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ࡱ> 5@ objbj22 "(XXc 666JR%R%R%8%&\JnP&&"&&&'''CnEnEnEnEnEnEn$pRfrin6/W''/W/Win66&&~nKlKlKl/W<6&6&CnKl/WCnKlKlOm66Om&z& ƛ1R%kgXOmn$n0nOmsjlsOmJJ6666s6Om'8 KlC| qM '''ininJJ!D/lJJ! Life on the hill: Students and the social history of Makerere David Mills, University of Birmingham In 2003 a Makerere student sought political asylum in the UK. He had, he said, been hounded by an anti-gay student movement from one of the universitys halls of residence. They had repeatedly raided his rooms and beaten him. I was harrowed by his testimony. His account brought back one of my first experiences of Uganda at Makerere in 1995. Renting a room on campus, I had awoken early one morning to the sounds of marching and shouting. My prefabricated 1940s-issue chalet shook on its stilts. Fearfully, I peered past the curtain, to see a phalanx of sweat-ridden young men in camouflage trousers. They chanted as they jogged past, heckled by a sergeant-major type figure. I assumed that it was an army detachment on a training run, and went back to bed. At breakfast I mentioned the incident to my landlady, to find out that they were freshers, new students, at Northcote hall of residence. They were being inducted into its quasi-militaristic culture, complete with uniforms, marching songs and passing-out parades. Northcoters prided themselves on their militarist sub-culture. They were soldiers led by a field-marshal, and with a whole set of ranks within the hall, awarded by a Supreme Security Council for bravery in action. Each male hall was wedded to a particular identity with University Hall known as the gentlemen, and Nkrumah hall as the bachelors. Loyalties and youthful exuberance sometimes spilt into physical aggression. Pitched battles between students in different halls were not unknown, especially at the time of inter-hall sports competition. In 1995 there was a University investigation into an incident where one hall paid local louts in beer and waragi to disrupt a sports-day awards ceremony. At night-time on campus, I often heard male students jauntily greeting passing women from their halls. The shouts turned out to be accusatory: cries of Malayaa (a Swahili word best glossed here as prostitute). The evening was a time when female students would be visited and wooed by business-men working in Kampala, a source of jealousy to the poorer male students. They expressed their feelings volubly, and only half in jest. On one occasion, I attended a debate in Livingstone Hall, entitled Women liberation struggles in Uganda pose a great danger to National development. One after another, male students jokingly stood up to accuse women politicians of manipulating rural women for their own gain. Whenever a female student attempted to speak, male students simply heckled or jeered, shouting 1.5. Such gender troubles took a different turn during an end-of-term celebration in 1996. Several students from Northcote hall attempted to put pepper and glass in food intended for students at two women's halls. When the authorities found out, none of the students admitted responsibility, and the Hall declined to name the suspects. The University decided to punish all the students by closing down the Hall of residence, breaking up Northcote's militarist culture and dispersing the students to other halls. The decision produced much dissent within the University, with the student body agitating for a less extreme punishment. Disagreement within the Universitys ruling council resulted in a stand-off, exacerbated by the Universitys decision to impose a new registration fee on students as part of the move towards cost-sharing, making Makerere more financially self-sufficient. This led to a student strike during which the Northcote students, led by their representatives in the guild council, attempted to break back into the hall and to occupy it. Running battles with riot police ensued, and thousands of pounds of damage was done. The police used tear gas to disperse the students, and many were arrested or injured. Thirty-five ringleaders were summarily expelled from the University. The rest of Northcotes students were either dispersed to other halls, or sent to find their own accommodation off-campus. The hall has since been re-named Nsibirwa Hall. As I carried out my fieldwork, I found it hard to gauge the significance of such events. Did they reflect the exuberant youth sub-cultures generated within an enclosed campus university or offer broader insights into the politics of gender in Uganda? My co-researcher and I saw them as evidence of a public culture riven by debates over equality and womens empowerment (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2002), and wrote about the way social intimacy was mediated by economics and the transnational gender and development agenda (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2004). Such tensions reflected shifting generational expectations about gender roles in the light of a new and articulate cohort of middle-class women in professional roles. My somewhat presentist explanation of these events was partly the result of my disciplinary training in anthropology. There is another interpretation. Universities, whether British or African, are peculiar places, total institutions, distinct social environments whose identities, histories and hierarchies are strongly embodied and transmitted by their inhabitants (Hargreaves 1973). Whilst not cut off from surrounding societies, their day-to-day existence is strongly informed by what Rothblatt calls the idea of the idea of the university (Rothblatt 1997, 43). Drawing on a variety of archival sources, I argue that the aspirations and social lives of Makerere students and staff in the 1950s and 1960s were motivated by such seemingly cosmopolitan ideals. Late-colonial and post-independence Makerere offered an intellectual and political trading zone (Galison 1997), where both students and staff were able to make use of the relative autonomy granted by the institution to question and debate the purpose of an African university, and to begin to challenge the hierarchies of race and culture within colonial rule. As a result, Makerere became an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique. The muscular hall cultures of the 1990s were a different legacy of twenty-five years of rule by the gun. Between two worlds? The idea of the African university Living in, and in love with, 1850s Oxford, Cardinal Newman began to write his memorable treatise on the idea of the university (Newman 1959 [1873]). It powerfully captured his sense of the university as having an essence - nurturing and communicating higher and enduring moral values. He was writing against the reformist utilitarianism of the new University of London that had little time for the Oxbridge vision of a residential university as a site of character-formation. It was this moral aspect of university education, in vogue once again after the disruptions of war, that the Asquith Commission of 1945 drew upon in defining its vision for the new British colonial university colleges. For the commission, student residence was key: no other single condition can serve so well to give the student a broader outlook or a higher general level of education..nothing could minister more effectively to a spirit of unity.  The commission led to the creation of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, which channelled money, staff and resources to fledgling colleges in Nigeria, the Gold Coast, the Sudan, the West Indies and Uganda, and advised on the writing of university constitutions, degree structures and curriculae. Their degrees were to be accredited by the University of London under a special relationship set up in 1948. Inevitably, the idea of the African university had few precedents on which to build if one excludes Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The exceptions were the missionary-founded Fourah Bay College in Freetown (established in 1872) and Fort Hare University in South Africa (established in 1916). In a British colony, it was inevitable that a British model of university education would be adopted. But did this mean copying, or at least mimicking, the Oxbridge collegiate model or that of the other civic universities, exemplified by London? By the 1950s British Higher Education was expanding and changing rapidly, but many of the Colonial Office policymakers and teaching staff employed at Makerere and the other colleges had been brought up on an Oxbridge vision of education through character-formation. It was the Oxbridge model complete with tutorials, halls of residence and high table that was implicitly adopted by the African colonial colleges. One influential commentator mocked the way that these colleges bore the unmistakable image of their British origin, even extending to the social mimicry of the fripperies of British academic life; gowns, high tables, graces read by a scholar (Ashby 1964, 22). Many of these academic traditions were indeed championed by enthusiastic English staff appointees, seeing them as all part of a larger academic culture. The halls of residence developed their own particular identities and traditions, cultivating a close relationship between staff and students. Both groups found themselves forging pedagogic and intellectual relationships across the racial divide, crafting identities appropriate to this more liberal environment. This collegiate environment, energetically espoused by the wardens of the halls, many of whom sought to replicate the ethos remembered from own college days, sometimes came up sharply against the established racial and social hierarchies of colonial rule. At the time, many were concerned about the confusing psychological impacts of university education, in what was seen to be an alienating modernity, on these young students. Mannonis theories of the psychology of colonisation were influential amongst some Makerere staff (Mannoni 1956). Goldthorpe, a Makerere sociologist, described the students as being between two worlds the encounter of the pre-modern with the modern, embodied by what was for him the contradictory figure of the educated African (Goldthorpe 1965). The 1946 Colonial Office-sponsored film Men of Two Worlds dramatised a conflict between modern public health interventions and traditional healers in Tanzania, before the former (unsurprisingly) won through. This polarising discourse, predicated on a psychological double consciousness, to invoke DuBois, still lurks within some academic analyses of African modernity. Writing in the 1960s, the leading historian of colonial universities, Eric Ashby began to criticise the British cultural parochialism and elitism of the Asquith commission that assumed a university system appropriate for Europeans brought up in London and Manchester and Hull was also appropriate for Africans brought up in Lagos and Kumasi and Kampala (Ashby 1966, 225). In tune with growing African nationalist resentment of these institutions, Ashby disparaged the anachronistic trappings of Cambridge academic culture (including even the names of the academic terms) imported into the University College of the Gold Coast by its first principal David Balme. His argument was that for an African the impact of a university education is something inconceivable to a European. It separates him from his family and village. It obliges him to live in a Western way. It stretches his nerve between two spiritual worlds, two systems of ethics, two horizons of thought (1964, 41). But Ashbys emphasis on the intellectual schizophrenia felt by students is based on impressions as much as actual evidence, and glosses over the expectations of young Africans in the 1950s that their university education should be comparable to one obtained in the UK. I thus also question Sichermans blanket depiction of 1950s Makerere as an academic colonial hothouse where liberal ideology and colonial intellectual repression went hand in hand (Sicherman 1995, 12). There are less Manichean interpretations of this complex and fast-moving period, particularly from post-colonial theory. Recent work in African Studies has engaged post-colonial theory through Achille Mbembes (1992, 2001) influential concept of the post-colony (eg Werbner 2002). Whilst Mbembe stirs up a heady brew of Bakhtin, Foucault and existential theory to analyse popular African aesthetics, the resulting vision is extravagantly bleak. It is a totalising vision, and whilst his contributions are much cited, they are hard to put to analytical work. The ideas of postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha have been relatively neglected by comparison. They offer a model for analysing the appropriating and strategic power of intellectual and social mimicry at work within colonial social worlds. As Bhabha puts it in the ambivalent world of the not quite/not white, on the margins of metropolitan desire, the founding objects of the Western world become the erratic, eccentric, accidental objets trouvs of the colonial discourse (1994:92). His work, nuancing Fanons ideas on the existential violence of the colonial encounter, can be criticised for its dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis, and lack of any sustained engagement with historical sources. Yet if informed by careful historical analysis, his ideas on the ambivalent aspects of mimicry can be used to demonstrate the complexity of racialised power dynamics within particular colonial junctures. I argue that both students and faculty at these new universities found themselves engaged in a form of mimesis, an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. It was not just the African students who were engaged in a form of colonial mimicry. Academics and students apiece were between two if not three worlds the racialised legacy of native education in colonial Africa, the imagined potential of the Oxbridge ideal for new campus universities, and the rapidly changing politics of African societies and states heading towards independence. In the 1950s, students as much as staff wanted a gold standard why, they felt, should Africa have second-best? Mimesis was a political principle, not evidence of social inferiority. As the social climate changed in the post-independence era, these universities inevitably began to be criticised for their elitism and irrelevance to African needs, but then similar criticisms have long been aimed at British universities and their ivory towers. With independence, several of the colleges gradually lost their political independence from the nation-state, but the universalist aspirations of their founding charter continued to be strongly defended, along with their reputation for intellectual freedom and scholarly autonomy. I make my argument with particular reference to Makerere University, drawing on a variety of student magazines, institutional archives, personal papers and interviews. In the 1960s, there were open and vocal expressions of dissent in Makerere, expressed both through political activism and literary journalism, as well as frank bouts of self-questioning amongst most staff. The students actively contributed through their writings and actions to the debate about an African university education, questioning the limits of European syllabi and teaching styles in subtle and thoughtful ways. Like their European student peers, they also become increasingly involved in national and international politics, a development that was to have tragic consequences during the Amin and Obote regimes. Let us be Makerians 1930s and The Demand For HIGHER EDUCATION Makerere began as a government technical school in 1922, but even as early as 1925, the Colonial Education department envisaged it as becoming the University College for the protectorate. MacPherson notes that at this point Makerere was run very much on public school principles, and the gay uniform with the green socks and the red stripes at the top and the tasselled caps was a matter of pride to the students (MacPherson 1964, 12). Student pride was however a source of tension for the staff, and in 1932, the Principal warned at the annual speech day against self-satisfied complacency amongst the students. The ideal of Makerere as a University college came one step closer with the visitation of the high-powered De la Warr commission to Kampala in 1937, described by Ashby as the first British attempt to define in in any detail the meaning of an indigenous university in tropical Africa (Ashby 1966, 200). It established a clear governance structure for a Higher Education College of East Africa (de la Warr 1937), and mapped a plan for the transition. As Kenyas Governor Philip Mitchell put it, the vision was of a center of learning and culture enjoying the security, the liberty of thought and teaching which are essential and indeed implied in the world university (quoted in MacPherson 1964, 26). In the first step towards this change, classes were replaced with lectures and personal tutorials, the prefect system was abolished, along with the whole gamut of British public school rituals: roll calls, evening prep, and compulsory cross-country runs. Students responded enthusiastically to this new conceptualization of their role and a more collegial approach to learning, enshrined within a student council with its own constitution. There was an efflorescence of student activities, including an active college magazine and a number of debating and scientific societies (in which many staff also participated). The student-editor of the Makerere College Magazine adopted a moralistic tone in his first issue, printed in 1936: Makerere College is in the public eye. The whole of East Africa is looking with a curious gaze and eager expectant eyes to see what Makerere can do for her But a Makerere student does it will be on the lips of everyone in attempting to justify himself. The populace, backward as they are, are looking forward for leaders from Makerere. There is a thick cloud of darkness hanging over the eyes of the people. It is our duty to lift it off. Advance should be our watchword. Whole-hearted willingness is essential to ensure success in our campaign. Such claims subtly reworked the patronising language of colonial trusteeship. Rather than the British administrators, Ugandas youth offered the country its future. But Gitau goes on to point to the risks therein: the gulf between the students of the College and others must not be allowed to grow too big and deep. The segregation of the college from the activities of the people will be injurious, and the populace will rightly become suspicious (ibid, p9). This tension between Makerere as moral examplar and symbol of irrelevant elitism is replayed throughout the colonial and post-colonial period. The college magazine of the late 1930s, with its self-proclaimed literary ambitions, offers fascinating insights into student narratives of self-formation and self-discovery. Each issue contained at least one account of a students arduous mountain hike, mimicking and appropriating the European colonial romantic of encountering nature through exploration. There were also a number of amateur ethnographies of tribal customs, together with more elaborate theoretical accounts of the African mentality. The magazine also offered a space for subversive opinions, with witty critiques of the quality of teaching, and the dreaded cross-continent runs. One writer delights in exposing his local Assistant District Commissioners ignorance about Makerere: He looked at me, I could read interest in his face. One thing I was quite certain of was that it was not my face or speech that so captivated him..it was either my green blazer or cap that he was trying to decipher. Suddenly he asked Wewe natoka wapi? I nearly simulated ignorance of the lingua franca but something stopped me and I answered with that inherent African smile on my lips Nimetoka Kampala. Oh Kampala, he answered as if surprised. Kufanya nini huko Kampala he asked. Kusoma I replied. Skuli gani he inquired with more interest and curiosity. Makerere College was my answer. He inferred immediately that I could speak English, and he looked at me for a while. It is almost certain he had never heard of Makerere College before. The letter ends by comparing Makerere to the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, noting how the latter had rose to importance because the students carried with them the names of their respective alma mater. So, the writer concludes: let us by MakeriansMakerere will as a result gain the fame of being the cultural centre of Africa. Such identity-work is crucial to fostering an idea of the university, and during this period was carried out as much by staff as by students. At Speech Day in 1936, Ugandas Governor Mitchell dwelt at length on the future financial health of Makerere, making extensive comparison with the role of generous and high minded benefactions in supporting English universities. He concluded that the self sacrifices and devotion to the cause of culture and progress which are exemplified by generous endowments in our own country are, it seems to me, a vitally necessary element in the spirit in which a College is developed and upon which it lives. Nor was this mere rhetorical comparison, for through Mitchells own personal networks and lobbying, Oxford University promulgated in 1940 a formal association between itself and Makerere, ratified by Oxfords Congregation. Little came of the joint committee, save an oak-carving of the Oxford coat of arms gifted to Makerere, and some books for Makereres library. The new approach to independent learning and self-creation expected of students in this cosmopolitan intellectual atmosphere was powerfully impressed on one contributor to the magazine: At Makerere the horse needs only be taken to the water and it is its duty to drink. The tutors lecture, and should some point defeat the students comprehension, it is up to him to delve into the text-books of Science and Literature, to explore and discover it for himself...the student is being trained to be his own master and develop his personality. The students were however aware of the limits of mimesis, given the patronising attitudes of some staff, and not all is moral hortation in one witty dialogue Omar Shariff gently teased the teaching staffs obsession with afternoon classes as a way of keeping students busy and out of mischief. In his memoirs, John Colman, one of the first wardens, notes the irony that whilst the students put off their school uniform on coming to Makerere, we European newcomers adopted it (Colman, 1998, 10). Whilst student writers recognised the unique cosmopolitan status of Makerere as an inter-territorial college, relations between Bagandan students and others were sometimes strained. In 1937 there were 160 students at Makerere College, of whom 100 were Ugandan. This led the Principal GM Turner to foster the creation of The Makerere society whose aims were the study of the customs and prejudices of the various tribes that go to make up to make up the College, to create a good understanding among them and promote inter-tribal fraternity.  Yet Turner was less than convinced about the de la Warr vision for a University College, bemoaning the very reproduction by officials of European models, and wishing the African would not so readily imitate the superficial forms of a collapsing European order. With the arrival of the first women students in 1945, racial hierarchies began to be expressed in concerns over student sexuality. The personal files of Makereres Dean reveal a long-running and anxious correspondence about the first student College Dance held in 1947. After much disagreement amongst staff, often along grounds of religious conviction, the students were encouraged to police the dances themselves, and an elaborate set of rules were drawn up (such as Ladies invited should know how to dance) and ending with the admonition that no person might stay in the refreshment room for more than 15 minutes.  The rules issued in 1947 by the first warden of Mary Stuart Hall (the first womens hall), began by stating Women students are not allowed to entertain European guests without the presence of the warden. The students nicknamed the first womens hall the Box because of its shape, and female students are still known as Boxers. Some chafed at the constraints placed upon them, with one of the first students commenting that she seems to think we are still in primary school. In the male halls, there was also a long-running debate about whether students should receive guests in their bedrooms, or in the special visiting rooms. These debates reflected the tensions amongst Makerere staff about the degree of independence appropriate for the students. With only three of the thirty staff in 1948 having taught at British universities, not all shared an academic ethos or agreed to London University accrediting its degrees, and some were strongly motivated by evangelical principles (Colman 1998). In this, they were backed by the majority of expatriates, who additionally questioned the harmful ideas being put into the students heads, such as the teaching of social studies as a compulsory 1st year course for all. As de Bunsen puts it, the constant refrain was This isnt England, you know (de Bunsen 1995, 80), and many doubted the appropriateness of a university education for Africans. Carey Francis, principled Christian and head of Alliance High School, Kikuyu, Kenya, was Makereres strongest critic, attacking Makereres pretentiousness and its lack of authority over, or pastoral responsibiilty to, its students. William Lamont, the principal from 1946 to 1948, was appointed to lead the transformation of the institution into a colonial University College following the Asquith recommendations, but whilst a committed scholar and philosopher, he was no administrator, and had authoritarian views about student discipline, as his letter to the Committee for Student Welfare in 1947 revealed: At Makerere rules are continually and openly broken by a majority of the students, to whom it seems nothing is done about it.there is much heavy drinking and immorality, and that the students have the impression that the authorities are unconcerned and uninterested. I believe that a great deal of teaching envisages a stage of development which the majority of students have not yet reached. He continues by discussing recent examples of drunken behaviour, before concluding: Each is a symptom of an attempt at grandness. Our students are trying to be what they are not, Makerere is trying to be what it is not. The result is terrifying to me. The state of affairs is accepted by Makerere students today as the hall-mark of true attainment. We are men, just like the Men at Oxford and Cambridge. We have no use for the rules. We get drunk when we like and do what we like. We are the leaders of the African people. This explicitly racialised comparison here with a 'real' European University is revealing, as is the representation of what he regards as an appropriate African masculinity. Here African mimesis is viewed as threatening rather than alienating. Not everyone agreed. In an unsigned letter to the Dean, one of the first Hall wardens expresses a rather different view: In fact, I am inclined to think that a certain opportunity for sowing wild oats is a valuable experience, as the sooner one learns that excesses have a bad effect on one's work and health the better, and the amount and the quality of the work they have to do here soon becomes apparent. Lamont found himself increasingly isolated, caught between his staff who feared the implications of a London University degree structure for the curriculae they had adapted for East Africa, and the policy-makers in London who, wishing to push forward their plans for a set of colonial university colleges, saw Makerere as the problem child. There were also conflicts between the academic and administrative staff at Makerere itself. Lamont prevaricated, and in 1948 resigned, to be replaced by a charismatic liberal, the educationalist Bernard de Bunsen. The London link was confirmed, and in 1950 Makerere College became the University College for East Africa, an affiliation that was to last till 1961. The link brought its own tensions. It was partly intended to enshrine Makereres autonomy from colonial (and post-colonial) governments, but Londons dirigisme with regard to entry standards conflicted with a determination to Africanise (a term that was constantly invoked but rarely explored) Makerere. Whilst many of the first generation of students valued the academic equivalence underwritten by the London link, over time it increasingly stood for colonial elitism and the lack of adaptation to African conditions (Pratt 1965). The 1950s and 1960s: Tea, CAKES AND Dissent In September 1952 students at Makerere went on strike, organising a week-long boycott of the university canteen. Whilst school strikes in colonial Africa were a familiar aspect of the educational landscape, with a major riot at Ugandas elite Budo school in 1942, student confrontations were not. The food strike was the first real crisis in relations between students and staff. 