Posts filed under ‘conference’

BIEA Annual PhD Conference: Centres and Peripheries – Rethinking binaries in Kenya & East Africa, Oct. 31 2015 @ BIEA

Date: October 31, 2015
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa
Entrance: Free

Scholarship on Africa in the social sciences and humanities has long wrestled with the distinction between centre and periphery, across diverse contexts and historical periods. Whether applied to the broad conceptualisation of the ‘Global South’s’ place in a capitalist world order, or the relationship between African cities and their rural environs, or the significance of what Murray Last and others termed ‘deep rurals’ for a myriad of pre-colonial political orders, trade routes and state systems across the wider region, centre-periphery tensions and confluences have long been a powerful problematic underlying African studies.

Increasing recognition of the historical, social, cultural and political significance of the shifting realities of life across sub-Saharan Africa, the mobility of migrants, and the waxing and waning spread of ideas, religious movements and different forms of political organisation and sociality, has provoked social scientists, historians and archaeologists to look beyond static models of social life in order to understand regional connections, power fluctuations and mutating political thought in Kenya, eastern Africa and beyond. Yet within this broader re-focusing of attention upon ‘trans-regional’ flows, connections and mobilities, ‘centre and periphery’ tensions have shown little sign of going away any time soon. Recent critical theory has framed ‘Africa’ – too often still re-imagined as an undifferentiated whole – as a (peripheral) zone of experimentation for neo-liberal forms of statecraft. In Kenya, in particular, the reality of a new constitution and devolved political structure has revived older discussions of ‘centre and periphery’ in academic and other spaces. Similarly, studies of urban social movements and state power continue to find in notions of ‘centre and periphery’ a model to think through competing forms of protest and governance in Kenya, the region and the wider continent.

If ‘centres and peripheries’ have found new political and social salience in Kenya, and across eastern Africa, through a new politics of constitutionalism and devolution, as well as in activist and protest contexts, they have also had an energising and constraining influence on the process of doing research. What and where is ‘the field’ in which the researcher ‘works’? For what reasons and how are particular ‘sites’ identified and chosen? How does the researcher get there? For whom does the researcher research/write? And to what extent are researchers complicit in the reification of particular boundaries through which specific ‘centres’ and peripheries’ are constantly being reconstituted. These questions are pertinent to anyone who does research in East Africa, concerning as it does, town and country, home and away.

The forthcoming PhD conference will offer emerging research scholars and PhD candidates working in Kenya and East Africa an opportunity to re-consider the legacy, significance and use of notions of ‘centre-periphery’ as they relate to their research. We welcome submissions across a range of disciplines and themes, including, but not limited to: Archaeology, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Geography, Literary, linguistic and Cultural studies.

October 27, 2015 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Philosophy Conference: The Henry Odera Oruka Symposium 2013, Nov. 19-21 2013 @ Goethe Institut Auditorium

Dates: November 19-21, 2013
Venue: Goethe Institut Auditorium
Time: 9 am – 4 pm daily
Entry: Free

November 15, 2013 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

RVI Nairobi Forum: IGAD and Somalia, Oct. 25 2013 @ KICC

Date: Friday 25 October 2013
Venue: The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Safari Lounge – Ground Floor
Time: 9:30 am – 12pm
Entrance is by prior registration only. Register here

Chair: Jan-Petter Holtendahl, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Nairobi
Panellists: Ambassador Mahboub Maalim – Executive Secretary, IGAD, Ambassador Mohamed Ali – Somalia’s Ambassador to Kenya

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aims to promote peace, security, prosperity and economic integration in Eastern Africa. Since 2004, it has been active in supporting the re-establishment of a sovereign government in Somalia.

On 25 October 2013, the RVI Nairobi Forum is convening a distinguished panel of speakers to reflect on IGAD’s past and future role in Somalia. Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, will be the keynote speaker. He will be joined on the panel by Ambassador Mohamed Ali, Somalia’s Ambassador to Kenya. The meeting will be chaired by Jan-Petter Holtendahl, Counsellor for Somali Affairs for the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi.

