Posts filed under ‘seminar’
IFRA Seminar: Beyond Sex & Money – Thinking Culture In Afro-European Intimacies, Jun. 16 2015 @ IFRA/BIEA
by Dr. Altaïr Després – Univerity Paris 1 Sorbonne
Date: June 16, 2015
Time: 11 am
Entry: Prior RSVP – at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Focusing on the case of Western women travelling to Zanzibar, this paper seeks to explore how sexual intimacy with indigenous men can be a space for cultural transactions. While the economic issue is currently at the heart of the anthropological and sociological understanding of “transactional sex” or “sex-tourism” in Africa, little consideration is given to the role of symbolic and cultural resources in the economy of transnational sexuality and desire.
My hypothesis is that in a globalized sexual market not only do cultural stereotypes shape desire (intimate tourist encounters sometimes originate in racial stereotypes about the sexual performances of African men for example), but sexuality can also be a means to access cultural resources. By focusing on cultural transactions, the paper examines how, on the one hand, Western women engaged in intimate relations with African men discover local practices which are less accessible from ordinary tourist circuits, as their African boyfriends play the role of “cultural brokers” and teach them about local customs. On the other hand, this paper analyses to what extent, through intimacy, Western women also act as brokers, mobilizing their (cultural) skills for their partner by teaching him a foreign language or using their knowledge to formalize a business.
Seminar: Gendered Citizenship, Politics and Public Spaces in Kenya, Sept. 23 2014 @ BIEA, Laikipia Rd
Gendered Citizenship, Politics and Public Spaces in Kenya By Christina Kenny, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
Date: Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Time: 11.00 am
Venue: BIEA, Laikipia Rd, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Entry: RSVP at email@example.com
Shortly after the 2013 general elections, the newly elected women’s representative for Nairobi county, Rachel Shebesh was slapped by the Governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero at his offices in front of a crowd of Kenyan reporters.
The new Kenyan constitution provides for women’s civil and political rights through a variety of innovative mechanisms, but in the months leading up to the 2013 elections, most Kenyan women did not seem to have a good understanding of the laws which are designed to protect women’s rights. Although the constitution had been in place for almost two years, the women I spoke to could only talk vaguely about the content of their constitutional rights. Against the recent focus on women’s representation in Kenyan politics, my doctoral thesis, “We’ve agreed to be ruled”: Women’s public and private decision making in modern Kenya, examines the regulatory and interpersonal dynamics which drive women’s choices and behaviours, in both private and public spaces, with a dual focus on sex and sexuality rights, and civil and political rights. I employ an interdisciplinary approach – utilising cultural anthropology, history and law.
I examine the experiences of women entering politics and public space through a feminist lens. Through case studies drawn from the last two general elections, I interrogate the imperatives of international human rights discourse, and the demands such discourse places on its subjects.
Christina Kenny holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature, Early Modern History; Hons. I) and a Bachelor of Laws both from the University of Sydney, and is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She is currently PhD Scholar at the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, at the Australian National University. She began her career as a policy officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice team at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has since worked for the Australian Government for the Refugee Review Tribunal, and the Attorney General’s Department, the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town, the South African Human Rights Commission, and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission.
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Seminar: Creative Tension? Administrative Justice vs Freedom to Govern in the UK, Jun. 11 2014 @ BIEA/IFRA
Creative Tension? Administrative Justice vs Freedom To Govern In The UK – By Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC Director, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law
Date: June 11, 2014
Entry: Prior Reservation [RSVP on email@example.com]
Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC is Professor of Law and was the Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Laws and Head of its Law Department between 1998-2000 and again from 1982-1989. From 1994 to 1999 he was Vice Provost of UCL. He was was knighted in 2011 (KCMG) for services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
The scope of Professor Jowell’s work includes judicial review, human rights and planning. He advises extensively on the drafting of national constitutions, the relationship between the UK and dependent territories, and the design and application of internal regulatory and Ombudsmen schemes. His authority as an academic commentator is reflected in many citations to his work in the judgements of courts in this country and abroad.