200 of the 270 students signed a Mammoth petition about the quality of the food and issued an ultimatum to the new Principal to improve it. The story was disparagingly reported in the local and London newspapers as a case of students demanding a European diet. As Goldthorpe noted at the time, They had been told several times by the lady domestic supervisor, in tons of despair, that she could only cook European food and didnt understand African diet, and they concluded that a European diet, although it was not what they really wanted, would at least be well cooked. The incident was also about the students right to picket in a strike. There were two incidents in which strike-breakers were threatened. When the students refused to back down in their demands, reluctantly the Principal closed the college. He later sent down (expelled) four of the leaders , though one Abu Mayanja was later found a Cambridge place. College staff were, according to Goldthorpe, divided over how to deal with the case, with some junior staff taking the view that the university authorities were much to blame. Yet de Bunsen, the new Principal, felt pressurised to take a firm line by school headmasters, the expatriate community and the Education departments of the territories. Afterwards a staff committee was set up to explore the grievances. Goldthorpe, committee secretary, bemoaned the fact that few of the staff have experience as a staff member in an English university, and thus understood the importance of a liberal academic culture. He also was uneasy about the evangelical religiosity of some of his peers, noting, that the committee has a good chairman in our professor of geography and that Apart from him, its a weak team all devout Christians. The faculty were certainly divided along lines of age as well as social, religious and institutional loyalties, and as Colman put it, the hill had its own politics, deals and ententes (Colman 1998, 91). Goldthorpe recalled much pettiness, and malicious rumours circulated as personal and college affairs became entangled. The final report concluded that food was indeed the key point of dispute, and it was not just symbolic of larger student welfare concerns. In his autobiography, Principal de Bunsen took the same view the strike was not I feel sure mainly about food, poor as it was, but about some-one to talk to about food (1995, 97). After the strike, efforts were redoubled to appoint academic figures as wardens in the halls, and to establish a system of personal tuition and pastoral care within the halls. Like others who had come through Oxbridge, Goldthorpe was of the view that the most effective way for academic staff to maintain close touch with the students feelings and welfare is through the Hall and tutorial system. High table was also seen as having an important part to play in bringing together the whole Hall community. Twenty years later, Goldthorpe still shared that view: I knew no way of developing a proper tutorial relation that did not include an informal social relation..inviting students to tea or coffee at home seemed to me as essential at Makerere as it had been at Cambridge or London, and was to be at Leeds. The first new halls were the Northcote-New Hall complex, with their somewhat barrack-like atmosphere. De Bunsen prioritised the building of further halls of residence (Livingstone and University Halls) around quadrangles, each with their own wardens, resident tutors and high tables. This mirrored the post-war idealization of campus universities in the UK and the influential criticisms of Red-Brick (Truscot 1945). Most of Makereres first wardens, like the theologian Fred Welbourn, were Oxbridge educated, and highly knowledgeable about, and committed to, their students. Much of their time was taken up with day-to-day issues of student welfare. Enthusiastic amateurs, most staff shouldered a number of different academic, administrative and pastoral roles simultaneously. As Victor Temple, New Hall warden from 1955 1959, recalled, we did it all with good reason and we endeavoured to support the students as best we could it was an act of co-operation. According to Temple, each hall developed its own ethos, with Mitchell students reflecting the characteristics of Fred. He also described John Colman, his own predecessor at New Hall, as an articulate humanist, who sought to create a scholarly ethos in the Hall through a constant stream of visiting speakers (of whom there were many from Cabinet ministers downwards). The commitment of these self-styled pioneers is best illustrated by Margaret MacPherson. She taught drama at Makerere for almost forty years, and on her return to the UK in 1981 continued to gently cajole OMs (Old Makerereans) into sending news for the Makerere College University Society (MCUS) newsletter her husband had founded in 1952. The newsletter ran for more than 40 years. The gap between the rhetoric of social equality and its practice grated with the Makerere students. Some lecturers were clearly happy to defy the informal colour bar or to serve alcohol to students. The liberals were however in a minority. The explicitness of the High Table hierarchy and the un-willingness of some lecturers to mix socially across race lines frustrated students. Whilst it might seem trivial, the symbolism of being invited, or not, to tea at a tutors house, and the conversation that might ensue, was consistently returned to by the students. In a powerful piece, What is wrong with Makerere?, Jonathan Kariari indicted the very ambiguities and uncertainties that marked student-staff relations. Compared to school, where he had found comradeship based on healthy resistance on the side of boys against authority, Makerere was very different: In this place we dont know who is either for or against us. We all have a smile for one another (a suspicious timid smile) we all pretend to understand one anothers points of view, we are all very cautious not to hurt other peoples feelings. We pay for all these things. We are forced to create conversation with people we do not like. We are forced to nod when they tell us things for which we would blow them up to the moon. We are forced to invite people to our houses, not having any interest in them as persons. The evening passes peacefully, because we are all the time bottling up murderous feelings about one another. Once the goodnights have been said at the threshold we break loose O these Europeans, they are so exasperating. They retaliate Oh, these Africans they are so gross. They come pouring to you their troubles, so embarrassing. One challenge to hall loyalties was the Student Guild, formed in 1955. It became increasingly involved in student affairs worldwide, sending Guild representatives to student conferences. It had to tread gently, rejecting affiliation with the International Union of Students because of fears of being associated too closely with communism and political activities which was contrary to the Guilds policy. It was also dogged with accusations of elitism and corruption as one student put it, all our money is not just for sending delegates to Europe. Some wardens felt that it sat uneasily with their vision for the collegiate halls, with Fred Welbourn writing that the normal undergraduate cannot be expected to form a warm attachment to any unit larger than a hall of residence, and for some even that is too largethe true life of the College lies in the halls and that the best men ought to throw their energies into the life of the hall. Another tension was the growing cost to the Ugandan government of sending students to Makerere, a topic of debate in the British House of Commons in the 1960s. Makerere and the other colonial university colleges cost more per student than their sister institutions in the UK, partly because of expatriate staff expenses, their relatively small numbers of students, and because British universities did not have to meet infrastructure costs (Godfrey 1966). It is a truism that institutions create traditions through rituals of belonging and community, and in this regard the Makerere staff saw themselves a creating a past as much as a future for Makerere. In an attempt to defray anxieties about exams amongst the students, MacPherson (1964) describes the creation of a short-lived quasi-anthropological ritual, a mock ceremonial in which His Highness the Akichomochong, the examination God, arrived on campus with much pomp and sounding of car horns. The symbolism was received cooly by students, and His Highness was quietly dropped. Other customs were instituted by students themselves. De Bunsen describes how as soon as we had turned the University corner there came the demand for academic gowns..right, they urged, for academic occasions and Hall dinners (1995, 93). Only a few years later, students were rather less enthusiastic, especially about the rule where they were expected to wear the bright red gowns both on and off the campus, a rule disobeyed by most. As one student noted disparagingly in a letter to the Undergraduate magazine, When one or two law-abiding students take their gowns with them, they are usually made fun of by the others.  The aspiration to recreate an Oxbridge collegiate experience jarred with a grudging recognition that something different was being forged. Constant comparison was key to both institutional mimicry and subversion. A student license to misbehave was seen as part of the process of character formation. Commenting on this, the Inter-University Council reported in 1954 that A college with a few undisciplined and degenerate students would be difficult to conceive of in Africa or elsewhere (cited in MacPherson 1964, 48). For MacPherson, sometimes senior members complain that there isnt quite the spirit of mischief and midsummer madness among undergraduates that there is in their English counterpartssmall wonder if they don't as a rule like to jeopardise their future by horpseplay (MacPherson 1964, 47). How will history judge these undergraduate cultures? The determination of the first wardens to create spirited colleges of learning has been read as an exercise in irrelevant colonial intellectual and social fripperies (Ashby 1964, 22), but this is to judge a social and pedagogic experiment by its immediate veneer. Mimicry may be an inevitable aspect of self-formation, but it is also politically complex. Much more was at stake than gowns and high tables. Intellectual confidence and political autonomy was nurtured by the symbolic and supposedly anachronistic aspects of academic socialisation. The tragic cost of overt political interference in Makereres affairs in the years after independence was the loss of such a critical space. The 1960s and student activism The 1960s marked further expansion of the university, and the increasing efflorescence of hall cultures through college clubs, newsletters and journals. Along with his own effort to know each student personally, the iconoclastic warden Hugh Dinwiddy nurtured what he saw as the Northcote spirit (Sichermann 1995, 30). As well as hosting informal debates, sports and dances, he was proud of his own Cambridge blue, and determined that Northcote should win the inter-hall sports competitions. The students were fond of him, and as he recalled, he always got a tremendous response from the students in all kinds of absurd ways they always made me laugh. He described one event in particular: Arap Moi was inspecting the Makerere Athletics team at a stadium in Nairobi, and I was on the podium with him, when all the students started chanting Uncle Hugh, Uncle Hugh .  Yet not all was so cheery. Students continued to write on the social maladjustment of both students and faculty. One self-proclaimed social commentator for the New Hall Mirror wrote that some lecturers or professors, with specialised knowledge, bring about psychological isolation no real contact with their students, thereby increasing their self-importance. But these chaps, also get a cover, as a result, for their own insecurity, anxieties and hidden feelings of inferiority. Others questioned whether academic intelligence was being privileged over intellectual development (Prewitt 1966). In print, students voiced increasingly strident criticisms of Makerere. American volunteer teachers at Makerere helped to launch of a new literary magazine The Makererean of which Ngugi wa Thiongo was the first editor, galvanising this spirit of dissent. The critically acclaimed literary journal Transition was launched from Makerere in 1961 and edited by Rajat Neogy. The legacies of an earlier era remained. Hall High Table continued well into the independence era, justified by the rationale that it served a useful public relations function of bringing important guests to Makerere. Efforts were made to Africanise the membership of Senior Common Rooms, but by 1961, only 12 of 140 academic staff were African (de Bunsen 1961). Students increasingly felt High Table in particular was a colonial anachronism. In 1968, the New Hall magazine published an interview with the warden over his frustration that the Junior Common Room had become a TV room rather than a place for mind to mind contact. The President of the JCR is called General Suharto, evidence of the trappings of military culture by then adopted by students: At this instant General Suharto brought to the Wardens attention a proposal - that resident tutors should acclimatise themselves with the students by sitting together with the students at meals and talk more freely and openly to each other. This would be a prelude to the death of High Table. The warden surprised us when he said that the resident tutors in question had already accepted the students inviting them - but to his regret no one had ever been invited. What a challenge! Invite them at every meal and the High Table will soon go HOME. The Africanisation of the university curriculum became ever more vociferously debated amongst academics themselves. A symposium within the Arts Faculty in 1960 (with the end of the University of London linkage) revealed the splits between those who wanted to introduce a General degree offering a training in Western civilisation and those who believed in the value of a specialised honours degree. Reflecting on the anti-American sentiments stirred up by growing US philanthropic funding and political influence, Colman suggests that it revealed the fissures between the Colonial Office and the East African governments, and between the latter and Makerere, which itself oscillated uneasily somewhere half-way between British intellectual majority opinion and East African realities (Colman 1998, 170). During the 1960s Makerere students began, like students elsewhere, to articulate a larger political consciousness, and risked censure for doing so. Students had not been directly involved in the Buganda uprising of 1949, for which they had been commended by the new Principal. In 1952 the students had however been reprimanded for holding an orderly demonstration against the apartheid policy of the new South African government, after the East African and London press had condemned such student radicalism. Whilst few Gikuyu students became involved in Mau-Mau, a number got together to write, with Fred Welbourn, Round Mount Kenya, a critique of the Corfield report on Mau-Mau. In the same year individual students supported the registration of Ugandan political parties before Ugandan independence, with some campaigning for the Uganda National Party Mengo party. Expressing political opposition to the government was increasingly risky, as some students were suspected of being government agents (Dinwiddy, 1983). Nonetheless by the late 1960s there were an increasing number of student-led demonstrations, against US interests in the Congo in 1965, against Rhodesia in 1968 and in 1970 against British arms sales to South Africa (Barkan 1975). This last demonstration became a protest against the political involvement in the appointment of Makereres new Vice-Chancellor, and riot police ended up dispersing the students. In 1970, Makerere was removed from the Federal University of East Africa, and Obotes Visititation Committee criticized its perpetuation of foreign ideologies and foreign ways of life, arguing that it should become a truly Ugandan institution. Nonetheless, Makereres reputation for freedom of expression meant that during the 1970s, it was one of the last places where any form of disagreement with the Amin regime could be voiced, even if it had to be expressed sotto voce, through protests about the state of Northcotes toilets (Langlands 1977). Things continued to fall apart. As Musisi and Muwanga (2003, 9) point out, the political and financial crises that paralysed nearly every aspect of life in Uganda left Makerere impoverished and almost bankrupt by the 1980s. Recent comparative work on African higher education (such as an excellent African Studies Review collection (Nymanjoh et al 2002), the overview essays assembled in Teferra and Altbach (2003) and the new Journal of Higher Education in Africa) show how Makerere was far from unique. Structural violence of a different kind arrived with the imposition of stringent neo-liberal financial reforms in the early 1990s. In 1993, all 2,000 students had government scholarships, but by 1999, 80% of the 10,000 students at Makerere were fee-paying, many attending as evening or part-time students. Numbers have continued to expand at an exponential rate, both at Makerere and a number of flourishing new universities. As conditions in the halls deteriorate, affluent students seek accommodation in private halls of residence. Students are more diverse, and have less time or aspiration to invest in campus life or the Newmanesque idea of the University. Many are still politically active, as evidenced by a series of student protests in 2004 and 2005, over issues such as the decline in teaching quality and the rise in examination fees. But they are a minority of the 22,000 current students, many of whom are otherwise occupied in juggling families and or full-time jobs, studying vocational degrees at evening sessions. Whilst the opening up of higher education in Africa can only be applauded, it also has its costs. CONCLUSION: The social history of the early years of Makerere offers insight into the ways in which its students and staff sought to rework Western traditions of university education. The investment made in the moral idea of the university by Makereres pioneers served to legitimate the student as a particular kind of social actor, holding much of the responsibility for postcolonial nation-building. Indeed the first generation of East Africas leaders were trained at Makerere, with Nyerere and Obote both being students. The experiences of this influential cohort also shaped the educational aspirations of Ugandans more broadly. In the aftermath of independence, and despite their growing problems, such universities continued to be seen as the best achievements of British colonial policy (Hargreaves 1973, 36). Such legitimation also had its dark sides, visible in the spiteful atrocities committed against students by Obotes and Amins soldiers. I have demonstrated the growing questioning by students of the social and educational hierarchies of British colonialism during the period leading up to independence, and Makereres role as a trading zone, mediating the universalisms inherent in the idea of the university and the racialised inequities of colonial Uganda. Post-colonial theorists have rightly been criticised for their extragavant theorisations and dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis. But they are too easy to dismiss. Used in close conjunction with colonial archival sources, the work of Bhabha and others helps one comprehend the complexity of power within particular colonial junctures. One final puzzle. How and why, given the students animosity to the Ugandan army, did the trappings of military culture visible in the mid 1990s first begin to capture the students imagination? One clue is in a letter to The Makererean in 1969. A student argued, echoing Obotes own views, that with the growing militarisation of Ugandan society, everyone needed military training in order to defend a legitimate government. If said partly in jest in 1969, it was all too true a decade later, after constant harassment of students and the breakdown of civil society under Amin. The excesses of youthful masculinity of the 1990s are the after-shocks from this sad period. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to my interviewees and correspondents, who so willingly shared their reminiscences and reflections. I am particularly appreciative of Hugh Dinwiddys thoughtful and solicitious advice, and to the welcome afforded by my land-lady, Mrs Olivia Mutibwa, Makereres deputy librarian. References: Ashby E. 1964. African Universities and Western Tradition. Oxford: OUP Ashby E. 1966. Universities British, Indian, African: A study in the ecology of Higher Education. London: Wiedenfeld and Nicholson Barkan, J. 1975. An African dilemma: University students, development and politics in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Nairobi: OUP Bhabha, H. 1994. The location of culture. London: Routledge Teferra, D and P. Altbach, eds. 2003. African Higher Education: an international reference handbook. Bloomington, Indiana University Press. De Bunsen, B. 1961. Higher Education and Political Change in East Africa. African Affairs 60(241): 494 -500 De Bunsen, B. 1995 Adventures in Education. Kendal: Titus Wilson Colman, S.J. 1998. East Africa in the Fifties: A view of late Imperial life. London: Radcliffe Press Dinwiddy, H. 1983. The Ugandan Army and Makerere under Obote. African Affairs Galison, P. 1997. Image and Logic: A material culture of microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Godfrey, E. M. 1966. The economics of African Universities. Journal of Modern African Studies 4: 435 -55 Goldthorpe, J. 1965. An African Elite: Makerere College Students 1922 -1960. Nairobi: OUP Hargreaves , J. 1973. The idea of a colonial university. African Affairs 72: 26-36 Kerr, C. 1963. The uses of the University. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA Langlands, B. 1977. Students and politics in Uganda. African Affairs 76: 3-20 MacPherson, M. 1964. They built for the future: A chronicle of Makerere Univesrity College 1922 -1962. Cambridge: CUP Mbembe, A. (1992). Provisional notes on the post-colony. Africa 62(1): 3-37. Mbembe, A. (2001). On the postcolony. Berkeley, University of California. Mannoni, O. 1956. Prospero and Caliban. London: Methuen, Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2002. 'That Beijing Thing': Challenging Transnational Feminisms in Kampala. Gender, Place and Culture: A journal of Feminist Geography 9: 385 -98 Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2005. No romance without finance: Masculinities, commodities and HIV in Uganda. In Readings in Gender in Africa, ed. A Cornwall. Oxford: James Currey Ltd Musisi, N. and N. Muwanga 2003. Makerere University in Transition 1993 - 2000. Kampala and Oxford, Fountain Publishers and James Currey. Newman, J.H. 1959 (1873). The idea of a University. London: Image Books Nwauwa, A. 1996. Imperialism, academe and nationalism: Britain and University Education for Africans 1860 -1960. London: Frank Cass Nyamnjoh, F et al 2002. African universities in crisis and the promotion of a democratic culture. African studies review. 45(2) 1 -218 Pratt, C.R. 1965. African Universities and Western Tradition - Some East African reflections. The Journal of Modern African Studies 3: 421 -8 Prewitt, K. 1966. Makerere: Intelligence vs Intellectuals. Transition 6: 35-9 Rothblatt, S. 1997. The modern university and its discontents. Cambridge: CUP Sichermann, E. 1995. Ngugi's Colonial Education: "The subversion ..of the African Mind". African Studies Review 38: 11 - 41 Truscot B. 1951. Red Brick University. Middlesex: Penguin Books Werbner, R., Ed. 2001. Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa. London, Zed Books. Interviews Hugh Dinwiddy, July 2004 Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, July 1996 Paul Vowles, Oxford, July 2004 Victor Temple, Birmingham August 2004 Student Journals and Periodicals Makerere College Magazine Makerere The Makererean The New Hall Mirror The Undergraduate ABSTRACT How will history judge British late-colonial efforts to export its model of higher education to Africa? In this paper I challenge any simple interpretation of the Asquith commission university colleges - such as Makerere or University College Ibadan - as alien impositions or colonial intellectual hothouses. Focusing on Makerere University in Uganda, and drawing on a variety of archival and personal sources, I show how its students and faculty engaged in an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the Western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. I suggest that the institution offered a space to question and debate the purpose of an African university education. Students and staff made use of their limited political autonomy to challenge and rework the colonial hierarchies of race and culture. As a result, Makerere remained an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique until the mid 1970s. Whilst this legacy is made less visible by the subsequent years of political crisis, underfunding and expansion in student numbers, it remains an important historical legacy from which to rethink the future of African universities. BIOGRAPHY David Mills is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is co-editor, with Mwenda Ntarangwi and Mustafa Babiker, of African Anthropologies: History, Practice, Critique (forthcoming with Zed Books)  As part of an affirmative action policy, '1.5' was the difference in the number of A level 'points' between genders required for entry into Makerere University.  Report of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies (The Asquith Commission), Command 6647 (1945), p15  In the Public Eye by J F Gitau, Makerere College Magazine (MCM) 1936, Vol 1:1, p8  African Mentality by D Semfuko, MCM 1936 Vol 1:1 p128 -131  Letter to the editor by J D Otiende, MCM 1937 Vol 2:1, p29-29  Governors speech, MCM 1937, Vol 1:3 p68  Makerere Council, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 Mak 1  Makerere from many angles by DM Wako MCM 1937 1:5, p277  Announcement, MCM, 1:3, p98  George Turner to Margery Perham 05.05.1941, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 / Mak / 1 file 1  Extracts taken from Dean Alistair MacPherson's files of the 'Welfare and Discipline Committee'. Makerere library: Africana section  Interview with Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, May 1996  Welfare and Development Committee files, 1948  Interview with Paul Vowles, August 2004  Goldthorpe Mss 1825, Rhodes House, File 2/1  Oxford University did set up an Advisory committee in 1940, seeking to work with Makerere on academic issues.  Goldthorpe Mss, file 9/3  Goldthorpe Mss, file XX1  Victor Temple, Interview August 2004  Interview, July 2004  What is wrong with Makerere society? Jonathan Kariari The Undergraduate Magazine of the Makerere College Guild of the university college of East Africa. Volume 2: 4, March 1959  Report on Student Guild External Affairs, The Undergraduate Issue 1, Sept 1956  A creed for freshmen by H Nyamu and The role of the Guild by F B Welbourn, The Undergraduate Issue 1, September 1956  College Rules, letter to the editor, The Undergraduate Vol 1:1 March 1956  Hugh Dinwiddy, Personal communication May 12th 2004  The college and social maladjustment by Pirie, social commentator New Hall Mirror 1963  An interview with the Warden by Paulo Katamba-Lujjo New Hall Mirror, Feb 1968, p12 -16  Arts in East Africa: A symposium (with contributions by MM Carlin, Brian Langlands and Jennifer Carter) Makerere Journal No 4, 1960  Round Mount Kenya: A critique of Corfield. A publication of the Makerere Kikuyu Embu and Meru students association, 1960. Fred Welbourns papers, in the possession of Hebe Welbourn.  