October 18, 2013 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Course: Technology and Social Change by Nick Martin, Sept. 11 2013 @ Frankie’s at the Green House

amani institute

What is cooking in the Technology and Social Change sectors?
TechChange and Amani Institute are excited to co-host a happy hour to welcome TechChange founder and President Nick Martin to Nairobi where he will be teaching a short course on Technology and Social Change as part of the Amani Social Innovation Management curriculum. Since this is a small world, we are curious to see how many degrees of separation are between our networks and how we can continue weaving a tapestry of change!
Hope you can join us on Wednesday Sept 11th at 7 – 9 pm

facebook page of the event

September 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Conference: Sheng Language in Kenya – Structure, Uses & Pedagogy, Jul. 16 2013 @ IFRA

Date: July 16, 2013
Venue: IFRA-Nairobi
Time: 10am-1pm
Entry: Prior RSVP at

Sheng emerged in the 1960s in the multicultural environment of Nairobi. It is an urban language which combines mainly Kiswahili and English but also other Kenyan languages such as Kikuyu, Luyha, Dholuo and Kikamba. Sheng is characterized by an important linguistic flexibility. It does not have an official status even if it is widely spoken, especially by the youth. Originally used as a vehicular language between people from different regions, it is increasingly becoming a vernacular language, some people born in the 1980s or later speaking Sheng as their first language.

Studies on Sheng describe the codes functions as falling somewhere between secret uses, in its extreme registers, and a general lingua franca purpose. This use as a lingua franca is perceived to neutralize the formality of standard Swahili – regarded as difficult – while at the same time countering the parochial aspects of using ethnic languages. However, current research appears to indicate that Sheng has overrun its original domains and registers: it now permeates the entire sociolinguistic landscape of Kenya.

The conference will be chaired by Prof. Fredrick K. Iraki (United States International University, Nairobi) and facilitated by Claude Frey (Université de Paris 3, French Embassy in Nairobi).

“Linguistic and sociolinguistic description of Sheng” by Aurelia Ferrari (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France). This presentation focuses on phonological, morphological, syntactical and lexical characteristics of Sheng and languages practices/representations in Nairobi. It will also include a brief discussion on artistic uses of Sheng (in hip hop music, literature, mchongwano since Sheng is part of popular culture in Nairobi.

“The rise and rise of Sheng: language and identity in modern Kenya” by Prof. Chege Githiora (Kenyatta University, and School of Oriental and African Studies, UK). Based on recent and ongoing research, this presentation explores the implications of the Sheng phenomenon for school curricula, language use, national identity, and language policy and implementation in Kenya.

“Sheng and Language Pedagogy” by Prof. Peter Githinji (Ohio University, Athens USA). This presentation discusses the issue of language pedagogy and exam performance, exploring the challenges posed by Sheng in teaching Swahili in foreign institutions; it asserts that dealing with language pedagogy issues should involve collaborative efforts between teachers of Swahili in Kenya and abroad.

July 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm 2 comments

Naipolitans v8: Experiencing Nairobi across 12 Neighborhoods, Mar. 8 2013 @ Alliance Francaise

Date: March 8, 2013,
Venue: 3rd Floor, Alliance Française, Utalii Lane
Time: 6-8 pm (event starts 6.30pm sharp)

What makes Nairobi, Nairobi?
This question will be the focus of this month’s conversation as Joy Mboya and Judy Ogana of the GoDown Arts Centre tell us about the Centre’s Nairobi Project which takes the question of identity and belonging in the city to the neighbourhood level.

The Project will support the 12 neighbourhood zones of Nairobi explore questions such as:

+ Who are we at a neighbourhood level?
+ What do we care about?
+ And what elements make my neighbourhood feel like a community?
Collectively, these neighbourhoods will be responding to the question “Nai ni Who?

Come hear more about this project and take part in a conversation that delves into the question of what makes up Nairobi’s identity and how best to showcase these elements.

In what zone is your neighbourhood?
Zone 1: Central Business District
Zone 2: GoDown, Railway, Nairobi West, South B/C, Mukuru
Zone 3: Kamkunji, Shauri Moyo, Kaloleni, Ofafa Jericho
Zone 4: Buruburu, Kariobangi South, Umoja, Tena, Doonholm
Zone 5: Pumwani, Eastleigh, Pangani, Kariakor, Ziwani, Starehe
Zone 6: Mathare, Koch, Dandora, Kariobangi North, Babadogo
Zone 7: Muthaiga, Karura Forest, Gigiri
Zone 8: Ngara, Parklands
Zone 9: Lavington, Kileleshwa, Spring Valley, Kawangware-Kangemi, Dago-Junction
Zone 10: Kilimani, Upper Hill, Ngumo, Golf Course
Zone 11: Kibera, Ngei, Kenyatta Market, Dam
Zone 12: Karen, Lang’ata, Nairobi National Park

Find more info here

March 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Lecture: Climate Change During the Last Ice Age, Feb. 27 2013 @ National Museum

Climate Change Lecture Poster

Reservations: 0724 255 299, 2339158 or

February 27, 2013 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

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