IFRA Seminar: 50 Years after Independence – The Nations in East Africa. Revisiting Nation-Building between Particularism & Universalism? Jun. 12-13 2014 @ IFRA/BIEA
Dates: June 12 & 13, 2014
Entry: Prior Reservation [RSVP on firstname.lastname@example.org]
Academic guest of honour, Prof. Bethwell Ogot, Chancellor of Maseno University: The Kenyan Nation, and the Historiography of Nationalism
Sessions & Time
Session 1: 9.00AM
Return on national construction in East Africa: long-term national building and high culture
Chairman, Prof. H. Mwanzi, Kenyatta University.
– Ephraim Wahome (University of Nairobi), Susan Mwangi (Kenyatta University) & Mildred Ndeda (JOUST): The origins of Kenya and the birth of the independent Kenya.
– Marie-Aude Fouéré (IFRA-Nairobi): Nation-building in Tanzania, political culture, and socialist irredentism.
– Steve Omondi (Pwani University): Languages, “high culture” and the construction of the Nation.
Discussant/Moderator: Christian Thibon (IFRA-Nairobi): The long duration (longue durée) of orphan and plural constructions.
Session 2: 2.00PM
Living together (I): the way from the top, the new challenges – federalism, decentralization and regional integration.
Chairman prof H. Muriuki, UoN
– Felix Kiruthu (Kenyatta University), Francois. Muchoki (CUEA):Federalism, majimbo and Kenyan decentralization-devolution under the nation-state by construction
– Mohammed Bakari (University of Dar es Salaam): Racial identities, citizenship and the politics of nationalism in Zanzibar
– Wanyama Masinde (Catholic University in Eastern Africa):Regional integration as a response policy for the national challenge?
Discussant/Moderator: Etienne Smith (Science Po Paris, France): Revisiting state-building, a comparative approach.
Session 3 (13th June 2014, 9.00AM – 1.00PM)
Living together (2): routes down, negotiating identities – “little homelands”, “small nations” and “moral ethnicity”.
Chairman, Prof V G Simiyu, UoN Jean-François Chanet (Science Po Paris, France): “Little homelands” (petites patries) in France, and the concept of ‘sociability’.
– Justin Willis (Durham University, UK): “Moral ethnicity” to the Kenya, or the construction of a civic and moral sense out of the state?
Discussant/Moderator: Pius Kakai (Kenyatta University), Mutuma Ruteere (CHRIPS).
BIEA Seminar: Rain, Power, Sovereignty & The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe, Apr. 16 2014 @ BIEA / IFRA
Rain, Power, Sovereignty and The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Time: 11.00 am
Entry: Prior RSVP. For more information please contact email@example.com or call +254 735 260 004
Seminar by: Joost Fontein, University of Edinburgh
Chair: Sinoxolo Neo Musangi, British Institute in Eastern Africa
In 2010 a government meteorologist revealed that for much of the last decade, the Zimbabwean weather forecast had been censored on a daily basis by agents of the President’s Office. ‘This information’ he said ‘was seen as sensitive’. What this ‘sensitivity’ amounts to is the subject of this paper. It is hard to make sense of the government’s impulse to censor the weather forecast in the 2000s without reference to the localized re-configurations of authority over land and ‘re-making’ of the state that fast track land reform provoked. To the extent that fast track offered new opportunities for the realization of a diversity of localised aspirations and imagined futures that turned on access to land and fertile soils in divergent ways, the recurrent droughts and failing harvests of the early 2000s were politically significant because they called into question the legitimacy of land reform, and the broader ‘thirdchimurenga’ project constituted around it. But across Zimbabwe, and the region, rainfall and drought have long been measures of contested political legitimacy in more complex ways not limited to the politics of food, famine and agricultural production. In southern Zimbabwe, this is true not just for spirit mediums, chiefs and other ‘traditionalist’ authorities for whom rainmaking practices are well-established means of demonstrating ‘autochthony’, sovereignty and legitimacy, but also for war veterans, new farmers, government technocrats and others involved in land reform during the 2000s. This is what I examine here. Whilst I focus particularly on rainmaking practices, encounters with njuzu water spirits, and national biras that took place in the 2005-6 when research was carried out, the larger point I pursue is that water acts as an index of power – of the entangled but contested play of legitimacy and sovereignty – across many different registers of meaning and regimes of rule. In making this argument I engage with Keane (2003; 2005) and Engelke’s elaboration of Peirce’s theory of signs (1955), and build upon others (James 1972; Jedrej 1992) who have long argued that rainmaking ‘traditions’ across eastern, central and southern Africa are less a form of applied meteorology and more an idiom of politics and power, in order to argue that they are necessarily both at the same time.