Report of the Visitation Committee to Makerere University College, June 1970. Government Printer Entebbe 1970  The current presidents of Kenya (Mwai Kibaki) and Tanzania (Benjamin Mkapa) are also Makerere graduates. Kibaki also taught Economics at Makerere from 1958 1960. 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ࡱ> 5@ objbj22 "(XXc 666JR%R%R%8%&\JnP&&"&&&'''CnEnEnEnEnEnEn$pRfrin6/W''/W/Win66&&~nKlKlKl/W<6&6&CnKl/WCnKlKlOm66Om&z& ƛ1R%kgXOmn$n0nOmsjlsOmJJ6666s6Om'8 KlC| qM '''ininJJ!D/lJJ! Life on the hill: Students and the social history of Makerere David Mills, University of Birmingham In 2003 a Makerere student sought political asylum in the UK. He had, he said, been hounded by an anti-gay student movement from one of the universitys halls of residence. They had repeatedly raided his rooms and beaten him. I was harrowed by his testimony. His account brought back one of my first experiences of Uganda at Makerere in 1995. Renting a room on campus, I had awoken early one morning to the sounds of marching and shouting. My prefabricated 1940s-issue chalet shook on its stilts. Fearfully, I peered past the curtain, to see a phalanx of sweat-ridden young men in camouflage trousers. They chanted as they jogged past, heckled by a sergeant-major type figure. I assumed that it was an army detachment on a training run, and went back to bed. At breakfast I mentioned the incident to my landlady, to find out that they were freshers, new students, at Northcote hall of residence. They were being inducted into its quasi-militaristic culture, complete with uniforms, marching songs and passing-out parades. Northcoters prided themselves on their militarist sub-culture. They were soldiers led by a field-marshal, and with a whole set of ranks within the hall, awarded by a Supreme Security Council for bravery in action. Each male hall was wedded to a particular identity with University Hall known as the gentlemen, and Nkrumah hall as the bachelors. Loyalties and youthful exuberance sometimes spilt into physical aggression. Pitched battles between students in different halls were not unknown, especially at the time of inter-hall sports competition. In 1995 there was a University investigation into an incident where one hall paid local louts in beer and waragi to disrupt a sports-day awards ceremony. At night-time on campus, I often heard male students jauntily greeting passing women from their halls. The shouts turned out to be accusatory: cries of Malayaa (a Swahili word best glossed here as prostitute). The evening was a time when female students would be visited and wooed by business-men working in Kampala, a source of jealousy to the poorer male students. They expressed their feelings volubly, and only half in jest. On one occasion, I attended a debate in Livingstone Hall, entitled Women liberation struggles in Uganda pose a great danger to National development. One after another, male students jokingly stood up to accuse women politicians of manipulating rural women for their own gain. Whenever a female student attempted to speak, male students simply heckled or jeered, shouting 1.5. Such gender troubles took a different turn during an end-of-term celebration in 1996. Several students from Northcote hall attempted to put pepper and glass in food intended for students at two women's halls. When the authorities found out, none of the students admitted responsibility, and the Hall declined to name the suspects. The University decided to punish all the students by closing down the Hall of residence, breaking up Northcote's militarist culture and dispersing the students to other halls. The decision produced much dissent within the University, with the student body agitating for a less extreme punishment. Disagreement within the Universitys ruling council resulted in a stand-off, exacerbated by the Universitys decision to impose a new registration fee on students as part of the move towards cost-sharing, making Makerere more financially self-sufficient. This led to a student strike during which the Northcote students, led by their representatives in the guild council, attempted to break back into the hall and to occupy it. Running battles with riot police ensued, and thousands of pounds of damage was done. The police used tear gas to disperse the students, and many were arrested or injured. Thirty-five ringleaders were summarily expelled from the University. The rest of Northcotes students were either dispersed to other halls, or sent to find their own accommodation off-campus. The hall has since been re-named Nsibirwa Hall. As I carried out my fieldwork, I found it hard to gauge the significance of such events. Did they reflect the exuberant youth sub-cultures generated within an enclosed campus university or offer broader insights into the politics of gender in Uganda? My co-researcher and I saw them as evidence of a public culture riven by debates over equality and womens empowerment (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2002), and wrote about the way social intimacy was mediated by economics and the transnational gender and development agenda (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2004). Such tensions reflected shifting generational expectations about gender roles in the light of a new and articulate cohort of middle-class women in professional roles. My somewhat presentist explanation of these events was partly the result of my disciplinary training in anthropology. There is another interpretation. Universities, whether British or African, are peculiar places, total institutions, distinct social environments whose identities, histories and hierarchies are strongly embodied and transmitted by their inhabitants (Hargreaves 1973). Whilst not cut off from surrounding societies, their day-to-day existence is strongly informed by what Rothblatt calls the idea of the idea of the university (Rothblatt 1997, 43). Drawing on a variety of archival sources, I argue that the aspirations and social lives of Makerere students and staff in the 1950s and 1960s wre motivated by such seemingly cosmopolitan ideals. Late-colonial and post-independence Makerere offered an intellectual and political trading zone (Galison 1997), where both students and staff were able to make use of the relative autonomy granted by the institution to question and debate the purpose of an African university, and to begin to challenge the hierarchies of race and culture within colonial rule. As a result, Makerere became an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique. The muscular hall cultures of the 1990s were a different legacy of twenty-five years of rule by the gun. Between two worlds? The idea of the African university Living in, and in love with, 1850s Oxford, Cardinal Newman began to write his memorable treatise on the idea of the university (Newman 1959 [1873]). It powerfully captured his sense of the university as having an essence - nurturing and communicating higher and enduring moral values. He was writing against the reformist utilitarianism of the new University of London that had little time for the Oxbridge vision of a residential university as a site of character-formation. It was this moral aspect of university education, in vogue once again after the disruptions of war, that the Asquith Commission of 1945 drew upon in defining its vision for the new British colonial university colleges. For the commission, student residence was key: no other single condition can serve so well to give the student a broader outlook or a higher general level of education..nothing could minister more effectively to a spirit of unity.  The commission led to the creation of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, which channelled money, staff and resources to fledgling colleges in Nigeria, the Gold Coast, the Sudan, the West Indies and Uganda, and advised on the writing of university constitutions, degree structures and curriculae. Their degrees were to be accredited by the University of London under a special relationship set up in 1948. Inevitably, the idea of the African university had few precedents on which to build if one excludes Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The exceptions were the missionary-founded Fourah Bay College in Freetown (established in 1872) and Fort Hare University in South Africa (established in 1916). In a British colony, it was inevitable that a British model of university education would be adopted. But did this mean copying, or at least mimicking, the Oxbridge collegiate model or that of the other civic universities, exemplified by London? By the 1950s British Higher Education was expanding and changing rapidly, but many of the Colonial Office policymakers and teaching staff employed at Makerere and the other colleges had been brought up on an Oxbridge vision of education through character-formation. It was the Oxbridge model complete with tutorials, halls of residence and high table that was implicitly adopted by the African colonial colleges. One influential commentator mocked the way that these colleges bore the unmistakable image of their British origin, even extending to the social mimicry of the fripperies of British academic life; gowns, high tables, graces read by a scholar (Ashby 1964, 22). Many of these academic traditions were indeed championed by enthusiastic English staff appointees, seeing them as all part of a larger academic culture. The halls of residence developed their own particular identities and traditions, cultivating a close relationship between staff and students. Both groups found themselves forging pedagogic and intellectual relationships across the racial divide, crafting identities appropriate to this more liberal environment. This collegiate environment, energetically espoused by the wardens of the halls, many of whom sought to replicate the ethos remembered from own college days, sometimes came up sharply against the established racial and social hierarchies of colonial rule. At the time, many were concerned about the confusing psychological impacts of university education, in what was seen to be an alienating modernity, on these young students. Mannonis theories of the psychology of colonisation were influential amongst some Makerere staff (Mannoni 1956). Goldthorpe, a Makerere sociologist, described the students as being between two worlds the encounter of the pre-modern with the modern, embodied by what was for him the contradictory figure of the educated African (Goldthorpe 1965). The 1946 Colonial Office-sponsored film Men of Two Worlds dramatised a conflict between modern public health interventions and traditional healers in Tanzania, before the former (unsurprisingly) won through. This polarising discourse, predicated on a psychological double consciousness, to invoke DuBois, still lurks within some academic analyses of African modernity. Writing in the 1960s, the leading historian of colonial universities, Eric Ashby began to criticise the British cultural parochialism and elitism of the Asquith commission that assumed a university system appropriate for Europeans brought up in London and Manchester and Hull was also appropriate for Africans brought up in Lagos and Kumasi and Kampala (Ashby 1966, 225). In tune with growing African nationalist resentment of these institutions, Ashby disparaged the anachronistic trappings of Cambridge academic culture (including even the names of the academic terms) imported into the University College of the Gold Coast by its first principal David Balme. His argument was that for an African the impact of a university education is something inconceivable to a European. It separates him from his family and village. It obliges him to live in a Western way. It stretches his nerve between two spiritual worlds, two systems of ethics, two horizons of thought (1964, 41). But Ashbys emphasis on the intellectual schizophrenia felt by students is based on impressions as much as actual evidence, and glosses over the expectations of young Africans in the 1950s that their university education should be comparable to one obtained in the UK. I thus also question Sichermans blanket depiction of 1950s Makerere as an academic colonial hothouse where liberal ideology and colonial intellectual repression went hand in hand (Sicherman 1995, 12). There are less Manichean interpretations of this complex and fast-moving period, particularly from post-colonial theory. Recent work in African Studies has engaged post-colonial theory through Achille Mbembes (1992, 2001) influential concept of the post-colony (eg Werbner 2002). Whilst Mbembe stirs up a heady brew of Bakhtin, Foucault and existential theory to analyse popular African aesthetics, the resulting vision is extravagantly bleak. It is a totalising vision, and whilst his contributions are much cited, they are hard to put to analytical work. The ideas of postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha have been relatively neglected by comparison. They offer a model for analysing the appropriating and strategic power of intellectual and social mimicry at work within colonial social worlds. As Bhabha puts it in the ambivalent world of the not quite/not white, on the margins of metropolitan desire, the founding objects of the Western world become the erratic, eccentric, accidental objets trouvs of the colonial discourse (1994:92). His work, nuancing Fanons ideas on the existential violence of the colonial encounter, can be criticised for its dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis, and lack of any sustained engagement with historical sources. Yet if informed by careful historical analysis, his ideas on the ambivalent aspects of mimicry can be used to demonstrate the complexity of racialised power dynamics within particular colonial junctures. I argue that both students and faculty at these new universities found themselves engaged in a form of mimesis, an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. It was not just the African students who were engaged in a form of colonial mimicry. Academics and students apiece were between two if not three worlds the racialised legacy of native education in colonial Africa, the imagined potential of the Oxbridge ideal for new campus universities, and the rapidly changing politics of African societies and states heading towards independence. In the 1950s, students as much as staff wanted a gold standard why, they felt, should Africa have second-best? Mimesis was a political principle, not evidence of social inferiority. As the social climate changed in the post-independence era, these universities inevitably began to be criticised for their elitism and irrelevance to African needs, but then similar criticisms have long been aimed at British universities and their ivory towers. With independence, several of the colleges gradually lost their political independence from the nation-state, but the universalist aspirations of their founding charter continued to be strongly defended, along with their reputation for intellectual freedom and scholarly autonomy. I make my argument with particular reference to Makerere University, drawing on a variety of student magazines, institutional archives, personal papers and interviews. In the 1960s, there were open and vocal expressions of dissent in Makerere, expressed both through political activism and literary journalism, as well as frank bouts of self-questioning amongst most staff. The students actively contributed through their writings and actions to the debate about an African university education, questioning the limits of European syllabi and teaching styles in subtle and thoughtful ways. Like their European student peers, they also become increasingly involved in national and international politics, a development that was to have tragic consequences during the Amin and Obote regimes. Let us be Makerians 1930s and The Demand For HIGHER EDUCATION Makerere began as a government technical school in 1922, but even as early as 1925, the Colonial Education department envisaged it as becoming the University College for the protectorate. MacPherson notes that at this point Makerere was run very much on public school principles, and the gay uniform with the green socks and the red stripes at the top and the tasselled caps was a matter of pride to the students (MacPherson 1964, 12). Student pride was however a source of tension for the staff, and in 1932, the Principal warned at the annual speech day against self-satisfied complacency amongst the students. The ideal of Makerere as a University college came one step closer with the visitation of the high-powered De la Warr commission to Kampala in 1937, described by Ashby as the first British attempt to define in in any detail the meaning of an indigenous university in tropical Africa (Ashby 1966, 200). It established a clear governance structure for a Higher Education College of East Africa (de la Warr 1937), and mapped a plan for the transition. As Kenyas Governor Philip Mitchell put it, the vision was of a center of learning and culture enjoying the security, the liberty of thought and teaching which are essential and indeed implied in the world university (quoted in MacPherson 1964, 26). In the first step towards this change, classes were replaced with lectures and personal tutorials, the prefect system was abolished, along with the whole gamut of British public school rituals: roll calls, evening prep, and compulsory cross-country runs. Students responded enthusiastically to this new conceptualization of their role and a more collegial approach to learning, enshrined within a student council with its own constitution. There was an efflorescence of student activities, including an active college magazine and a number of debating and scientific societies (in which many staff also participated). The student-editor of the Makerere College Magazine adopted a moralistic tone in his first issue, printed in 1936: Makerere College is in the public eye. The whole of East Africa is looking with a curious gaze and eager expectant eyes to see what Makerere can do for her But a Makerere student does it will be on the lips of everyone in attempting to justify himself. The populace, backward as they are, are looking forward for leaders from Makerere. There is a thick cloud of darkness hanging over the eyes of the people. It is our duty to lift it off. Advance should be our watchword. Whole-hearted willingness is essential to ensure success in our campaign. Such claims subtly reworked the patronising language of colonial trusteeship. Rather than the British administrators, Ugandas youth offered the country its future. But Gitau goes on to point to the risks therein: the gulf between the students of the College and others must not be allowed to grow too big and deep. The segregation of the college from the activities of the people will be injurious, and the populace will rightly become suspicious (ibid, p9). This tension between Makerere as moral examplar and symbol of irrelevant elitism is replayed throughout the colonial and post-colonial period. The college magazine of the late 1930s, with its self-proclaimed literary ambitions, offers fascinating insights into student narratives of self-formation and self-discovery. Each issue contained at least one account of a students arduous mountain hike, mimicking and appropriating the European colonial romantic of encountering nature through exploration. There were also a number of amateur ethnographies of tribal customs, together with more elaborate theoretical accounts of the African mentality. The magazine also offered a space for subversive opinions, with witty critiques of the quality of teaching, and the dreaded cross-continent runs. One writer delights in exposing his local Assistant District Commissioners ignorance about Makerere: He looked at me, I could read interest in his face. One thing I was quite certain of was that it was not my face or speech that so captivated him..it was either my green blazer or cap that he was trying to decipher. Suddenly he asked Wewe natoka wapi? I nearly simulated ignorance of the lingua franca but something stopped me and I answered with that inherent African smile on my lips Nimetoka Kampala. Oh Kampala, he answered as if surprised. Kufanya nini huko Kampala he asked. Kusoma I replied. Skuli gani he inquired with more interest and curiosity. Makerere College was my answer. He inferred immediately that I could speak English, and he looked at me for a while. It is almost certain he had never heard of Makerere College before. The letter ends by comparing Makerere to the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, noting how the latter had rose to importance because the students carried with them the names of their respective alma mater. So, the writer concludes: let us by MakeriansMakerere will as a result gain the fame of being the cultural centre of Africa. Such identity-work is crucial to fostering an idea of the university, and during this period was carried out as much by staff as by students. At Speech Day in 1936, Ugandas Governor Mitchell dwelt at length on the future financial health of Makerere, making extensive comparison with the role of generous and high minded benefactions in supporting English universities. He concluded that the self sacrifices and devotion to the cause of culture and progress which are exemplified by generous endowments in our own country are, it seems to me, a vitally necessary element in the spirit in which a College is developed and upon which it lives. Nor was this mere rhetorical comparison, for through Mitchells own personal networks and lobbying, Oxford University promulgated in 1940 a formal association between itself and Makerere, ratified by Oxfords Congregation. Little came of the joint committee, save an oak-carving of the Oxford coat of arms gifted to Makerere, and some books for Makereres library. The new approach to independent learning and self-creation expected of students in this cosmopolitan intellectual atmosphere was powerfully impressed on one contributor to the magazine: At Makerere the horse needs only be taken to the water and it is its duty to drink. The tutors lecture, and should some point defeat the students comprehension, it is up to him to delve into the text-books of Science and Literature, to explore and discover it for himself...the student is being trained to be his own master and develop his personality. The students were however aware of the limits of mimesis, given the patronising attitudes of some staff, and not all is moral hortation in one witty dialogue Omar Shariff gently teased the teaching staffs obsession with afternoon classes as a way of keeping students busy and out of mischief. In his memoirs, John Colman, one of the first wardens, notes the irony that whilst the students put off their school uniform on coming to Makerere, we European newcomers adopted it (Colman, 1998, 10). Whilst student writers recognised the unique cosmopolitan status of Makerere as an inter-territorial college, relations between Bagandan students and others were sometimes strained. In 1937 there were 160 students at Makerere College, of whom 100 were Ugandan. This led the Principal GM Turner to foster the creation of The Makerere society whose aims were the study of the customs and prejudices of the various tribes that go to make up to make up the College, to create a good understanding among them and promote inter-tribal fraternity.  Yet Turner was less than convinced about the de la Warr vision for a University College, bemoaning the very reproduction by officials of European models, and wishing the African would not so readily imitate the superficial forms of a collapsing European order. With the arrival of the first women students in 1945, racial hierarchies began to be expressed in concerns over student sexuality. The personal files of Makereres Dean reveal a long-running and anxious correspondence about the first student College Dance held in 1947. After much disagreement amongst staff, often along grounds of religious conviction, the students were encouraged to police the dances themselves, and an elaborate set of rules were drawn up (such as Ladies invited should know how to dance) and ending with the admonition that no person might stay in the refreshment room for more than 15 minutes.  The rules issued in 1947 by the first warden of Mary Stuart Hall (the first womens hall), began by stating Women students are not allowed to entertain European guests without the presence of the warden. The students nicknamed the first womens hall the Box because of its shape, and female students are still known as Boxers. Some chafed at the constraints placed upon them, with one of the first students commenting that she seems to think we are still in primary school. In the male halls, there was also a long-running debate about whether students should receive guests in their bedrooms, or in the special visiting rooms. These debates reflected the tensions amongst Makerere staff about the degree of independence appropriate for the students. With only three of the thirty staff in 1948 having taught at British universities, not all shared an academic ethos or agreed to London University accrediting its degrees, and some were strongly motivated by evangelical principles (Colman 1998). In this, they were backed by the majority of expatriates, who additionally questioned the harmful ideas being put into the students heads, such as the teaching of social studies as a compulsory 1st year course for all. As de Bunsen puts it, the constant refrain was This isnt England, you know (de Bunsen 1995, 80), and many doubted the appropriateness of a university education for Africans. Carey Francis, principled Christian and head of Alliance High School, Kikuyu, Kenya, was Makereres strongest critic, attacking Makereres pretentiousness and its lack of authority over, or pastoral responsibiilty to, its students. William Lamont, the principal from 1946 to 1948, was appointed to lead the transformation of the institution into a colonial University College following the Asquith recommendations, but whilst a committed scholar and philosopher, he was no administrator, and had authoritarian views about student discipline, as his letter to the Committee for Student Welfare in 1947 revealed: At Makerere rules are continually and openly broken by a majority of the students, to whom it seems nothing is done about it.there is much heavy drinking and immorality, and that the students have the impression that the authorities are unconcerned and uninterested. I believe that a great deal of teaching envisages a stage of development which the majority of students have not yet reached. He continues by discussing recent examples of drunken behaviour, before concluding: Each is a symptom of an attempt at grandness. Our students are trying to be what they are not, Makerere is trying to be what it is not. The result is terrifying to me. The state of affairs is accepted by Makerere students today as the hall-mark of true attainment. We are men, just like the Men at Oxford and Cambridge. We have no use for the rules. We get drunk when we like and do what we like. We are the leaders of the African people. This explicitly racialised comparison here with a 'real' European University is revealing, as is the representation of what he regards as an appropriate African masculinity. Here African mimesis is viewed as threatening rather than alienating. Not everyone agreed. In an unsigned letter to the Dean, one of the first Hall wardens expresses a rather different view: In fact, I am inclined to think that a certain opportunity for sowing wild oats is a valuable experience, as the sooner one learns that excesses have a bad effect on one's work and health the better, and the amount and the quality of the work they have to do here soon becomes apparent. Lamont found himself increasingly isolated, caught between his staff who feared the implications of a London University degree structure for the curriculae they had adapted for East Africa, and the policy-makers in London who, wishing to push forward their plans for a set of colonial university colleges, saw Makerere as the problem child. There were also conflicts between the academic and administrative staff at Makerere itself. Lamont prevaricated, and in 1948 resigned, to be replaced by a charismatic liberal, the educationalist Bernard de Bunsen. The London link was confirmed, and in 1950 Makerere College became the University College for East Africa, an affiliation that was to last till 1961. The link brought its own tensions. It was partly intended to enshrine Makereres autonomy from colonial (and post-colonial) governments, but Londons dirigisme with regard to entry standards conflicted with a determination to Africanise (a term that was constantly invoked but rarely explored) Makerere. Whilst many of the first generation of students valued the academic equivalence underwritten by the London link, over time it increasingly stood for colonial elitism and the lack of adaptation to African conditions (Pratt 1965). The 1950s and 1960s: Tea, CAKES AND Dissent In September 1952 students at Makerere went on strike, organising a week-long boycott of the university canteen. Whilst school strikes in colonial Africa were a familiar aspect of the educational landscape, with a major riot at Ugandas elite Budo school in 1942, student confrontations were not. The food strike was the first real crisis in relations between students and staff. 