The investigation period ranges from the interwar years to the formal independence of Zimbabwe in 1980. After 1918, the Swiss Catholic mission recorded a continuous upturn, particularly due to the support from the various organisations in the Catholic milieu in Switzerland. In the 1960s, this Catholic sub-society began to wane, which posed new challenges for the Catholic mission. Emerging governmental and private foreign aid also played an important role as new competitors in the field of global disparities. During that period of time in (Southern) Rhodesia, the transformation took place from British colonial rule over Rhodesian settler colonialism to the formal independence of Zimbabwe.
Simone Bleuer is investigating the establishment and expansion of the Catholic mission from the interwar period until the beginning of the 1960s. Her project focuses on negotiations of patterns of knowledge and positions in changing political, social and religious contexts, as well as in view of increasing horizons of experience in the Swiss-Southern Rhodesian encounter.
Barbara Miller is investigating the transition and decline of the Catholic mission from the 1960s to 1980. Within this time, the political and social aspects of mission became steadily more important. Her project focuses on missionary goals, practices and patterns of knowledge in the transition from the colonial to postcolonial period.