Hyun-Joo Mooney

Hyun-Joo sits on a fountain in Zanzibar while wearing a bright Tanzanian dress.

Hyun-Joo Mooney

Graduate Student


Areas of Expertise

  • African History
  • Diplomatic History
  • Swahili Language
  • Decolonization


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, History (In Progress)
  • M.A., The Ohio State University, History (2020)
  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh, World History and English Literature (2016)
Hyun-Joo (Katie) is a Ph.D. candidate of African diplomatic history and an avid fan of Zamrock, a Zambian independence-era rock genre. In particular, she studies state-building following independence, anti-imperialism, and public diplomacy in Central and East Africa. Her dissertation, entitled “An Era of Post-Independence Possibility in Zambia,” explores Zambian international image-building, transnational partnership formation, and regional political influence from independence (1964) until 1980. She has completed ethnographic fieldwork and Swahili language competency in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar, as well as archival fieldwork in Lusaka and London through grants and fellowships provided by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the Council on African Studies at Yale University, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Program, and the OSU Department of History. Her sources, in addition to those listed above, include diplomatic documents from the National Archives of Taiwan in Taipei, East African newspapers from the Tanzania National Archives in Dar es Salaam, and various archival records from the British Library in London.  
She currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at the U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) in Washington D.C. Prior to this appointment she was a Mershon Graduate Student Fellow and online DSL. She has also served as the project manager for Reclaiming Our Histories, a graduate research associate for the OSU Humanities Institute and Center for Humanities in Practice, and a participant ethnographer/researcher for the OSU Center for Folklore Studies in Waverly, Ohio. *Students are welcome to reach out to her regarding letters of recommendation and any questions regarding the graduate school experience or application process.* 

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