200 of the 270 students signed a Mammoth petition about the quality of the food and issued an ultimatum to the new Principal to improve it. The story was disparagingly reported in the local and London newspapers as a case of students demanding a European diet. As Goldthorpe noted at the time, They had been told several times by the lady domestic supervisor, in tons of despair, that she could only cook European food and didnt understand African diet, and they concluded that a European diet, although it was not what they really wanted, would at least be well cooked. The incident was also about the students right to picket in a strike. There were two incidents in which strike-breakers were threatened. When the students refused to back down in their demands, reluctantly the Principal closed the college. He later sent down (expelled) four of the leaders , though one Abu Mayanja was later found a Cambridge place. College staff were, according to Goldthorpe, divided over how to deal with the case, with some junior staff taking the view that the university authorities were much to blame. Yet de Bunsen, the new Principal, felt pressurised to take a firm line by school headmasters, the expatriate community and the Education departments of the territories. Afterwards a staff committee was set up to explore the grievances. Goldthorpe, committee secretary, bemoaned the fact that few of the staff have experience as a staff member in an English university, and thus understood the importance of a liberal academic culture. He also was uneasy about the evangelical religiosity of some of his peers, noting, that the committee has a good chairman in our professor of geography and that Apart from him, its a weak team all devout Christians. The faculty were certainly divided along lines of age as well as social, religious and institutional loyalties, and as Colman put it, the hill had its own politics, deals and ententes (Colman 1998, 91). Goldthorpe recalled much pettiness, and malicious rumours circulated as personal and college affairs became entangled. The final report concluded that food was indeed the key point of dispute, and it was not just symbolic of larger student welfare concerns. In his autobiography, Principal de Bunsen took the same view the strike was not I feel sure mainly about food, poor as it was, but about some-one to talk to about food (1995, 97). After the strike, efforts were redoubled to appoint academic figures as wardens in the halls, and to establish a system of personal tuition and pastoral care within the halls. Like others who had come through Oxbridge, Goldthorpe was of the view that the most effective way for academic staff to maintain close touch with the students feelings and welfare is through the Hall and tutorial system. High table was also seen as having an important part to play in bringing together the whole Hall community. Twenty years later, Goldthorpe still shared that view: I knew no way of developing a proper tutorial relation that did not include an informal social relation..inviting students to tea or coffee at home seemed to me as essential at Makerere as it had been at Cambridge or London, and was to be at Leeds. The first new halls were the Northcote-New Hall complex, with their somewhat barrack-like atmosphere. De Bunsen prioritised the building of further halls of residence (Livingstone and University Halls) around quadrangles, each with their own wardens, resident tutors and high tables. This mirrored the post-war idealization of campus universities in the UK and the influential criticisms of Red-Brick (Truscot 1945). Most of Makereres first wardens, like the theologian Fred Welbourn, were Oxbridge educated, and highly knowledgeable about, and committed to, their students. Much of their time was taken up with day-to-day issues of student welfare. Enthusiastic amateurs, most staff shouldered a number of different academic, administrative and pastoral roles simultaneously. As Victor Temple, New Hall warden from 1955 1959, recalled, we did it all with good reason and we endeavoured to support the students as best we could it was an act of co-operation. According to Temple, each hall developed its own ethos, with Mitchell students reflecting the characteristics of Fred. He also described John Colman, his own predecessor at New Hall, as an articulate humanist, who sought to create a scholarly ethos in the Hall through a constant stream of visiting speakers (of whom there were many from Cabinet ministers downwards). The commitment of these self-styled pioneers is best illustrated by Margaret MacPherson. She taught drama at Makerere for almost forty years, and on her return to the UK in 1981 continued to gently cajole OMs (Old Makerereans) into sending news for the Makerere College University Society (MCUS) newsletter her husband had founded in 1952. The newsletter ran for more than 40 years. The gap between the rhetoric of social equality and its practice grated with the Makerere students. Some lecturers were clearly happy to defy the informal colour bar or to serve alcohol to students. The liberals were however in a minority. The explicitness of the High Table hierarchy and the un-willingness of some lecturers to mix socially across race lines frustrated students. Whilst it might seem trivial, the symbolism of being invited, or not, to tea at a tutors house, and the conversation that might ensue, was consistently returned to by the students. In a powerful piece, What is wrong with Makerere?, Jonathan Kariari indicted the very ambiguities and uncertainties that marked student-staff relations. Compared to school, where he had found comradeship based on healthy resistance on the side of boys against authority, Makerere was very different: In this place we dont know who is either for or against us. We all have a smile for one another (a suspicious timid smile) we all pretend to understand one anothers points of view, we are all very cautious not to hurt other peoples feelings. We pay for all these things. We are forced to create conversation with people we do not like. We are forced to nod when they tell us things for which we would blow them up to the moon. We are forced to invite people to our houses, not having any interest in them as persons. The evening passes peacefully, because we are all the time bottling up murderous feelings about one another. Once the goodnights have been said at the threshold we break loose O these Europeans, they are so exasperating. They retaliate Oh, these Africans they are so gross. They come pouring to you their troubles, so embarrassing. One challenge to hall loyalties was the Student Guild, formed in 1955. It became increasingly involved in student affairs worldwide, sending Guild representatives to student conferences. It had to tread gently, rejecting affiliation with the International Union of Students because of fears of being associated too closely with communism and political activities which was contrary to the Guilds policy. It was also dogged with accusations of elitism and corruption as one student put it, all our money is not just for sending delegates to Europe. Some wardens felt that it sat uneasily with their vision for the collegiate halls, with Fred Welbourn writing that the normal undergraduate cannot be expected to form a warm attachment to any unit larger than a hall of residence, and for some even that is too largethe true life of the College lies in the halls and that the best men ought to throw their energies into the life of the hall. Another tension was the growing cost to the Ugandan government of sending students to Makerere, a topic of debate in the British House of Commons in the 1960s. Makerere and the other colonial university colleges cost more per student than their sister institutions in the UK, partly because of expatriate staff expenses, their relatively small numbers of students, and because British universities did not have to meet infrastructure costs (Godfrey 1966). It is a truism that institutions create traditions through rituals of belonging and community, and in this regard the Makerere staff saw themselves a creating a past as much as a future for Makerere. In an attempt to defray anxieties about exams amongst the students, MacPherson (1964) describes the creation of a short-lived quasi-anthropological ritual, a mock ceremonial in which His Highness the Akichomochong, the examination God, arrived on campus with much pomp and sounding of car horns. The symbolism was received cooly by students, and His Highness was quietly dropped. Other customs were instituted by students themselves. De Bunsen describes how as soon as we had turned the University corner there came the demand for academic gowns..right, they urged, for academic occasions and Hall dinners (1995, 93). Only a few years later, students were rather less enthusiastic, especially about the rule where they were expected to wear the bright red gowns both on and off the campus, a rule disobeyed by most. As one student noted disparagingly in a letter to the Undergraduate magazine, When one or two law-abiding students take their gowns with them, they are usually made fun of by the others.  The aspiration to recreate an Oxbridge collegiate experience jarred with a grudging recognition that something different was being forged. Constant comparison was key to both institutional mimicry and subversion. A student license to misbehave was seen as part of the process of character formation. Commenting on this, the Inter-University Council reported in 1954 that A college with a few undisciplined and degenerate students would be difficult to conceive of in Africa or elsewhere (cited in MacPherson 1964, 48). For MacPherson, sometimes senior members complain that there isnt quite the spirit of mischief and midsummer madness among undergraduates that there is in their English counterpartssmall wonder if they don't as a rule like to jeopardise their future by horpseplay (MacPherson 1964, 47). How will history judge these undergraduate cultures? The determination of the first wardens to create spirited colleges of learning has been read as an exercise in irrelevant colonial intellectual and social fripperies (Ashby 1964, 22), but this is to judge a social and pedagogic experiment by its immediate veneer. Mimicry may be an inevitable aspect of self-formation, but it is also politically complex. Much more was at stake than gowns and high tables. Intellectual confidence and political autonomy was nurtured by the symbolic and supposedly anachronistic aspects of academic socialisation. The tragic cost of overt political interference in Makereres affairs in the years after independence was the loss of such a critical space. The 1960s and student activism The 1960s marked further expansion of the university, and the increasing efflorescence of hall cultures through college clubs, newsletters and journals. Along with his own effort to know each student personally, the iconoclastic warden Hugh Dinwiddy nurtured what he saw as the Northcote spirit (Sichermann 1995, 30). As well as hosting informal debates, sports and dances, he was proud of his own Cambridge blue, and determined that Northcote should win the inter-hall sports competitions. The students were fond of him, and as he recalled, he always got a tremendous response from the students in all kinds of absurd ways they always made me laugh. He described one event in particular: Arap Moi was inspecting the Makerere Athletics team at a stadium in Nairobi, and I was on the podium with him, when all the students started chanting Uncle Hugh, Uncle Hugh .  Yet not all was so cheery. Students continued to write on the social maladjustment of both students and faculty. One self-proclaimed social commentator for the New Hall Mirror wrote that some lecturers or professors, with specialised knowledge, bring about psychological isolation no real contact with their students, thereby increasing their self-importance. But these chaps, also get a cover, as a result, for their own insecurity, anxieties and hidden feelings of inferiority. Others questioned whether academic intelligence was being privileged over intellectual development (Prewitt 1966). In print, students voiced increasingly strident criticisms of Makerere. American volunteer teachers at Makerere helped to launch of a new literary magazine The Makererean of which Ngugi wa Thiongo was the first editor, galvanising this spirit of dissent. The critically acclaimed literary journal Transition was launched from Makerere in 1961 and edited by Rajat Neogy. The legacies of an earlier era remained. Hall High Table continued well into the independence era, justified by the rationale that it served a useful public relations function of bringing important guests to Makerere. Efforts were made to Africanise the membership of Senior Common Rooms, but by 1961, only 12 of 140 academic staff were African (de Bunsen 1961). Students increasingly felt High Table in particular was a colonial anachronism. In 1968, the New Hall magazine published an interview with the warden over his frustration that the Junior Common Room had become a TV room rather than a place for mind to mind contact. The President of the JCR is called General Suharto, evidence of the trappings of military culture by then adopted by students: At this instant General Suharto brought to the Wardens attention a proposal - that resident tutors should acclimatise themselves with the students by sitting together with the students at meals and talk more freely and openly to each other. This would be a prelude to the death of High Table. The warden surprised us when he said that the resident tutors in question had already accepted the students inviting them - but to his regret no one had ever been invited. What a challenge! Invite them at every meal and the High Table will soon go HOME. The Africanisation of the university curriculum became ever more vociferously debated amongst academics themselves. A symposium within the Arts Faculty in 1960 (with the end of the University of London linkage) revealed the splits between those who wanted to introduce a General degree offering a training in Western civilisation and those who believed in the value of a specialised honours degree. Reflecting on the anti-American sentiments stirred up by growing US philanthropic funding and political influence, Colman suggests that it revealed the fissures between the Colonial Office and the East African governments, and between the latter and Makerere, which itself oscillated uneasily somewhere half-way between British intellectual majority opinion and East African realities (Colman 1998, 170). During the 1960s Makerere students began, like students elsewhere, to articulate a larger political consciousness, and risked censure for doing so. Students had not been directly involved in the Buganda uprising of 1949, for which they had been commended by the new Principal. In 1952 the students had however been reprimanded for holding an orderly demonstration against the apartheid policy of the new South African government, after the East African and London press had condemned such student radicalism. Whilst few Gikuyu students became involved in Mau-Mau, a number got together to write, with Fred Welbourn, Round Mount Kenya, a critique of the Corfield report on Mau-Mau. In the same year individual students supported the registration of Ugandan political parties before Ugandan independence, with some campaigning for the Uganda National Party Mengo party. Expressing political opposition to the government was increasingly risky, as some students were suspected of being government agents (Dinwiddy, 1983). Nonetheless by the late 1960s there were an increasing number of student-led demonstrations, against US interests in the Congo in 1965, against Rhodesia in 1968 and in 1970 against British arms sales to South Africa (Barkan 1975). This last demonstration became a protest against the political involvement in the appointment of Makereres new Vice-Chancellor, and riot police ended up dispersing the students. In 1970, Makerere was removed from the Federal University of East Africa, and Obotes Visititation Committee criticized its perpetuation of foreign ideologies and foreign ways of life, arguing that it should become a truly Ugandan institution. Nonetheless, Makereres reputation for freedom of expression meant that during the 1970s, it was one of the last places where any form of disagreement with the Amin regime could be voiced, even if it had to be expressed sotto voce, through protests about the state of Northcotes toilets (Langlands 1977). Things continued to fall apart. As Musisi and Muwanga (2003, 9) point out, the political and financial crises that paralysed nearly every aspect of life in Uganda left Makerere impoverished and almost bankrupt by the 1980s. Recent comparative work on African higher education (such as an excellent African Studies Review collection (Nymanjoh et al 2002), the overview essays assembled in Teferra and Altbach (2003) and the new Journal of Higher Education in Africa) show how Makerere was far from unique. Structural violence of a different kind arrived with the imposition of stringent neo-liberal financial reforms in the early 1990s. In 1993, all 2,000 students had government scholarships, but by 1999, 80% of the 10,000 students at Makerere were fee-paying, many attending as evening or part-time students. Numbers have continued to expand at an exponential rate, both at Makerere and a number of flourishing new universities. As conditions in the halls deteriorate, affluent students seek accommodation in private halls of residence. Students are more diverse, and have less time or aspiration to invest in campus life or the Newmanesque idea of the University. Many are still politically active, as evidenced by a series of student protests in 2004 and 2005, over issues such as the decline in teaching quality and the rise in examination fees. But they are a minority of the 22,000 current students, many of whom are otherwise occupied in juggling families and or full-time jobs, studying vocational degrees at evening sessions. Whilst the opening up of higher education in Africa can only be applauded, it also has its costs. CONCLUSION: The social history of the early years of Makerere offers insight into the ways in which its students and staff sought to rework Western traditions of university education. The investment made in the moral idea of the university by Makereres pioneers served to legitimate the student as a particular kind of social actor, holding much of the responsibility for postcolonial nation-building. Indeed the first generation of East Africas leaders were trained at Makerere, with Nyerere and Obote both being students. The experiences of this influential cohort also shaped the educational aspirations of Ugandans more broadly. In the aftermath of independence, and despite their growing problems, such universities continued to be seen as the best achievements of British colonial policy (Hargreaves 1973, 36). Such legitimation also had its dark sides, visible in the spiteful atrocities committed against students by Obotes and Amins soldiers. I have demonstrated the growing questioning by students of the social and educational hierarchies of British colonialism during the period leading up to independence, and Makereres role as a trading zone, mediating the universalisms inherent in the idea of the university and the racialised inequities of colonial Uganda. Post-colonial theorists have rightly been criticised for their extragavant theorisations and dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis. But they are too easy to dismiss. Used in close conjunction with colonial archival sources, the work of Bhabha and others helps one comprehend the complexity of power within particular colonial junctures. One final puzzle. How and why, given the students animosity to the Ugandan army, did the trappings of military culture visible in the mid 1990s first begin to capture the students imagination? One clue is in a letter to The Makererean in 1969. A student argued, echoing Obotes own views, that with the growing militarisation of Ugandan society, everyone needed military training in order to defend a legitimate government. If said partly in jest in 1969, it was all too true a decade later, after constant harassment of students and the breakdown of civil society under Amin. The excesses of youthful masculinity of the 1990s are the after-shocks from this sad period. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to my interviewees and correspondents, who so willingly shared their reminiscences and reflections. I am particularly appreciative of Hugh Dinwiddys thoughtful and solicitious advice, and to the welcome afforded by my land-lady, Mrs Olivia Mutibwa, Makereres deputy librarian. References: Ashby E. 1964. African Universities and Western Tradition. Oxford: OUP Ashby E. 1966. Universities British, Indian, African: A study in the ecology of Higher Education. London: Wiedenfeld and Nicholson Barkan, J. 1975. An African dilemma: University students, development and politics in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Nairobi: OUP Bhabha, H. 1994. The location of culture. London: Routledge Teferra, D and P. Altbach, eds. 2003. African Higher Education: an international reference handbook. Bloomington, Indiana University Press. De Bunsen, B. 1961. Higher Education and Political Change in East Africa. African Affairs 60(241): 494 -500 De Bunsen, B. 1995 Adventures in Education. Kendal: Titus Wilson Colman, S.J. 1998. East Africa in the Fifties: A view of late Imperial life. London: Radcliffe Press Dinwiddy, H. 1983. The Ugandan Army and Makerere under Obote. African Affairs Galison, P. 1997. Image and Logic: A material culture of microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Godfrey, E. M. 1966. The economics of African Universities. Journal of Modern African Studies 4: 435 -55 Goldthorpe, J. 1965. An African Elite: Makerere College Students 1922 -1960. Nairobi: OUP Hargreaves , J. 1973. The idea of a colonial university. African Affairs 72: 26-36 Kerr, C. 1963. The uses of the University. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA Langlands, B. 1977. Students and politics in Uganda. African Affairs 76: 3-20 MacPherson, M. 1964. They built for the future: A chronicle of Makerere Univesrity College 1922 -1962. Cambridge: CUP Mbembe, A. (1992). Provisional notes on the post-colony. Africa 62(1): 3-37. Mbembe, A. (2001). On the postcolony. Berkeley, University of California. Mannoni, O. 1956. Prospero and Caliban. London: Methuen, Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2002. 'That Beijing Thing': Challenging Transnational Feminisms in Kampala. Gender, Place and Culture: A journal of Feminist Geography 9: 385 -98 Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2005. No romance without finance: Masculinities, commodities and HIV in Uganda. In Readings in Gender in Africa, ed. A Cornwall. Oxford: James Currey Ltd Musisi, N. and N. Muwanga 2003. Makerere University in Transition 1993 - 2000. Kampala and Oxford, Fountain Publishers and James Currey. Newman, J.H. 1959 (1873). The idea of a University. London: Image Books Nwauwa, A. 1996. Imperialism, academe and nationalism: Britain and University Education for Africans 1860 -1960. London: Frank Cass Nyamnjoh, F et al 2002. African universities in crisis and the promotion of a democratic culture. African studies review. 45(2) 1 -218 Pratt, C.R. 1965. African Universities and Western Tradition - Some East African reflections. The Journal of Modern African Studies 3: 421 -8 Prewitt, K. 1966. Makerere: Intelligence vs Intellectuals. Transition 6: 35-9 Rothblatt, S. 1997. The modern university and its discontents. Cambridge: CUP Sichermann, E. 1995. Ngugi's Colonial Education: "The subversion ..of the African Mind". African Studies Review 38: 11 - 41 Truscot B. 1951. Red Brick University. Middlesex: Penguin Books Werbner, R., Ed. 2001. Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa. London, Zed Books. Interviews Hugh Dinwiddy, July 2004 Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, July 1996 Paul Vowles, Oxford, July 2004 Victor Temple, Birmingham August 2004 Student Journals and Periodicals Makerere College Magazine Makerere The Makererean The New Hall Mirror The Undergraduate ABSTRACT How will history judge British late-colonial efforts to export its model of higher education to Africa? In this paper I challenge any simple interpretation of the Asquith commission university colleges - such as Makerere or University College Ibadan - as alien impositions or colonial intellectual hothouses. Focusing on Makerere University in Uganda, and drawing on a variety of archival and personal sources, I show how its students and faculty engaged in an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the Western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. I suggest that the institution offered a space to question and debate the purpose of an African university education. Students and staff made use of their limited political autonomy to challenge and rework the colonial hierarchies of race and culture. As a result, Makerere remained an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique until the mid 1970s. Whilst this legacy is made less visible by the subsequent years of political crisis, underfunding and expansion in student numbers, it remains an important historical legacy from which to rethink the future of African universities. BIOGRAPHY David Mills is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is co-editor, with Mwenda Ntarangwi and Mustafa Babiker, of African Anthropologies: History, Practice, Critique (forthcoming with Zed Books)  As part of an affirmative action policy, '1.5' was the difference in the number of A level 'points' between genders required for entry into Makerere University.  Report of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies (The Asquith Commission), Command 6647 (1945), p15  In the Public Eye by J F Gitau, Makerere College Magazine (MCM) 1936, Vol 1:1, p8  African Mentality by D Semfuko, MCM 1936 Vol 1:1 p128 -131  Letter to the editor by J D Otiende, MCM 1937 Vol 2:1, p29-29  Governors speech, MCM 1937, Vol 1:3 p68  Makerere Council, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 Mak 1  Makerere from many angles by DM Wako MCM 1937 1:5, p277  Announcement, MCM, 1:3, p98  George Turner to Margery Perham 05.05.1941, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 / Mak / 1 file 1  Extracts taken from Dean Alistair MacPherson's files of the 'Welfare and Discipline Committee'. Makerere library: Africana section  Interview with Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, May 1996  Welfare and Development Committee files, 1948  Interview with Paul Vowles, August 2004  Goldthorpe Mss 1825, Rhodes House, File 2/1  Oxford University did set up an Advisory committee in 1940, seeking to work with Makerere on academic issues.  Goldthorpe Mss, file 9/3  Goldthorpe Mss, file XX1  Victor Temple, Interview August 2004  Interview, July 2004  What is wrong with Makerere society? Jonathan Kariari The Undergraduate Magazine of the Makerere College Guild of the university college of East Africa. Volume 2: 4, March 1959  Report on Student Guild External Affairs, The Undergraduate Issue 1, Sept 1956  A creed for freshmen by H Nyamu and The role of the Guild by F B Welbourn, The Undergraduate Issue 1, September 1956  College Rules, letter to the editor, The Undergraduate Vol 1:1 March 1956  Hugh Dinwiddy, Personal communication May 12th 2004  The college and social maladjustment by Pirie, social commentator New Hall Mirror 1963  An interview with the Warden by Paulo Katamba-Lujjo New Hall Mirror, Feb 1968, p12 -16  Arts in East Africa: A symposium (with contributions by MM Carlin, Brian Langlands and Jennifer Carter) Makerere Journal No 4, 1960  Round Mount Kenya: A critique of Corfield. A publication of the Makerere Kikuyu Embu and Meru students association, 1960. Fred Welbourns papers, in the possession of Hebe Welbourn.  