Abigail Meert


BA in History Honors and English, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, 2013

Research Interests

Modern Africa
Great Lakes Region
Political History

Dissertation Topic

"Suffering, Struggle and the Politics of Legitimacy in Uganda, 1962-1996"

Faculty Advisor

Clifton Crais


My dissertation focuses on issues of violence, memory, and politics in Africa's Great Lakes Region, looking specifically at the rise of the National Resistance Movement in Uganda, 1981-1986. Although the NRM has greatly influenced East African political developments since its guerrilla victory in 1986, scholars know very little about the movement's initial rise to power. My research uses oral histories, political writings, local records, and historical and ethnographic studies to provide the first comprehensive history of the NRA/M. In so doing, it explores the foundations of political legitimacy in the Africa more broadly.

As a graduate of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, I earned degrees in both History (Highest Honors) and English. Since then, I have taken part in two separate archive preservation projects in Kabale District, Uganda, and Jinja District Uganda. These archives are among the country's largest archives, and some of a very few to be fully catalogued and preserved.