Tag Archives: Kenya

Episode 110: The Story of Swahili

mugane_story_of_swahili_coverJohn Mugane (Harvard University) on his book, The Story of Swahili, a history of the international language and its speakers. Mugane sheds light on enduring questions: Who is Swahili? What is authentic Swahili? He also discusses the state of publishing in Swahili, and the challenges and approaches to teaching African languages in the U.S.

 

Part of a podcast series in collaboration with the U.S. African Studies Association.

Episode 105: Popular Theater in Kenya—The Trial of Dedan Kimathi

Professor Mugo at the interviewMicere Githae Mugo (Syracuse, Emeritus) and Simon Gikandi (Princeton) discuss the making and aftermath of The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and, on the 40th anniversary of the play, reflect on the play’s historical and political significance in Kenya and beyond; its innovative elements; and researching, writing, and enacting the play with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and with the community.

Part of a podcast series in collaboration with the U.S. African Studies Association.

Episode 98: City of Thorns—Inside the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

City-of-Thorns-eBookAuthor Ben Rawlence (Open Society Foundations Fellow) on his new book: City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp. He describes working in Dadaab, Kenya, and discusses Somali refugees’ daily struggles, their personal lives, social relationships, trade, and Islam. The interview closes with reflections on the international dimensions of the conflict in Somalia and prospects for peace.

Episode 85: Swahili Poetry with Abdilatif Abdalla

Abdilatif_Abdalla_2Abdilatif Abdalla is the best-known Swahili poet and independent Kenya’s first political prisoner. He discusses poetry as a political instrument and as an academic field; publication prospects for African poets; and how poetry enabled him to survive three years of solitary confinement, after which he spent 22 years in exile. The interview ends with Abdalla reciting his poem “Siwati” (“I Will Never Abandon My Convictions”).

With guest host Ann Biersteker.

Episode 55: African Archives, Past & Present

Derek Peterson (University of Michigan) on the politics and practice of archives in East Africa, the precarious state of some archives, and exciting possibilities of preservation and digitization at Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda; “homespun” historians in Recasting the African Past and Mau Mau prisons in Kenya; and his forthcoming book Pilgrims & Patriots: Conversion, Dissent, & the Making of Civil Societies in East Africa.

 

Episode 16: Democracy and Labor, South African Perspectives

Mac Maharaj (South African activist and intellectual) explains why the model of South Africa’s transition to democracy cannot be replicated in powersharing agreements in Kenya and Zimbabwe. In the second part of this episode, recorded at the NEWSA meeting in Burlington, VT, Alex Beresford (PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh) tells us about his research on union workers’ views of Tripartite Alliance politics in contemporary South Africa.

Episode 15: Capitalism, Democracy, and Development

Kiki Edozie (James Madison College at MSU) compares recent corruption scandals in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.  She argues that democratic crises are closely tied to economic crises. At the end, the implications of these processes for African politics are considered.

Episode 14: Concerned Africa Scholars / Women’s Sport

Concerned Africa Scholars co-chair Sean Jacobs discusses the goals of this organization, its new blog and web site, and upcoming panels at the ASA meeting in Chicago. The second part of this episode features a conversation about African women’s sport with Martha Saavedra (African Studies, UC-Berkeley) and Anisa Adem (Founder, Future Generation African Girls Association).