Report of the Visitation Committee to Makerere University College, June 1970. Government Printer Entebbe 1970  The current presidents of Kenya (Mwai Kibaki) and Tanzania (Benjamin Mkapa) are also Makerere graduates. Kibaki also taught Economics at Makerere from 1958 1960. 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ࡱ> 5@ objbj22 "(XXc 666JR%R%R%8%&\JnP&&"&&&'''CnEnEnEnEnEnEn$pRfrin6/W''/W/Win66&&~nKlKlKl/W<6&6&CnKl/WCnKlKlOm66Om&z& ƛ1R%kgXOmn$n0nOmsjlsOmJJ6666s6Om'8 KlC| qM '''ininJJ!D/lJJ! Life on the hill: Students and the social history of Makerere David Mills, University of Birmingham In 2003 a Makerere student sought political asylum in the UK. He had, he said, been hounded by an anti-gay student movement from one of the universitys halls of residence. They had repeatedly raided his rooms and beaten him. I was harrowed by his testimony. His account brought back one of my first experiences of Uganda at Makerere in 1995. Renting a room on campus, I had awoken early one morning to the sounds of marching and shouting. My prefabricated 1940s-issue chalet shook on its stilts. Fearfully, I peered past the curtain, to see a phalanx of sweat-ridden young men in camouflage trousers. They chanted as they jogged past, heckled by a sergeant-major type figure. I assumed that it was an army detachment on a training run, and went back to bed. At breakfast I mentioned the incident to my landlady, to find out that they were freshers, new students, at Northcote hall of residence. They were being inducted into its quasi-militaristic culture, complete with uniforms, marching songs and passing-out parades. Northcoters prided themselves on their militarist sub-culture. They were soldiers led by a field-marshal, and with a whole set of ranks within the hall, awarded by a Supreme Security Council for bravery in action. Each male hall was wedded to a particular identity with University Hall known as the gentlemen, and Nkrumah hall as the bachelors. Loyalties and youthful exuberance sometimes spilt into physical aggression. Pitched battles between students in different halls were not unknown, especially at the time of inter-hall sports competition. In 1995 there was a University investigation into an incident where one hall paid local louts in beer and waragi to disrupt a sports-day awards ceremony. At night-time on campus, I often heard male students jauntily greeting passing women from their halls. The shouts turned out to be accusatory: cries of Malayaa (a Swahili word best glossed here as prostitute). The evening was a time when female students would be visited and wooed by business-men working in Kampala, a source of jealousy to the poorer male students. They expressed their feelings volubly, and only half in jest. On one occasion, I attended a debate in Livingstone Hall, entitled Women liberation struggles in Uganda pose a great danger to National development. One after another, male students jokingly stood up to accuse women politicians of manipulating rural women for their own gain. Whenever a female student attempted to speak, male students simply heckled or jeered, shouting 1.5. Such gender troubles took a different turn during an end-of-term celebration in 1996. Several students from Northcote hall attempted to put pepper and glass in food intended for students at two women's halls. When the authorities found out, none of the students admitted responsibility, and the Hall declined to name the suspects. The University decided to punish all the students by closing down the Hall of residence, breaking up Northcote's militarist culture and dispersing the students to other halls. The decision produced much dissent within the University, with the student body agitating for a less extreme punishment. Disagreement within the Universitys ruling council resulted in a stand-off, exacerbated by the Universitys decision to impose a new registration fee on students as part of the move towards cost-sharing, making Makerere more financially self-sufficient. This led to a student strike during which the Northcote students, led by their representatives in the guild council, attempted to break back into the hall and to occupy it. Running battles with riot police ensued, and thousands of pounds of damage was done. The police used tear gas to disperse the students, and many were arrested or injured. Thirty-five ringleaders were summarily expelled from the University. The rest of Northcotes students were either dispersed to other halls, or sent to find their own accommodation off-campus. The hall has since been re-named Nsibirwa Hall. As I carried out my fieldwork, I found it hard to gauge the significance of such events. Did they reflect the exuberant youth sub-cultures generated within an enclosed campus university or offer broader insights into the politics of gender in Uganda? My co-researcher and I saw them as evidence of a public culture riven by debates over equality and womens empowerment (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2002), and wrote about the way social intimacy was mediated by economics and the transnational gender and development agenda (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2004). Such tensions reflected shifting generational expectations about gender roles in the light of a new and articulate cohort of middle-class women in professional roles. My somewhat presentist explanation of these events was partly the result of my disciplinary training in anthropology. There is another interpretation. Universities, whether British or African, are peculiar places, total institutions, distinct social environments whose identities, histories and hierarchies are strongly embodied and transmitted by their inhabitants (Hargreaves 1973). Whilst not cut off from surrounding societies, their day-to-day existence is strongly informed by what Rothblatt calls the idea of the idea of the university (Rothblatt 1997, 43). Drawing on a variety of archival sources, I argue that the aspirations and social lives of Makerere students and staff in the 1950s and 1960s were motivated by such seemingly cosmopolitan ideals. Late-colonial and post-independence Makerere offered an intellectual and political trading zone (Galison 1997), where both students and staff were able to make use of the relative autonomy granted by the institution to question and debate the purpose of an African university, and to begin to challenge the hierarchies of race and culture within colonial rule. As a result, Makerere became an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique. The muscular hall cultures of the 1990s were a different legacy of twenty-five years of rule by the gun. Between two worlds? The idea of the African university Living in, and in love with, 1850s Oxford, Cardinal Newman began to write his memorable treatise on the idea of the university (Newman 1959 [1873]). It powerfully captured his sense of the university as having an essence - nurturing and communicating higher and enduring moral values. He was writing against the reformist utilitarianism of the new University of London that had little time for the Oxbridge vision of a residential university as a site of character-formation. It was this moral aspect of university education, in vogue once again after the disruptions of war, that the Asquith Commission of 1945 drew upon in defining its vision for the new British colonial university colleges. For the commission, student residence was key: no other single condition can serve so well to give the student a broader outlook or a higher general level of education..nothing could minister more effectively to a spirit of unity.  The commission led to the creation of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, which channelled money, staff and resources to fledgling colleges in Nigeria, the Gold Coast, the Sudan, the West Indies and Uganda, and advised on the writing of university constitutions, degree structures and curriculae. Their degrees were to be accredited by the University of London under a special relationship set up in 1948. Inevitably, the idea of the African university had few precedents on which to build if one excludes Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The exceptions were the missionary-founded Fourah Bay College in Freetown (established in 1872) and Fort Hare University in South Africa (established in 1916). In a British colony, it was inevitable that a British model of university education would be adopted. But did this mean copying, or at least mimicking, the Oxbridge collegiate model or that of the other civic universities, exemplified by London? By the 1950s British Higher Education was expanding and changing rapidly, but many of the Colonial Office policymakers and teaching staff employed at Makerere and the other colleges had been brought up on an Oxbridge vision of education through character-formation. It was the Oxbridge model complete with tutorials, halls of residence and high table that was implicitly adopted by the African colonial colleges. One influential commentator mocked the way that these colleges bore the unmistakable image of their British origin, even extending to the social mimicry of the fripperies of British academic life; gowns, high tables, graces read by a scholar (Ashby 1964, 22). Many of these academic traditions were indeed championed by enthusiastic English staff appointees, seeing them as all part of a larger academic culture. The halls of residence developed their own particular identities and traditions, cultivating a close relationship between staff and students. Both groups found themselves forging pedagogic and intellectual relationships across the racial divide, crafting identities appropriate to this more liberal environment. This collegiate environment, energetically espoused by the wardens of the halls, many of whom sought to replicate the ethos remembered from own college days, sometimes came up sharply against the established racial and social hierarchies of colonial rule. At the time, many were concerned about the confusing psychological impacts of university education, in what was seen to be an alienating modernity, on these young students. Mannonis theories of the psychology of colonisation were influential amongst some Makerere staff (Mannoni 1956). Goldthorpe, a Makerere sociologist, described the students as being between two worlds the encounter of the pre-modern with the modern, embodied by what was for him the contradictory figure of the educated African (Goldthorpe 1965). The 1946 Colonial Office-sponsored film Men of Two Worlds dramatised a conflict between modern public health interventions and traditional healers in Tanzania, before the former (unsurprisingly) won through. This polarising discourse, predicated on a psychological double consciousness, to invoke DuBois, still lurks within some academic analyses of African modernity. Writing in the 1960s, the leading historian of colonial universities, Eric Ashby began to criticise the British cultural parochialism and elitism of the Asquith commission that assumed a university system appropriate for Europeans brought up in London and Manchester and Hull was also appropriate for Africans brought up in Lagos and Kumasi and Kampala (Ashby 1966, 225). In tune with growing African nationalist resentment of these institutions, Ashby disparaged the anachronistic trappings of Cambridge academic culture (including even the names of the academic terms) imported into the University College of the Gold Coast by its first principal David Balme. His argument was that for an African the impact of a university education is something inconceivable to a European. It separates him from his family and village. It obliges him to live in a Western way. It stretches his nerve between two spiritual worlds, two systems of ethics, two horizons of thought (1964, 41). But Ashbys emphasis on the intellectual schizophrenia felt by students is based on impressions as much as actual evidence, and glosses over the expectations of young Africans in the 1950s that their university education should be comparable to one obtained in the UK. I thus also question Sichermans blanket depiction of 1950s Makerere as an academic colonial hothouse where liberal ideology and colonial intellectual repression went hand in hand (Sicherman 1995, 12). There are less Manichean interpretations of this complex and fast-moving period, particularly from post-colonial theory. Recent work in African Studies has engaged post-colonial theory through Achille Mbembes (1992, 2001) influential concept of the post-colony (eg Werbner 2002). Whilst Mbembe stirs up a heady brew of Bakhtin, Foucault and existential theory to analyse popular African aesthetics, the resulting vision is extravagantly bleak. It is a totalising vision, and whilst his contributions are much cited, they are hard to put to analytical work. The ideas of postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha have been relatively neglected by comparison. They offer a model for analysing the appropriating and strategic power of intellectual and social mimicry at work within colonial social worlds. As Bhabha puts it in the ambivalent world of the not quite/not white, on the margins of metropolitan desire, the founding objects of the Western world become the erratic, eccentric, accidental objets trouvs of the colonial discourse (1994:92). His work, nuancing Fanons ideas on the existential violence of the colonial encounter, can be criticised for its dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis, and lack of any sustained engagement with historical sources. Yet if informed by careful historical analysis, his ideas on the ambivalent aspects of mimicry can be used to demonstrate the complexity of racialised power dynamics within particular colonial junctures. I argue that both students and faculty at these new universities found themselves engaged in a form of mimesis, an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. It was not just the African students who were engaged in a form of colonial mimicry. Academics and students apiece were between two if not three worlds the racialised legacy of native education in colonial Africa, the imagined potential of the Oxbridge ideal for new campus universities, and the rapidly changing politics of African societies and states heading towards independence. In the 1950s, students as much as staff wanted a gold standard why, they felt, should Africa have second-best? Mimesis was a political principle, not evidence of social inferiority. As the social climate changed in the post-independence era, these universities inevitably began to be criticised for their elitism and irrelevance to African needs, but then similar criticisms have long been aimed at British universities and their ivory towers. With independence, several of the colleges gradually lost their political independence from the nation-state, but the universalist aspirations of their founding charter continued to be strongly defended, along with their reputation for intellectual freedom and scholarly autonomy. I make my argument with particular reference to Makerere University, drawing on a variety of student magazines, institutional archives, personal papers and interviews. In the 1960s, there were open and vocal expressions of dissent in Makerere, expressed both through political activism and literary journalism, as well as frank bouts of self-questioning amongst most staff. The students actively contributed through their writings and actions to the debate about an African university education, questioning the limits of European syllabi and teaching styles in subtle and thoughtful ways. Like their European student peers, they also become increasingly involved in national and international politics, a development that was to have tragic consequences during the Amin and Obote regimes. Let us be Makerians 1930s and The Demand For HIGHER EDUCATION Makerere began as a government technical school in 1922, but even as early as 1925, the Colonial Education department envisaged it as becoming the University College for the protectorate. MacPherson notes that at this point Makerere was run very much on public school principles, and the gay uniform with the green socks and the red stripes at the top and the tasselled caps was a matter of pride to the students (MacPherson 1964, 12). Student pride was however a source of tension for the staff, and in 1932, the Principal warned at the annual speech day against self-satisfied complacency amongst the students. The ideal of Makerere as a University college came one step closer with the visitation of the high-powered De la Warr commission to Kampala in 1937, described by Ashby as the first British attempt to define in in any detail the meaning of an indigenous university in tropical Africa (Ashby 1966, 200). It established a clear governance structure for a Higher Education College of East Africa (de la Warr 1937), and mapped a plan for the transition. As Kenyas Governor Philip Mitchell put it, the vision was of a center of learning and culture enjoying the security, the liberty of thought and teaching which are essential and indeed implied in the world university (quoted in MacPherson 1964, 26). In the first step towards this change, classes were replaced with lectures and personal tutorials, the prefect system was abolished, along with the whole gamut of British public school rituals: roll calls, evening prep, and compulsory cross-country runs. Students responded enthusiastically to this new conceptualization of their role and a more collegial approach to learning, enshrined within a student council with its own constitution. There was an efflorescence of student activities, including an active college magazine and a number of debating and scientific societies (in which many staff also participated). The student-editor of the Makerere College Magazine adopted a moralistic tone in his first issue, printed in 1936: Makerere College is in the public eye. The whole of East Africa is looking with a curious gaze and eager expectant eyes to see what Makerere can do for her But a Makerere student does it will be on the lips of everyone in attempting to justify himself. The populace, backward as they are, are looking forward for leaders from Makerere. There is a thick cloud of darkness hanging over the eyes of the people. It is our duty to lift it off. Advance should be our watchword. Whole-hearted willingness is essential to ensure success in our campaign. Such claims subtly reworked the patronising language of colonial trusteeship. Rather than the British administrators, Ugandas youth offered the country its future. But Gitau goes on to point to the risks therein: the gulf between the students of the College and others must not be allowed to grow too big and deep. The segregation of the college from the activities of the people will be injurious, and the populace will rightly become suspicious (ibid, p9). This tension between Makerere as moral examplar and symbol of irrelevant elitism is replayed throughout the colonial and post-colonial period. The college magazine of the late 1930s, with its self-proclaimed literary ambitions, offers fascinating insights into student narratives of self-formation and self-discovery. Each issue contained at least one account of a students arduous mountain hike, mimicking and appropriating the European colonial romantic of encountering nature through exploration. There were also a number of amateur ethnographies of tribal customs, together with more elaborate theoretical accounts of the African mentality. The magazine also offered a space for subversive opinions, with witty critiques of the quality of teaching, and the dreaded cross-continent runs. One writer delights in exposing his local Assistant District Commissioners ignorance about Makerere: He looked at me, I could read interest in his face. One thing I was quite certain of was that it was not my face or speech that so captivated him..it was either my green blazer or cap that he was trying to decipher. Suddenly he asked Wewe natoka wapi? I nearly simulated ignorance of the lingua franca but something stopped me and I answered with that inherent African smile on my lips Nimetoka Kampala. Oh Kampala, he answered as if surprised. Kufanya nini huko Kampala he asked. Kusoma I replied. Skuli gani he inquired with more interest and curiosity. Makerere College was my answer. He inferred immediately that I could speak English, and he looked at me for a while. It is almost certain he had never heard of Makerere College before. The letter ends by comparing Makerere to the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, noting how the latter had rose to importance because the students carried with them the names of their respective alma mater. So, the writer concludes: let us by MakeriansMakerere will as a result gain the fame of being the cultural centre of Africa. Such identity-work is crucial to fostering an idea of the university, and during this period was carried out as much by staff as by students. At Speech Day in 1936, Ugandas Governor Mitchell dwelt at length on the future financial health of Makerere, making extensive comparison with the role of generous and high minded benefactions in supporting English universities. He concluded that the self sacrifices and devotion to the cause of culture and progress which are exemplified by generous endowments in our own country are, it seems to me, a vitally necessary element in the spirit in which a College is developed and upon which it lives. Nor was this mere rhetorical comparison, for through Mitchells own personal networks and lobbying, Oxford University promulgated in 1940 a formal association between itself and Makerere, ratified by Oxfords Congregation. Little came of the joint committee, save an oak-carving of the Oxford coat of arms gifted to Makerere, and some books for Makereres library. The new approach to independent learning and self-creation expected of students in this cosmopolitan intellectual atmosphere was powerfully impressed on one contributor to the magazine: At Makerere the horse needs only be taken to the water and it is its duty to drink. The tutors lecture, and should some point defeat the students comprehension, it is up to him to delve into the text-books of Science and Literature, to explore and discover it for himself...the student is being trained to be his own master and develop his personality. The students were however aware of the limits of mimesis, given the patronising attitudes of some staff, and not all is moral hortation in one witty dialogue Omar Shariff gently teased the teaching staffs obsession with afternoon classes as a way of keeping students busy and out of mischief. In his memoirs, John Colman, one of the first wardens, notes the irony that whilst the students put off their school uniform on coming to Makerere, we European newcomers adopted it (Colman, 1998, 10). Whilst student writers recognised the unique cosmopolitan status of Makerere as an inter-territorial college, relations between Bagandan students and others were sometimes strained. In 1937 there were 160 students at Makerere College, of whom 100 were Ugandan. This led the Principal GM Turner to foster the creation of The Makerere society whose aims were the study of the customs and prejudices of the various tribes that go to make up to make up the College, to create a good understanding among them and promote inter-tribal fraternity.  Yet Turner was less than convinced about the de la Warr vision for a University College, bemoaning the very reproduction by officials of European models, and wishing the African would not so readily imitate the superficial forms of a collapsing European order. With the arrival of the first women students in 1945, racial hierarchies began to be expressed in concerns over student sexuality. The personal files of Makereres Dean reveal a long-running and anxious correspondence about the first student College Dance held in 1947. After much disagreement amongst staff, often along grounds of religious conviction, the students were encouraged to police the dances themselves, and an elaborate set of rules were drawn up (such as Ladies invited should know how to dance) and ending with the admonition that no person might stay in the refreshment room for more than 15 minutes.  The rules issued in 1947 by the first warden of Mary Stuart Hall (the first womens hall), began by stating Women students are not allowed to entertain European guests without the presence of the warden. The students nicknamed the first womens hall the Box because of its shape, and female students are still known as Boxers. Some chafed at the constraints placed upon them, with one of the first students commenting that she seems to think we are still in primary school. In the male halls, there was also a long-running debate about whether students should receive guests in their bedrooms, or in the special visiting rooms. These debates reflected the tensions amongst Makerere staff about the degree of independence appropriate for the students. With only three of the thirty staff in 1948 having taught at British universities, not all shared an academic ethos or agreed to London University accrediting its degrees, and some were strongly motivated by evangelical principles (Colman 1998). In this, they were backed by the majority of expatriates, who additionally questioned the harmful ideas being put into the students heads, such as the teaching of social studies as a compulsory 1st year course for all. As de Bunsen puts it, the constant refrain was This isnt England, you know (de Bunsen 1995, 80), and many doubted the appropriateness of a university education for Africans. Carey Francis, principled Christian and head of Alliance High School, Kikuyu, Kenya, was Makereres strongest critic, attacking Makereres pretentiousness and its lack of authority over, or pastoral responsibiilty to, its students. William Lamont, the principal from 1946 to 1948, was appointed to lead the transformation of the institution into a colonial University College following the Asquith recommendations, but whilst a committed scholar and philosopher, he was no administrator, and had authoritarian views about student discipline, as his letter to the Committee for Student Welfare in 1947 revealed: At Makerere rules are continually and openly broken by a majority of the students, to whom it seems nothing is done about it.there is much heavy drinking and immorality, and that the students have the impression that the authorities are unconcerned and uninterested. I believe that a great deal of teaching envisages a stage of development which the majority of students have not yet reached. He continues by discussing recent examples of drunken behaviour, before concluding: Each is a symptom of an attempt at grandness. Our students are trying to be what they are not, Makerere is trying to be what it is not. The result is terrifying to me. The state of affairs is accepted by Makerere students today as the hall-mark of true attainment. We are men, just like the Men at Oxford and Cambridge. We have no use for the rules. We get drunk when we like and do what we like. We are the leaders of the African people. This explicitly racialised comparison here with a 'real' European University is revealing, as is the representation of what he regards as an appropriate African masculinity. Here African mimesis is viewed as threatening rather than alienating. Not everyone agreed. In an unsigned letter to the Dean, one of the first Hall wardens expresses a rather different view: In fact, I am inclined to think that a certain opportunity for sowing wild oats is a valuable experience, as the sooner one learns that excesses have a bad effect on one's work and health the better, and the amount and the quality of the work they have to do here soon becomes apparent. Lamont found himself increasingly isolated, caught between his staff who feared the implications of a London University degree structure for the curriculae they had adapted for East Africa, and the policy-makers in London who, wishing to push forward their plans for a set of colonial university colleges, saw Makerere as the problem child. There were also conflicts between the academic and administrative staff at Makerere itself. Lamont prevaricated, and in 1948 resigned, to be replaced by a charismatic liberal, the educationalist Bernard de Bunsen. The London link was confirmed, and in 1950 Makerere College became the University College for East Africa, an affiliation that was to last till 1961. The link brought its own tensions. It was partly intended to enshrine Makereres autonomy from colonial (and post-colonial) governments, but Londons dirigisme with regard to entry standards conflicted with a determination to Africanise (a term that was constantly invoked but rarely explored) Makerere. Whilst many of the first generation of students valued the academic equivalence underwritten by the London link, over time it increasingly stood for colonial elitism and the lack of adaptation to African conditions (Pratt 1965). The 1950s and 1960s: Tea, CAKES AND Dissent In September 1952 students at Makerere went on strike, organising a week-long boycott of the university canteen. Whilst school strikes in colonial Africa were a familiar aspect of the educational landscape, with a major riot at Ugandas elite Budo school in 1942, student confrontations were not. The food strike was the first real crisis in relations between students and staff. 