(Re)Membering Kenya: Identities, Cultures and Freedom- Conference Series

(Re)Membering Kenya: Identities, Cultures and Freedom

Conference Series at Goethe Institute, Nairobi.

In cooperation with Ford Foundation

Certain critical questions relating to Kenya, which have always been in latent existence, were forcefully thrust to the fore by the events that occurred before, during and after the 2007 elections. This series of public forums brings together Kenyan intellectuals, academics and non-academics, in order to raise publicly all the disturbing questions – and the level of debate about them.

As servants and thinkers, Kenyan academics have lately been accused of providing cover for politicians and bureaucrats: they are perceived to have abdicated the role of rendering intellectual leadership in a time of dire need. This series is an attempt to get academics to re-engage more robustly with the rest of the nation. It is dedicated to the necessity of freedom of thought and will be a demonstration of the “engaged” intellectual.

Twice a month, on a Wednesday, we will invite intellectuals and members of the academia to public discussions about core issues that define or militate against ideas and practices of Kenyanness.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 6.00 pm

Session 1

Identities – Between Ethnic and Civic Nationhood

– Introduction to the Conference Series, by Prof. Wambui Mwangi

– The Architecture of Ethnicities: The Ethnicity of the State, by Dr. Pius Kakai

– The Economics of Identity, by Mr. Onyango Oloo

– Representations of Identity in Kenyan Cultures, by Dr. Mbugua Mungai

The session is chaired by Prof. Wambui Mwangi

Wednesday, 25 June 2008, 6.00 pm

Session 2:

Memories, Narratives & Debates of Nationhood

– Gerontocracy & Generational Competition, by Dr. Tom Odhiambo

– Negotiating Kenyanness: The Debates, by Dr. Peter Wafula

– Engendering Identities: Sexualities & Power(lessness) in the Kenyan Political Economy, by Dr. Sophie Macharia

The session is chaired by Prof. Wambui Mwangi

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