Scholarship, Swahili, Summer 2018
  • Summer FLAS, Arabic, 2013

Selected Publications


Violence in African Elections: Between Democracy and Big Man Politics Violence in African Elections: Between Democracy and Big Man Politics edited by Mimmi Kovacs, edited by Jesper Bjarnesen. H-Socialisms Edited by Mimmi Kovacs, Edited by Jesper Bjarnesen, 2019.