200 of the 270 students signed a Mammoth petition about the quality of the food and issued an ultimatum to the new Principal to improve it. The story was disparagingly reported in the local and London newspapers as a case of students demanding a European diet. As Goldthorpe noted at the time, They had been told several times by the lady domestic supervisor, in tons of despair, that she could only cook European food and didnt understand African diet, and they concluded that a European diet, although it was not what they really wanted, would at least be well cooked. The incident was also about the students right to picket in a strike. There were two incidents in which strike-breakers were threatened. When the students refused to back down in their demands, reluctantly the Principal closed the college. He later sent down (expelled) four of the leaders , though one Abu Mayanja was later found a Cambridge place. College staff were, according to Goldthorpe, divided over how to deal with the case, with some junior staff taking the view that the university authorities were much to blame. Yet de Bunsen, the new Principal, felt pressurised to take a firm line by school headmasters, the expatriate community and the Education departments of the territories. Afterwards a staff committee was set up to explore the grievances. Goldthorpe, committee secretary, bemoaned the fact that few of the staff have experience as a staff member in an English university, and thus understood the importance of a liberal academic culture. He also was uneasy about the evangelical religiosity of some of his peers, noting, that the committee has a good chairman in our professor of geography and that Apart from him, its a weak team all devout Christians. The faculty were certainly divided along lines of age as well as social, religious and institutional loyalties, and as Colman put it, the hill had its own politics, deals and ententes (Colman 1998, 91). Goldthorpe recalled much pettiness, and malicious rumours circulated as personal and college affairs became entangled. The final report concluded that food was indeed the key point of dispute, and it was not just symbolic of larger student welfare concerns. In his autobiography, Principal de Bunsen took the same view the strike was not I feel sure mainly about food, poor as it was, but about some-one to talk to about food (1995, 97). After the strike, efforts were redoubled to appoint academic figures as wardens in the halls, and to establish a system of personal tuition and pastoral care within the halls. Like others who had come through Oxbridge, Goldthorpe was of the view that the most effective way for academic staff to maintain close touch with the students feelings and welfare is through the Hall and tutorial system. High table was also seen as having an important part to play in bringing together the whole Hall community. Twenty years later, Goldthorpe still shared that view: I knew no way of developing a proper tutorial relation that did not include an informal social relation..inviting students to tea or coffee at home seemed to me as essential at Makerere as it had been at Cambridge or London, and was to be at Leeds. The first new halls were the Northcote-New Hall complex, with their somewhat barrack-like atmosphere. De Bunsen prioritised the building of further halls of residence (Livingstone and University Halls) around quadrangles, each with their own wardens, resident tutors and high tables. This mirrored the post-war idealization of campus universities in the UK and the influential criticisms of Red-Brick (Truscot 1945). Most of Makereres first wardens, like the theologian Fred Welbourn, were Oxbridge educated, and highly knowledgeable about, and committed to, their students. Much of their time was taken up with day-to-day issues of student welfare. Enthusiastic amateurs, most staff shouldered a number of different academic, administrative and pastoral roles simultaneously. As Victor Temple, New Hall warden from 1955 1959, recalled, we did it all with good reason and we endeavoured to support the students as best we could it was an act of co-operation. According to Temple, each hall developed its own ethos, with Mitchell students reflecting the characteristics of Fred. He also described John Colman, his own predecessor at New Hall, as an articulate humanist, who sought to create a scholarly ethos in the Hall through a constant stream of visiting speakers (of whom there were many from Cabinet ministers downwards). The commitment of these self-styled pioneers is best illustrated by Margaret MacPherson. She taught drama at Makerere for almost forty years, and on her return to the UK in 1981 continued to gently cajole OMs (Old Makerereans) into sending news for the Makerere College University Society (MCUS) newsletter her husband had founded in 1952. The newsletter ran for more than 40 years. The gap between the rhetoric of social equality and its practice grated with the Makerere students. Some lecturers were clearly happy to defy the informal colour bar or to serve alcohol to students. The liberals were however in a minority. The explicitness of the High Table hierarchy and the un-willingness of some lecturers to mix socially across race lines frustrated students. Whilst it might seem trivial, the symbolism of being invited, or not, to tea at a tutors house, and the conversation that might ensue, was consistently returned to by the students. In a powerful piece, What is wrong with Makerere?, Jonathan Kariari indicted the very ambiguities and uncertainties that marked student-staff relations. Compared to school, where he had found comradeship based on healthy resistance on the side of boys against authority, Makerere was very different: In this place we dont know who is either for or against us. We all have a smile for one another (a suspicious timid smile) we all pretend to understand one anothers points of view, we are all very cautious not to hurt other peoples feelings. We pay for all these things. We are forced to create conversation with people we do not like. We are forced to nod when they tell us things for which we would blow them up to the moon. We are forced to invite people to our houses, not having any interest in them as persons. The evening passes peacefully, because we are all the time bottling up murderous feelings about one another. Once the goodnights have been said at the threshold we break loose O these Europeans, they are so exasperating. They retaliate Oh, these Africans they are so gross. They come pouring to you their troubles, so embarrassing. One challenge to hall loyalties was the Student Guild, formed in 1955. It became increasingly involved in student affairs worldwide, sending Guild representatives to student conferences. It had to tread gently, rejecting affiliation with the International Union of Students because of fears of being associated too closely with communism and political activities which was contrary to the Guilds policy. It was also dogged with accusations of elitism and corruption as one student put it, all our money is not just for sending delegates to Europe. Some wardens felt that it sat uneasily with their vision for the collegiate halls, with Fred Welbourn writing that the normal undergraduate cannot be expected to form a warm attachment to any unit larger than a hall of residence, and for some even that is too largethe true life of the College lies in the halls and that the best men ought to throw their energies into the life of the hall. Another tension was the growing cost to the Ugandan government of sending students to Makerere, a topic of debate in the British House of Commons in the 1960s. Makerere and the other colonial university colleges cost more per student than their sister institutions in the UK, partly because of expatriate staff expenses, their relatively small numbers of students, and because British universities did not have to meet infrastructure costs (Godfrey 1966). It is a truism that institutions create traditions through rituals of belonging and community, and in this regard the Makerere staff saw themselves a creating a past as much as a future for Makerere. In an attempt to defray anxieties about exams amongst the students, MacPherson (1964) describes the creation of a short-lived quasi-anthropological ritual, a mock ceremonial in which His Highness the Akichomochong, the examination God, arrived on campus with much pomp and sounding of car horns. The symbolism was received cooly by students, and His Highness was quietly dropped. Other customs were instituted by students themselves. De Bunsen describes how as soon as we had turned the University corner there came the demand for academic gowns..right, they urged, for academic occasions and Hall dinners (1995, 93). Only a few years later, students were rather less enthusiastic, especially about the rule where they were expected to wear the bright red gowns both on and off the campus, a rule disobeyed by most. As one student noted disparagingly in a letter to the Undergraduate magazine, When one or two law-abiding students take their gowns with them, they are usually made fun of by the others.  The aspiration to recreate an Oxbridge collegiate experience jarred with a grudging recognition that something different was being forged. Constant comparison was key to both institutional mimicry and subversion. A student license to misbehave was seen as part of the process of character formation. Commenting on this, the Inter-University Council reported in 1954 that A college with a few undisciplined and degenerate students would be difficult to conceive of in Africa or elsewhere (cited in MacPherson 1964, 48). For MacPherson, sometimes senior members complain that there isnt quite the spirit of mischief and midsummer madness among undergraduates that there is in their English counterpartssmall wonder if they don't as a rule like to jeopardise their future by horpseplay (MacPherson 1964, 47). How will history judge these undergraduate cultures? The determination of the first wardens to create spirited colleges of learning has been read as an exercise in irrelevant colonial intellectual and social fripperies (Ashby 1964, 22), but this is to judge a social and pedagogic experiment by its immediate veneer. Mimicry may be an inevitable aspect of self-formation, but it is also politically complex. Much more was at stake than gowns and high tables. Intellectual confidence and political autonomy was nurtured by the symbolic and supposedly anachronistic aspects of academic socialisation. The tragic cost of overt political interference in Makereres affairs in the years after independence was the loss of such a critical space. The 1960s and student activism The 1960s marked further expansion of the university, and the increasing efflorescence of hall cultures through college clubs, newsletters and journals. Along with his own effort to know each student personally, the iconoclastic warden Hugh Dinwiddy nurtured what he saw as the Northcote spirit (Sichermann 1995, 30). As well as hosting informal debates, sports and dances, he was proud of his own Cambridge blue, and determined that Northcote should win the inter-hall sports competitions. The students were fond of him, and as he recalled, he always got a tremendous response from the students in all kinds of absurd ways they always made me laugh. He described one event in particular: Arap Moi was inspecting the Makerere Athletics team at a stadium in Nairobi, and I was on the podium with him, when all the students started chanting Uncle Hugh, Uncle Hugh .  Yet not all was so cheery. Students continued to write on the social maladjustment of both students and faculty. One self-proclaimed social commentator for the New Hall Mirror wrote that some lecturers or professors, with specialised knowledge, bring about psychological isolation no real contact with their students, thereby increasing their self-importance. But these chaps, also get a cover, as a result, for their own insecurity, anxieties and hidden feelings of inferiority. Others questioned whether academic intelligence was being privileged over intellectual development (Prewitt 1966). In print, students voiced increasingly strident criticisms of Makerere. American volunteer teachers at Makerere helped to launch of a new literary magazine The Makererean of which Ngugi wa Thiongo was the first editor, galvanising this spirit of dissent. The critically acclaimed literary journal Transition was launched from Makerere in 1961 and edited by Rajat Neogy. The legacies of an earlier era remained. Hall High Table continued well into the independence era, justified by the rationale that it served a useful public relations function of bringing important guests to Makerere. Efforts were made to Africanise the membership of Senior Common Rooms, but by 1961, only 12 of 140 academic staff were African (de Bunsen 1961). Students increasingly felt High Table in particular was a colonial anachronism. In 1968, the New Hall magazine published an interview with the warden over his frustration that the Junior Common Room had become a TV room rather than a place for mind to mind contact. The President of the JCR is called General Suharto, evidence of the trappings of military culture by then adopted by students: At this instant General Suharto brought to the Wardens attention a proposal - that resident tutors should acclimatise themselves with the students by sitting together with the students at meals and talk more freely and openly to each other. This would be a prelude to the death of High Table. The warden surprised us when he said that the resident tutors in question had already accepted the students inviting them - but to his regret no one had ever been invited. What a challenge! Invite them at every meal and the High Table will soon go HOME. The Africanisation of the university curriculum became ever more vociferously debated amongst academics themselves. A symposium within the Arts Faculty in 1960 (with the end of the University of London linkage) revealed the splits between those who wanted to introduce a General degree offering a training in Western civilisation and those who believed in the value of a specialised honours degree. Reflecting on the anti-American sentiments stirred up by growing US philanthropic funding and political influence, Colman suggests that it revealed the fissures between the Colonial Office and the East African governments, and between the latter and Makerere, which itself oscillated uneasily somewhere half-way between British intellectual majority opinion and East African realities (Colman 1998, 170). During the 1960s Makerere students began, like students elsewhere, to articulate a larger political consciousness, and risked censure for doing so. Students had not been directly involved in the Buganda uprising of 1949, for which they had been commended by the new Principal. In 1952 the students had however been reprimanded for holding an orderly demonstration against the apartheid policy of the new South African government, after the East African and London press had condemned such student radicalism. Whilst few Gikuyu students became involved in Mau-Mau, a number got together to write, with Fred Welbourn, Round Mount Kenya, a critique of the Corfield report on Mau-Mau. In the same year individual students supported the registration of Ugandan political parties before Ugandan independence, with some campaigning for the Uganda National Party Mengo party. Expressing political opposition to the government was increasingly risky, as some students were suspected of being government agents (Dinwiddy, 1983). Nonetheless by the late 1960s there were an increasing number of student-led demonstrations, against US interests in the Congo in 1965, against Rhodesia in 1968 and in 1970 against British arms sales to South Africa (Barkan 1975). This last demonstration became a protest against the political involvement in the appointment of Makereres new Vice-Chancellor, and riot police ended up dispersing the students. In 1970, Makerere was removed from the Federal University of East Africa, and Obotes Visititation Committee criticized its perpetuation of foreign ideologies and foreign ways of life, arguing that it should become a truly Ugandan institution. Nonetheless, Makereres reputation for freedom of expression meant that during the 1970s, it was one of the last places where any form of disagreement with the Amin regime could be voiced, even if it had to be expressed sotto voce, through protests about the state of Northcotes toilets (Langlands 1977). Things continued to fall apart. As Musisi and Muwanga (2003, 9) point out, the political and financial crises that paralysed nearly every aspect of life in Uganda left Makerere impoverished and almost bankrupt by the 1980s. Recent comparative work on African higher education (such as an excellent African Studies Review collection (Nymanjoh et al 2002), the overview essays assembled in Teferra and Altbach (2003) and the new Journal of Higher Education in Africa) show how Makerere was far from unique. Structural violence of a different kind arrived with the imposition of stringent neo-liberal financial reforms in the early 1990s. In 1993, all 2,000 students had government scholarships, but by 1999, 80% of the 10,000 students at Makerere were fee-paying, many attending as evening or part-time students. Numbers have continued to expand at an exponential rate, both at Makerere and a number of flourishing new universities. As conditions in the halls deteriorate, affluent students seek accommodation in private halls of residence. Students are more diverse, and have less time or aspiration to invest in campus life or the Newmanesque idea of the University. Many are still politically active, as evidenced by a series of student protests in 2004 and 2005, over issues such as the decline in teaching quality and the rise in examination fees. But they are a minority of the 22,000 current students, many of whom are otherwise occupied in juggling families and or full-time jobs, studying vocational degrees at evening sessions. Whilst the opening up of higher education in Africa can only be applauded, it also has its costs. CONCLUSION: The social history of the early years of Makerere offers insight into the ways in which its students and staff sought to rework Western traditions of university education. The investment made in the moral idea of the university by Makereres pioneers served to legitimate the student as a particular kind of social actor, holding much of the responsibility for postcolonial nation-building. Indeed the first generation of East Africas leaders were trained at Makerere, with Nyerere and Obote both being students. The experiences of this influential cohort also shaped the educational aspirations of Ugandans more broadly. In the aftermath of independence, and despite their growing problems, such universities continued to be seen as the best achievements of British colonial policy (Hargreaves 1973, 36). Such legitimation also had its dark sides, visible in the spiteful atrocities committed against students by Obotes and Amins soldiers. I have demonstrated the growing questioning by students of the social and educational hierarchies of British colonialism during the period leading up to independence, and Makereres role as a trading zone, mediating the universalisms inherent in the idea of the university and the racialised inequities of colonial Uganda. Post-colonial theorists have rightly been criticised for their extragavant theorisations and dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis. But they are too easy to dismiss. Used in close conjunction with colonial archival sources, the work of Bhabha and others helps one comprehend the complexity of power within particular colonial junctures. One final puzzle. How and why, given the students animosity to the Ugandan army, did the trappings of military culture visible in the mid 1990s first begin to capture the students imagination? One clue is in a letter to The Makererean in 1969. A student argued, echoing Obotes own views, that with the growing militarisation of Ugandan society, everyone needed military training in order to defend a legitimate government. If said partly in jest in 1969, it was all too true a decade later, after constant harassment of students and the breakdown of civil society under Amin. The excesses of youthful masculinity of the 1990s are the after-shocks from this sad period. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to my interviewees and correspondents, who so willingly shared their reminiscences and reflections. 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London: Radcliffe Press Dinwiddy, H. 1983. The Ugandan Army and Makerere under Obote. African Affairs Galison, P. 1997. Image and Logic: A material culture of microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Godfrey, E. M. 1966. The economics of African Universities. Journal of Modern African Studies 4: 435 -55 Goldthorpe, J. 1965. An African Elite: Makerere College Students 1922 -1960. Nairobi: OUP Hargreaves , J. 1973. The idea of a colonial university. African Affairs 72: 26-36 Kerr, C. 1963. The uses of the University. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA Langlands, B. 1977. Students and politics in Uganda. African Affairs 76: 3-20 MacPherson, M. 1964. They built for the future: A chronicle of Makerere Univesrity College 1922 -1962. Cambridge: CUP Mbembe, A. (1992). Provisional notes on the post-colony. Africa 62(1): 3-37. Mbembe, A. (2001). On the postcolony. Berkeley, University of California. Mannoni, O. 1956. Prospero and Caliban. London: Methuen, Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2002. 'That Beijing Thing': Challenging Transnational Feminisms in Kampala. Gender, Place and Culture: A journal of Feminist Geography 9: 385 -98 Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2005. No romance without finance: Masculinities, commodities and HIV in Uganda. In Readings in Gender in Africa, ed. A Cornwall. Oxford: James Currey Ltd Musisi, N. and N. Muwanga 2003. Makerere University in Transition 1993 - 2000. Kampala and Oxford, Fountain Publishers and James Currey. Newman, J.H. 1959 (1873). The idea of a University. London: Image Books Nwauwa, A. 1996. Imperialism, academe and nationalism: Britain and University Education for Africans 1860 -1960. London: Frank Cass Nyamnjoh, F et al 2002. African universities in crisis and the promotion of a democratic culture. African studies review. 45(2) 1 -218 Pratt, C.R. 1965. African Universities and Western Tradition - Some East African reflections. The Journal of Modern African Studies 3: 421 -8 Prewitt, K. 1966. Makerere: Intelligence vs Intellectuals. Transition 6: 35-9 Rothblatt, S. 1997. The modern university and its discontents. Cambridge: CUP Sichermann, E. 1995. Ngugi's Colonial Education: "The subversion ..of the African Mind". African Studies Review 38: 11 - 41 Truscot B. 1951. Red Brick University. Middlesex: Penguin Books Werbner, R., Ed. 2001. Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa. London, Zed Books. Interviews Hugh Dinwiddy, July 2004 Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, July 1996 Paul Vowles, Oxford, July 2004 Victor Temple, Birmingham August 2004 Student Journals and Periodicals Makerere College Magazine Makerere The Makererean The New Hall Mirror The Undergraduate ABSTRACT How will history judge British late-colonial efforts to export its model of higher education to Africa? In this paper I challenge any simple interpretation of the Asquith commission university colleges - such as Makerere or University College Ibadan - as alien impositions or colonial intellectual hothouses. Focusing on Makerere University in Uganda, and drawing on a variety of archival and personal sources, I show how its students and faculty engaged in an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the Western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. I suggest that the institution offered a space to question and debate the purpose of an African university education. Students and staff made use of their limited political autonomy to challenge and rework the colonial hierarchies of race and culture. As a result, Makerere remained an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique until the mid 1970s. Whilst this legacy is made less visible by the subsequent years of political crisis, underfunding and expansion in student numbers, it remains an important historical legacy from which to rethink the future of African universities. BIOGRAPHY David Mills is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is co-editor, with Mwenda Ntarangwi and Mustafa Babiker, of African Anthropologies: History, Practice, Critique (forthcoming with Zed Books)  As part of an affirmative action policy, '1.5' was the difference in the number of A level 'points' between genders required for entry into Makerere University.  Report of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies (The Asquith Commission), Command 6647 (1945), p15  In the Public Eye by J F Gitau, Makerere College Magazine (MCM) 1936, Vol 1:1, p8  African Mentality by D Semfuko, MCM 1936 Vol 1:1 p128 -131  Letter to the editor by J D Otiende, MCM 1937 Vol 2:1, p29-29  Governors speech, MCM 1937, Vol 1:3 p68  Makerere Council, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 Mak 1  Makerere from many angles by DM Wako MCM 1937 1:5, p277  Announcement, MCM, 1:3, p98  George Turner to Margery Perham 05.05.1941, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 / Mak / 1 file 1  Extracts taken from Dean Alistair MacPherson's files of the 'Welfare and Discipline Committee'. Makerere library: Africana section  Interview with Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, May 1996  Welfare and Development Committee files, 1948  Interview with Paul Vowles, August 2004  Goldthorpe Mss 1825, Rhodes House, File 2/1  Oxford University did set up an Advisory committee in 1940, seeking to work with Makerere on academic issues.  Goldthorpe Mss, file 9/3  Goldthorpe Mss, file XX1  Victor Temple, Interview August 2004  Interview, July 2004  What is wrong with Makerere society? Jonathan Kariari The Undergraduate Magazine of the Makerere College Guild of the university college of East Africa. Volume 2: 4, March 1959  Report on Student Guild External Affairs, The Undergraduate Issue 1, Sept 1956  A creed for freshmen by H Nyamu and The role of the Guild by F B Welbourn, The Undergraduate Issue 1, September 1956  College Rules, letter to the editor, The Undergraduate Vol 1:1 March 1956  Hugh Dinwiddy, Personal communication May 12th 2004  The college and social maladjustment by Pirie, social commentator New Hall Mirror 1963  An interview with the Warden by Paulo Katamba-Lujjo New Hall Mirror, Feb 1968, p12 -16  Arts in East Africa: A symposium (with contributions by MM Carlin, Brian Langlands and Jennifer Carter) Makerere Journal No 4, 1960  Round Mount Kenya: A critique of Corfield. A publication of the Makerere Kikuyu Embu and Meru students association, 1960. Fred Welbourns papers, in the possession of Hebe Welbourn.  Report of the Visitation Committee to Makerere University College, June 1970. Government Printer Entebbe 1970  The current presidents of Kenya (Mwai Kibaki) and Tanzania (Benjamin Mkapa) are also Makerere graduates. Kibaki also taught Economics at Makerere from 1958 1960. 