Jeff Schauer is from Shasta County in northern California and arrived at UNLV from the University of California, where he earned his BA in History and Anthropology from Irvine and his Ph.D. in History from Berkeley. He also studied at King’s College, London, and was a visiting researcher at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge.
Schauer’s research focus is on the late colonial era and the early national period in eastern and central Africa, with a particular emphasis on a broadly-defined process of decolonization. His research draws on extensive archival research in Britain, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, and coheres around questions and themes related to the environment, state institutions, internationalism, and neo-colonialism.
“The Elephant Problem: Science, Bureaucracy, and Kenya’s National Parks, 1955-1975,” published in the African Studies Review (2015), established the fraught relationship between science, administration, and conservation in East Africa and the process of decolonization through a study of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park. “We hold it in trust: Global wildlife conservation, Africanization, and the end of Empire,” published in the Journal of British Studies (2018), argued that the process of Africanization during decolonization is an important site for thinking about change and continuity between the colonial and national eras, in this case in relation to the entanglements of national conservation programs and the agendas of global conservationists at the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania.
Schauer's book, Wildlife between Empire and Nation in Twentieth Century Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), explores these themes at greater length. Wildlife between Empire and Nation outlines particular and contingent colonial origins of contemporary wildlife conservation regimes in Africa. Alternating between local, regional, and global frames, the book traces the trajectory of wildlife policy across the eras of colonial rule, decolonization, and nation-state, and highlights five essential themes for thinking about the consequences of colonialism, decolonization, and neo-colonialism and -liberalism: fluid administrative forms, growing militarization, the rise of nationalism, the claims of science, and a broadening constituency for African animals.
Schauer has begun preliminary work on two projects of indeterminate scale. One continues his interest in the environment, and investigates animal rescue and control efforts on the Zambezi during the 1950s against the backdrop of late-colonial development and international advocacy. A second, larger project exploring the dynamics of decolonization, nationhood, and neo-colonialism in central and eastern Africa is tentatively titled “A Devil Somewhere in Africa: Arms, Expatriates, the British Empire, and Neocolonial Security in Africa, 1960-1975.” This project explores how British expatriates, the British government, and British arms manufacturers remained entangled in the national-era militaries of eastern and central African states amidst Africanization, liberation wars, and efforts to re-conceptualize or define anew the nation.
- Twentieth century/Postwar
- Britain/British Empire
- Eastern/Southern Africa
- Environmental history
Like his research, Schauer's teaching focuses on European, African, environmental, and colonial history. His courses include:
- History 103 (Global Problems in Historical Perspective. Topics include: 'Apartheid in a Global Context' and ‘The Anthropocene’.)
- History 106 (Europe Since 1648)
- History 232 (History of Africa) (Cross-listed with African American and African Diaspora Studies)
- History 350 (Modern Africa) (Cross-listed with African American and African Diaspora Studies)
- History 443/643 (Comparative Environmental History)
- History 464/664 (Twentieth Century Europe)
- History 477B/677B (Topics in African History)
- History 479/679 (the British Empire)
- History 732 (Comparative Colonialism)
- History 738 (Global Africa)