Paul Ocobock is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Ocobock is a historian of twentieth century Africa specializing in the histories of African peoples living in East Africa.

Ocobock's research draws on archival records and field interviews done with members of several communities in Kenya. His current work examines the everyday lives of young Kenyan African men growing up under British colonialism. Ocobock is preparing a book manuscript on this theme entitled Coming of Age in Kenya Colony as well as writing an article on the participation of young men in the Mau Mau war and British efforts to punish and rehabilitate them.

Current Research

I currently work on the everyday lives of young Kenyan African men growing up under British colonialism. I explore their efforts to earn a living and challenge generational and colonial authority, as well as articulate and fulfill a sense of moral and material maturity. I specifically focus on the migrant wage labor, street life, delinquency, and armed rebellion of young men against the colonial state.

Research Sub-Discipline


Journal Articles

“Joy Rides for Juveniles: Vagrant Youth and Colonial Control in Nairobi, Kenya, 1901–1952,” Social History, 31: 1 (February 2006)

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