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ࡱ> 5@ objbj22 "(XXc 666JR%R%R%8%&\JnP&&"&&&'''CnEnEnEnEnEnEn$pRfrin6/W''/W/Win66&&~nKlKlKl/W<6&6&CnKl/WCnKlKlOm66Om&z& ƛ1R%kgXOmn$n0nOmsjlsOmJJ6666s6Om'8 KlC| qM '''ininJJ!D/lJJ! Life on the hill: Students and the social history of Makerere David Mills, University of Birmingham In 2003 a Makerere student sought political asylum in the UK. He had, he said, been hounded by an anti-gay student movement from one of the universitys halls of residence. They had repeatedly raided his rooms and beaten him. I was harrowed by his testimony. His account brought back one of my first experiences of Uganda at Makerere in 1995. Renting a room on campus, I had awoken early one morning to the sounds of marching and shouting. My prefabricated 1940s-issue chalet shook on its stilts. Fearfully, I peered past the curtain, to see a phalanx of sweat-ridden young men in camouflage trousers. They chanted as they jogged past, heckled by a sergeant-major type figure. I assumed that it was an army detachment on a training run, and went back to bed. At breakfast I mentioned the incident to my landlady, to find out that they were freshers, new students, at Northcote hall of residence. They were being inducted into its quasi-militaristic culture, complete with uniforms, marching songs and passing-out parades. Northcoters prided themselves on their militarist sub-culture. They were soldiers led by a field-marshal, and with a whole set of ranks within the hall, awarded by a Supreme Security Council for bravery in action. Each male hall was wedded to a particular identity with University Hall known as the gentlemen, and Nkrumah hall as the bachelors. Loyalties and youthful exuberance sometimes spilt into physical aggression. Pitched battles between students in different halls were not unknown, especially at the time of inter-hall sports competition. In 1995 there was a University investigation into an incident where one hall paid local louts in beer and waragi to disrupt a sports-day awards ceremony. At night-time on campus, I often heard male students jauntily greeting passing women from their halls. The shouts turned out to be accusatory: cries of Malayaa (a Swahili word best glossed here as prostitute). The evening was a time when female students would be visited and wooed by business-men working in Kampala, a source of jealousy to the poorer male students. They expressed their feelings volubly, and only half in jest. On one occasion, I attended a debate in Livingstone Hall, entitled Women liberation struggles in Uganda pose a great danger to National development. One after another, male students jokingly stood up to accuse women politicians of manipulating rural women for their own gain. Whenever a female student attempted to speak, male students simply heckled or jeered, shouting 1.5. Such gender troubles took a different turn during an end-of-term celebration in 1996. Several students from Northcote hall attempted to put pepper and glass in food intended for students at two women's halls. When the authorities found out, none of the students admitted responsibility, and the Hall declined to name the suspects. The University decided to punish all the students by closing down the Hall of residence, breaking up Northcote's militarist culture and dispersing the students to other halls. The decision produced much dissent within the University, with the student body agitating for a less extreme punishment. Disagreement within the Universitys ruling council resulted in a stand-off, exacerbated by the Universitys decision to impose a new registration fee on students as part of the move towards cost-sharing, making Makerere more financially self-sufficient. This led to a student strike during which the Northcote students, led by their representatives in the guild council, attempted to break back into the hall and to occupy it. Running battles with riot police ensued, and thousands of pounds of damage was done. The police used tear gas to disperse the students, and many were arrested or injured. Thirty-five ringleaders were summarily expelled from the University. The rest of Northcotes students were either dispersed to other halls, or sent to find their own accommodation off-campus. The hall has since been re-named Nsibirwa Hall. As I carried out my fieldwork, I found it hard to gauge the significance of such events. Did they reflect the exuberant youth sub-cultures generated within an enclosed campus university or offer broader insights into the politics of gender in Uganda? My co-researcher and I saw them as evidence of a public culture riven by debates over equality and womens empowerment (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2002), and wrote about the way social intimacy was mediated by economics and the transnational gender and development agenda (Mills and Ssewakiryanga 2004). Such tensions reflected shifting generational expectations about gender roles in the light of a new and articulate cohort of middle-class women in professional roles. My somewhat presentist explanation of these events was partly the result of my disciplinary training in anthropology. There is another interpretation. Universities, whether British or African, are peculiar places, total institutions, distinct social environments whose identities, histories and hierarchies are strongly embodied and transmitted by their inhabitants (Hargreaves 1973). Whilst not cut off from surrounding societies, their day-to-day existence is strongly informed by what Rothblatt calls the idea of the idea of the university (Rothblatt 1997, 43). Drawing on a variety of archival sources, I argue that the aspirations and social lives of Makerere students and staff in the 1950s and 1960s wre motivated by such seemingly cosmopolitan ideals. Late-colonial and post-independence Makerere offered an intellectual and political trading zone (Galison 1997), where both students and staff were able to make use of the relative autonomy granted by the institution to question and debate the purpose of an African university, and to begin to challenge the hierarchies of race and culture within colonial rule. As a result, Makerere became an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique. The muscular hall cultures of the 1990s were a different legacy of twenty-five years of rule by the gun. Between two worlds? The idea of the African university Living in, and in love with, 1850s Oxford, Cardinal Newman began to write his memorable treatise on the idea of the university (Newman 1959 [1873]). It powerfully captured his sense of the university as having an essence - nurturing and communicating higher and enduring moral values. He was writing against the reformist utilitarianism of the new University of London that had little time for the Oxbridge vision of a residential university as a site of character-formation. It was this moral aspect of university education, in vogue once again after the disruptions of war, that the Asquith Commission of 1945 drew upon in defining its vision for the new British colonial university colleges. For the commission, student residence was key: no other single condition can serve so well to give the student a broader outlook or a higher general level of education..nothing could minister more effectively to a spirit of unity.  The commission led to the creation of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, which channelled money, staff and resources to fledgling colleges in Nigeria, the Gold Coast, the Sudan, the West Indies and Uganda, and advised on the writing of university constitutions, degree structures and curriculae. Their degrees were to be accredited by the University of London under a special relationship set up in 1948. Inevitably, the idea of the African university had few precedents on which to build if one excludes Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The exceptions were the missionary-founded Fourah Bay College in Freetown (established in 1872) and Fort Hare University in South Africa (established in 1916). In a British colony, it was inevitable that a British model of university education would be adopted. But did this mean copying, or at least mimicking, the Oxbridge collegiate model or that of the other civic universities, exemplified by London? By the 1950s British Higher Education was expanding and changing rapidly, but many of the Colonial Office policymakers and teaching staff employed at Makerere and the other colleges had been brought up on an Oxbridge vision of education through character-formation. It was the Oxbridge model complete with tutorials, halls of residence and high table that was implicitly adopted by the African colonial colleges. One influential commentator mocked the way that these colleges bore the unmistakable image of their British origin, even extending to the social mimicry of the fripperies of British academic life; gowns, high tables, graces read by a scholar (Ashby 1964, 22). Many of these academic traditions were indeed championed by enthusiastic English staff appointees, seeing them as all part of a larger academic culture. The halls of residence developed their own particular identities and traditions, cultivating a close relationship between staff and students. Both groups found themselves forging pedagogic and intellectual relationships across the racial divide, crafting identities appropriate to this more liberal environment. This collegiate environment, energetically espoused by the wardens of the halls, many of whom sought to replicate the ethos remembered from own college days, sometimes came up sharply against the established racial and social hierarchies of colonial rule. At the time, many were concerned about the confusing psychological impacts of university education, in what was seen to be an alienating modernity, on these young students. Mannonis theories of the psychology of colonisation were influential amongst some Makerere staff (Mannoni 1956). Goldthorpe, a Makerere sociologist, described the students as being between two worlds the encounter of the pre-modern with the modern, embodied by what was for him the contradictory figure of the educated African (Goldthorpe 1965). The 1946 Colonial Office-sponsored film Men of Two Worlds dramatised a conflict between modern public health interventions and traditional healers in Tanzania, before the former (unsurprisingly) won through. This polarising discourse, predicated on a psychological double consciousness, to invoke DuBois, still lurks within some academic analyses of African modernity. Writing in the 1960s, the leading historian of colonial universities, Eric Ashby began to criticise the British cultural parochialism and elitism of the Asquith commission that assumed a university system appropriate for Europeans brought up in London and Manchester and Hull was also appropriate for Africans brought up in Lagos and Kumasi and Kampala (Ashby 1966, 225). In tune with growing African nationalist resentment of these institutions, Ashby disparaged the anachronistic trappings of Cambridge academic culture (including even the names of the academic terms) imported into the University College of the Gold Coast by its first principal David Balme. His argument was that for an African the impact of a university education is something inconceivable to a European. It separates him from his family and village. It obliges him to live in a Western way. It stretches his nerve between two spiritual worlds, two systems of ethics, two horizons of thought (1964, 41). But Ashbys emphasis on the intellectual schizophrenia felt by students is based on impressions as much as actual evidence, and glosses over the expectations of young Africans in the 1950s that their university education should be comparable to one obtained in the UK. I thus also question Sichermans blanket depiction of 1950s Makerere as an academic colonial hothouse where liberal ideology and colonial intellectual repression went hand in hand (Sicherman 1995, 12). There are less Manichean interpretations of this complex and fast-moving period, particularly from post-colonial theory. Recent work in African Studies has engaged post-colonial theory through Achille Mbembes (1992, 2001) influential concept of the post-colony (eg Werbner 2002). Whilst Mbembe stirs up a heady brew of Bakhtin, Foucault and existential theory to analyse popular African aesthetics, the resulting vision is extravagantly bleak. It is a totalising vision, and whilst his contributions are much cited, they are hard to put to analytical work. The ideas of postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha have been relatively neglected by comparison. They offer a model for analysing the appropriating and strategic power of intellectual and social mimicry at work within colonial social worlds. As Bhabha puts it in the ambivalent world of the not quite/not white, on the margins of metropolitan desire, the founding objects of the Western world become the erratic, eccentric, accidental objets trouvs of the colonial discourse (1994:92). His work, nuancing Fanons ideas on the existential violence of the colonial encounter, can be criticised for its dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis, and lack of any sustained engagement with historical sources. Yet if informed by careful historical analysis, his ideas on the ambivalent aspects of mimicry can be used to demonstrate the complexity of racialised power dynamics within particular colonial junctures. I argue that both students and faculty at these new universities found themselves engaged in a form of mimesis, an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. It was not just the African students who were engaged in a form of colonial mimicry. Academics and students apiece were between two if not three worlds the racialised legacy of native education in colonial Africa, the imagined potential of the Oxbridge ideal for new campus universities, and the rapidly changing politics of African societies and states heading towards independence. In the 1950s, students as much as staff wanted a gold standard why, they felt, should Africa have second-best? Mimesis was a political principle, not evidence of social inferiority. As the social climate changed in the post-independence era, these universities inevitably began to be criticised for their elitism and irrelevance to African needs, but then similar criticisms have long been aimed at British universities and their ivory towers. With independence, several of the colleges gradually lost their political independence from the nation-state, but the universalist aspirations of their founding charter continued to be strongly defended, along with their reputation for intellectual freedom and scholarly autonomy. I make my argument with particular reference to Makerere University, drawing on a variety of student magazines, institutional archives, personal papers and interviews. In the 1960s, there were open and vocal expressions of dissent in Makerere, expressed both through political activism and literary journalism, as well as frank bouts of self-questioning amongst most staff. The students actively contributed through their writings and actions to the debate about an African university education, questioning the limits of European syllabi and teaching styles in subtle and thoughtful ways. Like their European student peers, they also become increasingly involved in national and international politics, a development that was to have tragic consequences during the Amin and Obote regimes. Let us be Makerians 1930s and The Demand For HIGHER EDUCATION Makerere began as a government technical school in 1922, but even as early as 1925, the Colonial Education department envisaged it as becoming the University College for the protectorate. MacPherson notes that at this point Makerere was run very much on public school principles, and the gay uniform with the green socks and the red stripes at the top and the tasselled caps was a matter of pride to the students (MacPherson 1964, 12). Student pride was however a source of tension for the staff, and in 1932, the Principal warned at the annual speech day against self-satisfied complacency amongst the students. The ideal of Makerere as a University college came one step closer with the visitation of the high-powered De la Warr commission to Kampala in 1937, described by Ashby as the first British attempt to define in in any detail the meaning of an indigenous university in tropical Africa (Ashby 1966, 200). It established a clear governance structure for a Higher Education College of East Africa (de la Warr 1937), and mapped a plan for the transition. As Kenyas Governor Philip Mitchell put it, the vision was of a center of learning and culture enjoying the security, the liberty of thought and teaching which are essential and indeed implied in the world university (quoted in MacPherson 1964, 26). In the first step towards this change, classes were replaced with lectures and personal tutorials, the prefect system was abolished, along with the whole gamut of British public school rituals: roll calls, evening prep, and compulsory cross-country runs. Students responded enthusiastically to this new conceptualization of their role and a more collegial approach to learning, enshrined within a student council with its own constitution. There was an efflorescence of student activities, including an active college magazine and a number of debating and scientific societies (in which many staff also participated). The student-editor of the Makerere College Magazine adopted a moralistic tone in his first issue, printed in 1936: Makerere College is in the public eye. The whole of East Africa is looking with a curious gaze and eager expectant eyes to see what Makerere can do for her But a Makerere student does it will be on the lips of everyone in attempting to justify himself. The populace, backward as they are, are looking forward for leaders from Makerere. There is a thick cloud of darkness hanging over the eyes of the people. It is our duty to lift it off. Advance should be our watchword. Whole-hearted willingness is essential to ensure success in our campaign. Such claims subtly reworked the patronising language of colonial trusteeship. Rather than the British administrators, Ugandas youth offered the country its future. But Gitau goes on to point to the risks therein: the gulf between the students of the College and others must not be allowed to grow too big and deep. The segregation of the college from the activities of the people will be injurious, and the populace will rightly become suspicious (ibid, p9). This tension between Makerere as moral examplar and symbol of irrelevant elitism is replayed throughout the colonial and post-colonial period. The college magazine of the late 1930s, with its self-proclaimed literary ambitions, offers fascinating insights into student narratives of self-formation and self-discovery. Each issue contained at least one account of a students arduous mountain hike, mimicking and appropriating the European colonial romantic of encountering nature through exploration. There were also a number of amateur ethnographies of tribal customs, together with more elaborate theoretical accounts of the African mentality. The magazine also offered a space for subversive opinions, with witty critiques of the quality of teaching, and the dreaded cross-continent runs. One writer delights in exposing his local Assistant District Commissioners ignorance about Makerere: He looked at me, I could read interest in his face. One thing I was quite certain of was that it was not my face or speech that so captivated him..it was either my green blazer or cap that he was trying to decipher. Suddenly he asked Wewe natoka wapi? I nearly simulated ignorance of the lingua franca but something stopped me and I answered with that inherent African smile on my lips Nimetoka Kampala. Oh Kampala, he answered as if surprised. Kufanya nini huko Kampala he asked. Kusoma I replied. Skuli gani he inquired with more interest and curiosity. Makerere College was my answer. He inferred immediately that I could speak English, and he looked at me for a while. It is almost certain he had never heard of Makerere College before. The letter ends by comparing Makerere to the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, noting how the latter had rose to importance because the students carried with them the names of their respective alma mater. So, the writer concludes: let us by MakeriansMakerere will as a result gain the fame of being the cultural centre of Africa. Such identity-work is crucial to fostering an idea of the university, and during this period was carried out as much by staff as by students. At Speech Day in 1936, Ugandas Governor Mitchell dwelt at length on the future financial health of Makerere, making extensive comparison with the role of generous and high minded benefactions in supporting English universities. He concluded that the self sacrifices and devotion to the cause of culture and progress which are exemplified by generous endowments in our own country are, it seems to me, a vitally necessary element in the spirit in which a College is developed and upon which it lives. Nor was this mere rhetorical comparison, for through Mitchells own personal networks and lobbying, Oxford University promulgated in 1940 a formal association between itself and Makerere, ratified by Oxfords Congregation. Little came of the joint committee, save an oak-carving of the Oxford coat of arms gifted to Makerere, and some books for Makereres library. The new approach to independent learning and self-creation expected of students in this cosmopolitan intellectual atmosphere was powerfully impressed on one contributor to the magazine: At Makerere the horse needs only be taken to the water and it is its duty to drink. The tutors lecture, and should some point defeat the students comprehension, it is up to him to delve into the text-books of Science and Literature, to explore and discover it for himself...the student is being trained to be his own master and develop his personality. The students were however aware of the limits of mimesis, given the patronising attitudes of some staff, and not all is moral hortation in one witty dialogue Omar Shariff gently teased the teaching staffs obsession with afternoon classes as a way of keeping students busy and out of mischief. In his memoirs, John Colman, one of the first wardens, notes the irony that whilst the students put off their school uniform on coming to Makerere, we European newcomers adopted it (Colman, 1998, 10). Whilst student writers recognised the unique cosmopolitan status of Makerere as an inter-territorial college, relations between Bagandan students and others were sometimes strained. In 1937 there were 160 students at Makerere College, of whom 100 were Ugandan. This led the Principal GM Turner to foster the creation of The Makerere society whose aims were the study of the customs and prejudices of the various tribes that go to make up to make up the College, to create a good understanding among them and promote inter-tribal fraternity.  Yet Turner was less than convinced about the de la Warr vision for a University College, bemoaning the very reproduction by officials of European models, and wishing the African would not so readily imitate the superficial forms of a collapsing European order. With the arrival of the first women students in 1945, racial hierarchies began to be expressed in concerns over student sexuality. The personal files of Makereres Dean reveal a long-running and anxious correspondence about the first student College Dance held in 1947. After much disagreement amongst staff, often along grounds of religious conviction, the students were encouraged to police the dances themselves, and an elaborate set of rules were drawn up (such as Ladies invited should know how to dance) and ending with the admonition that no person might stay in the refreshment room for more than 15 minutes.  The rules issued in 1947 by the first warden of Mary Stuart Hall (the first womens hall), began by stating Women students are not allowed to entertain European guests without the presence of the warden. The students nicknamed the first womens hall the Box because of its shape, and female students are still known as Boxers. Some chafed at the constraints placed upon them, with one of the first students commenting that she seems to think we are still in primary school. In the male halls, there was also a long-running debate about whether students should receive guests in their bedrooms, or in the special visiting rooms. These debates reflected the tensions amongst Makerere staff about the degree of independence appropriate for the students. With only three of the thirty staff in 1948 having taught at British universities, not all shared an academic ethos or agreed to London University accrediting its degrees, and some were strongly motivated by evangelical principles (Colman 1998). In this, they were backed by the majority of expatriates, who additionally questioned the harmful ideas being put into the students heads, such as the teaching of social studies as a compulsory 1st year course for all. As de Bunsen puts it, the constant refrain was This isnt England, you know (de Bunsen 1995, 80), and many doubted the appropriateness of a university education for Africans. Carey Francis, principled Christian and head of Alliance High School, Kikuyu, Kenya, was Makereres strongest critic, attacking Makereres pretentiousness and its lack of authority over, or pastoral responsibiilty to, its students. William Lamont, the principal from 1946 to 1948, was appointed to lead the transformation of the institution into a colonial University College following the Asquith recommendations, but whilst a committed scholar and philosopher, he was no administrator, and had authoritarian views about student discipline, as his letter to the Committee for Student Welfare in 1947 revealed: At Makerere rules are continually and openly broken by a majority of the students, to whom it seems nothing is done about it.there is much heavy drinking and immorality, and that the students have the impression that the authorities are unconcerned and uninterested. I believe that a great deal of teaching envisages a stage of development which the majority of students have not yet reached. He continues by discussing recent examples of drunken behaviour, before concluding: Each is a symptom of an attempt at grandness. Our students are trying to be what they are not, Makerere is trying to be what it is not. The result is terrifying to me. The state of affairs is accepted by Makerere students today as the hall-mark of true attainment. We are men, just like the Men at Oxford and Cambridge. We have no use for the rules. We get drunk when we like and do what we like. We are the leaders of the African people. This explicitly racialised comparison here with a 'real' European University is revealing, as is the representation of what he regards as an appropriate African masculinity. Here African mimesis is viewed as threatening rather than alienating. Not everyone agreed. In an unsigned letter to the Dean, one of the first Hall wardens expresses a rather different view: In fact, I am inclined to think that a certain opportunity for sowing wild oats is a valuable experience, as the sooner one learns that excesses have a bad effect on one's work and health the better, and the amount and the quality of the work they have to do here soon becomes apparent. Lamont found himself increasingly isolated, caught between his staff who feared the implications of a London University degree structure for the curriculae they had adapted for East Africa, and the policy-makers in London who, wishing to push forward their plans for a set of colonial university colleges, saw Makerere as the problem child. There were also conflicts between the academic and administrative staff at Makerere itself. Lamont prevaricated, and in 1948 resigned, to be replaced by a charismatic liberal, the educationalist Bernard de Bunsen. The London link was confirmed, and in 1950 Makerere College became the University College for East Africa, an affiliation that was to last till 1961. The link brought its own tensions. It was partly intended to enshrine Makereres autonomy from colonial (and post-colonial) governments, but Londons dirigisme with regard to entry standards conflicted with a determination to Africanise (a term that was constantly invoked but rarely explored) Makerere. Whilst many of the first generation of students valued the academic equivalence underwritten by the London link, over time it increasingly stood for colonial elitism and the lack of adaptation to African conditions (Pratt 1965). The 1950s and 1960s: Tea, CAKES AND Dissent In September 1952 students at Makerere went on strike, organising a week-long boycott of the university canteen. Whilst school strikes in colonial Africa were a familiar aspect of the educational landscape, with a major riot at Ugandas elite Budo school in 1942, student confrontations were not. The food strike was the first real crisis in relations between students and staff. 