Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Professor of Science, Technology, and Society (STS)



Recent Honors & Awards


Runner-up/Honorable Mention, Turku Prize, European Society for Environmental History.


Honorable Mention, Melville Herskivits, African Studies Association.

Recent Articles


“Containers, Carriers, Vehicles: Three Views of Mobility from Africa,” Special Section of Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 6 (2): 43-53 (with Katrien Pype and Jeroen Cuvelier).


“Organic Vehicles and Passengers: The Tsetse Fly as Transient Analytical Workspace,” Transfers 6 (2): 74-93.


"Guerrilla Healthcare Innovation: Creative Resilience in Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga, 1971 1980,” History and Technology 31 (3): 295-323.


“Commentary: Breathing Fresh Air into Mobility Studies from Down Under,” Transfers 5 (3). 123-128.

Chakanetsa Mavhunga’s latest book is entitled The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production (MIT Press, 2018). His professional interests lie in the history, theory, and practice of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the international context, with a focus on Africa. Mavhunga joined MIT as an assistant professor in 2008 after completing his PhD at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (MIT Press, 2014), which received Honorable Mentions in the Turku Prize (European Society for Environmental History) and Herskovits Prize (African Studies Association) in 2015. His second is an edited volume entitled What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? which explores STI in Africa from an archaeological, historical, philosophical, anthropological, STS, engineering, development, and policymaking perspective. His current book project focuses on African modes of chemistry, focusing on the making and strategic deployment of plant, animal, and mineral materials as poisons and medicines. Some of Mavhunga’s essays appear in Social Text, History and Technology, Transfers, and Journal of Southern African Studies.

His works, CV, and other details can be found on his web page:



STS.007 Technology in History

STS.088 Africa for Engineers

STS.032 Energy, Environment and Society

STS.089 Technology and Innovation in Africa

Recent Books


The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production

C. Clapperton Mavhunga

How the presence of the tsetse fly turned the African forest into an open laboratory where African knowledge formed the basis of colonial tsetse control policies.
The tsetse fly is a…


What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa?

C. Clapperton Mavhunga

In the STI literature, Africa has often been regarded as a recipient of science, technology, and innovation rather than a maker of them. In this book, scholars from a range of…

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