Somalia’s Puntland State: What Next?
Date: Friday 7 February 2014
Venue: BIEA Seminar Room, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa
Time: 10am – 12pm
Entry: RSVP here
On 8 January 2014 the parliament of Puntland elected its fourth president since the semi-autonomous state of Somalia was created in 1998. In a closely contested election run-off, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, a former Prime Minister of Somalia, beat incumbent President Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamed Farole by a one-vote margin.
The transition of power was peaceful, but the new president and his cabinet have to contend with a number of pressing challenges. These include competing clan interests, relations with the Federal Government of Somalia and with the secessionist state of Somaliland, as well as security, humanitarian and development issues. At this meeting of the Nairobi Forum, speakers will share their insights on Puntland’s future.
Confirmed speakers include Mohamed Jama Waldo of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), Dr Cedric Barnes of the International Crisis Group (ICG), Adam Jama Shirwa of the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) and Safiya Abdullahi Yusuf of the Puntland Diaspora Forum.
The BIEA in Collaboration with The National Museums Of Kenya Joint Seminar: Digital Kitambo—Taking the Past into the Future at the National Museum with Dr. David K. Wright and Kristina Dziedzic Wright.
Chair: Dr. Edward Pollard, British Institute in Eastern Africa
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2014
Time: 02.00 pm
Venue: The National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi
Lake Turkana has long been recognized as a critical incubator of human cultural evolution. Although much attention has justifiably been placed on researching the nature of our early hominin ancestors, the region also hosts a rich record of fishing and early cattle herding cultures as well. Due to the long and storied traditions of archaeological research near Lake Turkana, a rich collection has been accumulated in the Nairobi National Museum. However, legacy archives need to be digitally curated and integrated into computer databases as the pace of archaeological research in Kenya accelerates. The “Digital Kitambo” project has begun developing an integrated archaeological database using early food producers of northern Kenya to develop the template for future digitization efforts within the museum. The project involves conversion of analogue collections into a relational database, photographing archaeological artifacts and creating 3-dimensional scans of selected artifacts. The Nairobi National Museum hosts one of the deepest records of the human past in the world, but will lead the way into the future in access and usability of collections databases.
Dr. David K. Wright
David K. Wright is Assistant Professor of African Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Seoul National University in South Korea. Dr. Wright is a geoarchaeologist with specialties in human-environment interactions, sedimentology, evolutionary archaeology and prehistoric African cultures. He has conducted research in eastern Africa and the American Midwest, Plains, and Southwest. He is co-PI on the Malawi Early and Middle Stone Age Project (MEMSAP) studying the behavioral transitions in hominids and early modern humans in northern Malawi. Dr. Wright also conducts research near Lake Turkana, Kenya and in the Mandera Mountains, Cameroon on human adaptations to Holocene environmental change and is the lead PI on a project in the middle Gila River Valley, Arizona called “The Archaeology of Dust.”
Kristina Dziedzic Wright
Kristina Dziedzic Wright teaches art history and writing at Seoul National University in South Korea, and works as a freelance curator. She is the author of Art, Culture, and Tourism on an Indian Ocean Island: An Ethnographic Study of Jua Kali Artists in Lamu, Kenya (2009) and recently co-curated the exhibit Sanaa ya Makaratasi (African Paper Art): Process, Substance and Environment at the Nairobi National Museum. Her academic research ranges from informal sector art and cultural commoditization in Africa to media art and the international biennale phenomenon. Over the last ten years, she has participated in a number of archival and digitization projects for the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission in Illinois, USA
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