200 of the 270 students signed a Mammoth petition about the quality of the food and issued an ultimatum to the new Principal to improve it. The story was disparagingly reported in the local and London newspapers as a case of students demanding a European diet. As Goldthorpe noted at the time, They had been told several times by the lady domestic supervisor, in tons of despair, that she could only cook European food and didnt understand African diet, and they concluded that a European diet, although it was not what they really wanted, would at least be well cooked. The incident was also about the students right to picket in a strike. There were two incidents in which strike-breakers were threatened. When the students refused to back down in their demands, reluctantly the Principal closed the college. He later sent down (expelled) four of the leaders , though one Abu Mayanja was later found a Cambridge place. College staff were, according to Goldthorpe, divided over how to deal with the case, with some junior staff taking the view that the university authorities were much to blame. Yet de Bunsen, the new Principal, felt pressurised to take a firm line by school headmasters, the expatriate community and the Education departments of the territories. Afterwards a staff committee was set up to explore the grievances. Goldthorpe, committee secretary, bemoaned the fact that few of the staff have experience as a staff member in an English university, and thus understood the importance of a liberal academic culture. He also was uneasy about the evangelical religiosity of some of his peers, noting, that the committee has a good chairman in our professor of geography and that Apart from him, its a weak team all devout Christians. The faculty were certainly divided along lines of age as well as social, religious and institutional loyalties, and as Colman put it, the hill had its own politics, deals and ententes (Colman 1998, 91). Goldthorpe recalled much pettiness, and malicious rumours circulated as personal and college affairs became entangled. The final report concluded that food was indeed the key point of dispute, and it was not just symbolic of larger student welfare concerns. In his autobiography, Principal de Bunsen took the same view the strike was not I feel sure mainly about food, poor as it was, but about some-one to talk to about food (1995, 97). After the strike, efforts were redoubled to appoint academic figures as wardens in the halls, and to establish a system of personal tuition and pastoral care within the halls. Like others who had come through Oxbridge, Goldthorpe was of the view that the most effective way for academic staff to maintain close touch with the students feelings and welfare is through the Hall and tutorial system. High table was also seen as having an important part to play in bringing together the whole Hall community. Twenty years later, Goldthorpe still shared that view: I knew no way of developing a proper tutorial relation that did not include an informal social relation..inviting students to tea or coffee at home seemed to me as essential at Makerere as it had been at Cambridge or London, and was to be at Leeds. The first new halls were the Northcote-New Hall complex, with their somewhat barrack-like atmosphere. De Bunsen prioritised the building of further halls of residence (Livingstone and University Halls) around quadrangles, each with their own wardens, resident tutors and high tables. This mirrored the post-war idealization of campus universities in the UK and the influential criticisms of Red-Brick (Truscot 1945). Most of Makereres first wardens, like the theologian Fred Welbourn, were Oxbridge educated, and highly knowledgeable about, and committed to, their students. Much of their time was taken up with day-to-day issues of student welfare. Enthusiastic amateurs, most staff shouldered a number of different academic, administrative and pastoral roles simultaneously. As Victor Temple, New Hall warden from 1955 1959, recalled, we did it all with good reason and we endeavoured to support the students as best we could it was an act of co-operation. According to Temple, each hall developed its own ethos, with Mitchell students reflecting the characteristics of Fred. He also described John Colman, his own predecessor at New Hall, as an articulate humanist, who sought to create a scholarly ethos in the Hall through a constant stream of visiting speakers (of whom there were many from Cabinet ministers downwards). The commitment of these self-styled pioneers is best illustrated by Margaret MacPherson. She taught drama at Makerere for almost forty years, and on her return to the UK in 1981 continued to gently cajole OMs (Old Makerereans) into sending news for the Makerere College University Society (MCUS) newsletter her husband had founded in 1952. The newsletter ran for more than 40 years. The gap between the rhetoric of social equality and its practice grated with the Makerere students. Some lecturers were clearly happy to defy the informal colour bar or to serve alcohol to students. The liberals were however in a minority. The explicitness of the High Table hierarchy and the un-willingness of some lecturers to mix socially across race lines frustrated students. Whilst it might seem trivial, the symbolism of being invited, or not, to tea at a tutors house, and the conversation that might ensue, was consistently returned to by the students. In a powerful piece, What is wrong with Makerere?, Jonathan Kariari indicted the very ambiguities and uncertainties that marked student-staff relations. Compared to school, where he had found comradeship based on healthy resistance on the side of boys against authority, Makerere was very different: In this place we dont know who is either for or against us. We all have a smile for one another (a suspicious timid smile) we all pretend to understand one anothers points of view, we are all very cautious not to hurt other peoples feelings. We pay for all these things. We are forced to create conversation with people we do not like. We are forced to nod when they tell us things for which we would blow them up to the moon. We are forced to invite people to our houses, not having any interest in them as persons. The evening passes peacefully, because we are all the time bottling up murderous feelings about one another. Once the goodnights have been said at the threshold we break loose O these Europeans, they are so exasperating. They retaliate Oh, these Africans they are so gross. They come pouring to you their troubles, so embarrassing. One challenge to hall loyalties was the Student Guild, formed in 1955. It became increasingly involved in student affairs worldwide, sending Guild representatives to student conferences. It had to tread gently, rejecting affiliation with the International Union of Students because of fears of being associated too closely with communism and political activities which was contrary to the Guilds policy. It was also dogged with accusations of elitism and corruption as one student put it, all our money is not just for sending delegates to Europe. Some wardens felt that it sat uneasily with their vision for the collegiate halls, with Fred Welbourn writing that the normal undergraduate cannot be expected to form a warm attachment to any unit larger than a hall of residence, and for some even that is too largethe true life of the College lies in the halls and that the best men ought to throw their energies into the life of the hall. Another tension was the growing cost to the Ugandan government of sending students to Makerere, a topic of debate in the British House of Commons in the 1960s. Makerere and the other colonial university colleges cost more per student than their sister institutions in the UK, partly because of expatriate staff expenses, their relatively small numbers of students, and because British universities did not have to meet infrastructure costs (Godfrey 1966). It is a truism that institutions create traditions through rituals of belonging and community, and in this regard the Makerere staff saw themselves a creating a past as much as a future for Makerere. In an attempt to defray anxieties about exams amongst the students, MacPherson (1964) describes the creation of a short-lived quasi-anthropological ritual, a mock ceremonial in which His Highness the Akichomochong, the examination God, arrived on campus with much pomp and sounding of car horns. The symbolism was received cooly by students, and His Highness was quietly dropped. Other customs were instituted by students themselves. De Bunsen describes how as soon as we had turned the University corner there came the demand for academic gowns..right, they urged, for academic occasions and Hall dinners (1995, 93). Only a few years later, students were rather less enthusiastic, especially about the rule where they were expected to wear the bright red gowns both on and off the campus, a rule disobeyed by most. As one student noted disparagingly in a letter to the Undergraduate magazine, When one or two law-abiding students take their gowns with them, they are usually made fun of by the others.  The aspiration to recreate an Oxbridge collegiate experience jarred with a grudging recognition that something different was being forged. Constant comparison was key to both institutional mimicry and subversion. A student license to misbehave was seen as part of the process of character formation. Commenting on this, the Inter-University Council reported in 1954 that A college with a few undisciplined and degenerate students would be difficult to conceive of in Africa or elsewhere (cited in MacPherson 1964, 48). For MacPherson, sometimes senior members complain that there isnt quite the spirit of mischief and midsummer madness among undergraduates that there is in their English counterpartssmall wonder if they don't as a rule like to jeopardise their future by horpseplay (MacPherson 1964, 47). How will history judge these undergraduate cultures? The determination of the first wardens to create spirited colleges of learning has been read as an exercise in irrelevant colonial intellectual and social fripperies (Ashby 1964, 22), but this is to judge a social and pedagogic experiment by its immediate veneer. Mimicry may be an inevitable aspect of self-formation, but it is also politically complex. Much more was at stake than gowns and high tables. Intellectual confidence and political autonomy was nurtured by the symbolic and supposedly anachronistic aspects of academic socialisation. The tragic cost of overt political interference in Makereres affairs in the years after independence was the loss of such a critical space. The 1960s and student activism The 1960s marked further expansion of the university, and the increasing efflorescence of hall cultures through college clubs, newsletters and journals. Along with his own effort to know each student personally, the iconoclastic warden Hugh Dinwiddy nurtured what he saw as the Northcote spirit (Sichermann 1995, 30). As well as hosting informal debates, sports and dances, he was proud of his own Cambridge blue, and determined that Northcote should win the inter-hall sports competitions. The students were fond of him, and as he recalled, he always got a tremendous response from the students in all kinds of absurd ways they always made me laugh. He described one event in particular: Arap Moi was inspecting the Makerere Athletics team at a stadium in Nairobi, and I was on the podium with him, when all the students started chanting Uncle Hugh, Uncle Hugh .  Yet not all was so cheery. Students continued to write on the social maladjustment of both students and faculty. One self-proclaimed social commentator for the New Hall Mirror wrote that some lecturers or professors, with specialised knowledge, bring about psychological isolation no real contact with their students, thereby increasing their self-importance. But these chaps, also get a cover, as a result, for their own insecurity, anxieties and hidden feelings of inferiority. Others questioned whether academic intelligence was being privileged over intellectual development (Prewitt 1966). In print, students voiced increasingly strident criticisms of Makerere. American volunteer teachers at Makerere helped to launch of a new literary magazine The Makererean of which Ngugi wa Thiongo was the first editor, galvanising this spirit of dissent. The critically acclaimed literary journal Transition was launched from Makerere in 1961 and edited by Rajat Neogy. The legacies of an earlier era remained. Hall High Table continued well into the independence era, justified by the rationale that it served a useful public relations function of bringing important guests to Makerere. Efforts were made to Africanise the membership of Senior Common Rooms, but by 1961, only 12 of 140 academic staff were African (de Bunsen 1961). Students increasingly felt High Table in particular was a colonial anachronism. In 1968, the New Hall magazine published an interview with the warden over his frustration that the Junior Common Room had become a TV room rather than a place for mind to mind contact. The President of the JCR is called General Suharto, evidence of the trappings of military culture by then adopted by students: At this instant General Suharto brought to the Wardens attention a proposal - that resident tutors should acclimatise themselves with the students by sitting together with the students at meals and talk more freely and openly to each other. This would be a prelude to the death of High Table. The warden surprised us when he said that the resident tutors in question had already accepted the students inviting them - but to his regret no one had ever been invited. What a challenge! Invite them at every meal and the High Table will soon go HOME. The Africanisation of the university curriculum became ever more vociferously debated amongst academics themselves. A symposium within the Arts Faculty in 1960 (with the end of the University of London linkage) revealed the splits between those who wanted to introduce a General degree offering a training in Western civilisation and those who believed in the value of a specialised honours degree. Reflecting on the anti-American sentiments stirred up by growing US philanthropic funding and political influence, Colman suggests that it revealed the fissures between the Colonial Office and the East African governments, and between the latter and Makerere, which itself oscillated uneasily somewhere half-way between British intellectual majority opinion and East African realities (Colman 1998, 170). During the 1960s Makerere students began, like students elsewhere, to articulate a larger political consciousness, and risked censure for doing so. Students had not been directly involved in the Buganda uprising of 1949, for which they had been commended by the new Principal. In 1952 the students had however been reprimanded for holding an orderly demonstration against the apartheid policy of the new South African government, after the East African and London press had condemned such student radicalism. Whilst few Gikuyu students became involved in Mau-Mau, a number got together to write, with Fred Welbourn, Round Mount Kenya, a critique of the Corfield report on Mau-Mau. In the same year individual students supported the registration of Ugandan political parties before Ugandan independence, with some campaigning for the Uganda National Party Mengo party. Expressing political opposition to the government was increasingly risky, as some students were suspected of being government agents (Dinwiddy, 1983). Nonetheless by the late 1960s there were an increasing number of student-led demonstrations, against US interests in the Congo in 1965, against Rhodesia in 1968 and in 1970 against British arms sales to South Africa (Barkan 1975). This last demonstration became a protest against the political involvement in the appointment of Makereres new Vice-Chancellor, and riot police ended up dispersing the students. In 1970, Makerere was removed from the Federal University of East Africa, and Obotes Visititation Committee criticized its perpetuation of foreign ideologies and foreign ways of life, arguing that it should become a truly Ugandan institution. Nonetheless, Makereres reputation for freedom of expression meant that during the 1970s, it was one of the last places where any form of disagreement with the Amin regime could be voiced, even if it had to be expressed sotto voce, through protests about the state of Northcotes toilets (Langlands 1977). Things continued to fall apart. As Musisi and Muwanga (2003, 9) point out, the political and financial crises that paralysed nearly every aspect of life in Uganda left Makerere impoverished and almost bankrupt by the 1980s. Recent comparative work on African higher education (such as an excellent African Studies Review collection (Nymanjoh et al 2002), the overview essays assembled in Teferra and Altbach (2003) and the new Journal of Higher Education in Africa) show how Makerere was far from unique. Structural violence of a different kind arrived with the imposition of stringent neo-liberal financial reforms in the early 1990s. In 1993, all 2,000 students had government scholarships, but by 1999, 80% of the 10,000 students at Makerere were fee-paying, many attending as evening or part-time students. Numbers have continued to expand at an exponential rate, both at Makerere and a number of flourishing new universities. As conditions in the halls deteriorate, affluent students seek accommodation in private halls of residence. Students are more diverse, and have less time or aspiration to invest in campus life or the Newmanesque idea of the University. Many are still politically active, as evidenced by a series of student protests in 2004 and 2005, over issues such as the decline in teaching quality and the rise in examination fees. But they are a minority of the 22,000 current students, many of whom are otherwise occupied in juggling families and or full-time jobs, studying vocational degrees at evening sessions. Whilst the opening up of higher education in Africa can only be applauded, it also has its costs. CONCLUSION: The social history of the early years of Makerere offers insight into the ways in which its students and staff sought to rework Western traditions of university education. The investment made in the moral idea of the university by Makereres pioneers served to legitimate the student as a particular kind of social actor, holding much of the responsibility for postcolonial nation-building. Indeed the first generation of East Africas leaders were trained at Makerere, with Nyerere and Obote both being students. The experiences of this influential cohort also shaped the educational aspirations of Ugandans more broadly. In the aftermath of independence, and despite their growing problems, such universities continued to be seen as the best achievements of British colonial policy (Hargreaves 1973, 36). Such legitimation also had its dark sides, visible in the spiteful atrocities committed against students by Obotes and Amins soldiers. I have demonstrated the growing questioning by students of the social and educational hierarchies of British colonialism during the period leading up to independence, and Makereres role as a trading zone, mediating the universalisms inherent in the idea of the university and the racialised inequities of colonial Uganda. Post-colonial theorists have rightly been criticised for their extragavant theorisations and dehistoricised reliance on psychoanalysis. But they are too easy to dismiss. Used in close conjunction with colonial archival sources, the work of Bhabha and others helps one comprehend the complexity of power within particular colonial junctures. One final puzzle. How and why, given the students animosity to the Ugandan army, did the trappings of military culture visible in the mid 1990s first begin to capture the students imagination? One clue is in a letter to The Makererean in 1969. A student argued, echoing Obotes own views, that with the growing militarisation of Ugandan society, everyone needed military training in order to defend a legitimate government. If said partly in jest in 1969, it was all too true a decade later, after constant harassment of students and the breakdown of civil society under Amin. The excesses of youthful masculinity of the 1990s are the after-shocks from this sad period. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to my interviewees and correspondents, who so willingly shared their reminiscences and reflections. I am particularly appreciative of Hugh Dinwiddys thoughtful and solicitious advice, and to the welcome afforded by my land-lady, Mrs Olivia Mutibwa, Makereres deputy librarian. References: Ashby E. 1964. African Universities and Western Tradition. Oxford: OUP Ashby E. 1966. Universities British, Indian, African: A study in the ecology of Higher Education. London: Wiedenfeld and Nicholson Barkan, J. 1975. An African dilemma: University students, development and politics in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Nairobi: OUP Bhabha, H. 1994. The location of culture. London: Routledge Teferra, D and P. Altbach, eds. 2003. African Higher Education: an international reference handbook. Bloomington, Indiana University Press. De Bunsen, B. 1961. Higher Education and Political Change in East Africa. African Affairs 60(241): 494 -500 De Bunsen, B. 1995 Adventures in Education. Kendal: Titus Wilson Colman, S.J. 1998. East Africa in the Fifties: A view of late Imperial life. London: Radcliffe Press Dinwiddy, H. 1983. The Ugandan Army and Makerere under Obote. African Affairs Galison, P. 1997. Image and Logic: A material culture of microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Godfrey, E. M. 1966. The economics of African Universities. Journal of Modern African Studies 4: 435 -55 Goldthorpe, J. 1965. An African Elite: Makerere College Students 1922 -1960. Nairobi: OUP Hargreaves , J. 1973. The idea of a colonial university. African Affairs 72: 26-36 Kerr, C. 1963. The uses of the University. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA Langlands, B. 1977. Students and politics in Uganda. African Affairs 76: 3-20 MacPherson, M. 1964. They built for the future: A chronicle of Makerere Univesrity College 1922 -1962. Cambridge: CUP Mbembe, A. (1992). Provisional notes on the post-colony. Africa 62(1): 3-37. Mbembe, A. (2001). On the postcolony. Berkeley, University of California. Mannoni, O. 1956. Prospero and Caliban. London: Methuen, Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2002. 'That Beijing Thing': Challenging Transnational Feminisms in Kampala. Gender, Place and Culture: A journal of Feminist Geography 9: 385 -98 Mills D and R. Ssewakiryanga R. 2005. No romance without finance: Masculinities, commodities and HIV in Uganda. In Readings in Gender in Africa, ed. A Cornwall. Oxford: James Currey Ltd Musisi, N. and N. Muwanga 2003. Makerere University in Transition 1993 - 2000. Kampala and Oxford, Fountain Publishers and James Currey. Newman, J.H. 1959 (1873). The idea of a University. London: Image Books Nwauwa, A. 1996. Imperialism, academe and nationalism: Britain and University Education for Africans 1860 -1960. London: Frank Cass Nyamnjoh, F et al 2002. African universities in crisis and the promotion of a democratic culture. African studies review. 45(2) 1 -218 Pratt, C.R. 1965. African Universities and Western Tradition - Some East African reflections. The Journal of Modern African Studies 3: 421 -8 Prewitt, K. 1966. Makerere: Intelligence vs Intellectuals. Transition 6: 35-9 Rothblatt, S. 1997. The modern university and its discontents. Cambridge: CUP Sichermann, E. 1995. Ngugi's Colonial Education: "The subversion ..of the African Mind". African Studies Review 38: 11 - 41 Truscot B. 1951. Red Brick University. Middlesex: Penguin Books Werbner, R., Ed. 2001. Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa. London, Zed Books. Interviews Hugh Dinwiddy, July 2004 Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, July 1996 Paul Vowles, Oxford, July 2004 Victor Temple, Birmingham August 2004 Student Journals and Periodicals Makerere College Magazine Makerere The Makererean The New Hall Mirror The Undergraduate ABSTRACT How will history judge British late-colonial efforts to export its model of higher education to Africa? In this paper I challenge any simple interpretation of the Asquith commission university colleges - such as Makerere or University College Ibadan - as alien impositions or colonial intellectual hothouses. Focusing on Makerere University in Uganda, and drawing on a variety of archival and personal sources, I show how its students and faculty engaged in an ambivalent recreation and subversion of the Western idea of the university and its foundational discourses. I suggest that the institution offered a space to question and debate the purpose of an African university education. Students and staff made use of their limited political autonomy to challenge and rework the colonial hierarchies of race and culture. As a result, Makerere remained an influential forum for intellectual debate, cultural expression and social critique until the mid 1970s. Whilst this legacy is made less visible by the subsequent years of political crisis, underfunding and expansion in student numbers, it remains an important historical legacy from which to rethink the future of African universities. BIOGRAPHY David Mills is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is co-editor, with Mwenda Ntarangwi and Mustafa Babiker, of African Anthropologies: History, Practice, Critique (forthcoming with Zed Books)  As part of an affirmative action policy, '1.5' was the difference in the number of A level 'points' between genders required for entry into Makerere University.  Report of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies (The Asquith Commission), Command 6647 (1945), p15  In the Public Eye by J F Gitau, Makerere College Magazine (MCM) 1936, Vol 1:1, p8  African Mentality by D Semfuko, MCM 1936 Vol 1:1 p128 -131  Letter to the editor by J D Otiende, MCM 1937 Vol 2:1, p29-29  Governors speech, MCM 1937, Vol 1:3 p68  Makerere Council, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 Mak 1  Makerere from many angles by DM Wako MCM 1937 1:5, p277  Announcement, MCM, 1:3, p98  George Turner to Margery Perham 05.05.1941, Oxford University Registry files UR 6 / Mak / 1 file 1  Extracts taken from Dean Alistair MacPherson's files of the 'Welfare and Discipline Committee'. Makerere library: Africana section  Interview with Margaret MacPherson, Windermere, May 1996  Welfare and Development Committee files, 1948  Interview with Paul Vowles, August 2004  Goldthorpe Mss 1825, Rhodes House, File 2/1  Oxford University did set up an Advisory committee in 1940, seeking to work with Makerere on academic issues.  Goldthorpe Mss, file 9/3  Goldthorpe Mss, file XX1  Victor Temple, Interview August 2004  Interview, July 2004  What is wrong with Makerere society? Jonathan Kariari The Undergraduate Magazine of the Makerere College Guild of the university college of East Africa. Volume 2: 4, March 1959  Report on Student Guild External Affairs, The Undergraduate Issue 1, Sept 1956  A creed for freshmen by H Nyamu and The role of the Guild by F B Welbourn, The Undergraduate Issue 1, September 1956  College Rules, letter to the editor, The Undergraduate Vol 1:1 March 1956  Hugh Dinwiddy, Personal communication May 12th 2004  The college and social maladjustment by Pirie, social commentator New Hall Mirror 1963  An interview with the Warden by Paulo Katamba-Lujjo New Hall Mirror, Feb 1968, p12 -16  Arts in East Africa: A symposium (with contributions by MM Carlin, Brian Langlands and Jennifer Carter) Makerere Journal No 4, 1960  Round Mount Kenya: A critique of Corfield. A publication of the Makerere Kikuyu Embu and Meru students association, 1960. Fred Welbourns papers, in the possession of Hebe Welbourn.  Report of the Visitation Committee to Makerere University College, June 1970. Government Printer Entebbe 1970  The current presidents of Kenya (Mwai Kibaki) and Tanzania (Benjamin Mkapa) are also Makerere graduates. Kibaki also taught Economics at Makerere from 1958 1960. 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