Postgraduate Course: An Unhappy Valley: Mau Mau, culture and colonialism in Kenya's highlands ca.1895-ca.1964 (PGHC11476)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores cultural and social histories of central Kenya, roughly focusing on the period from the start to the end of the formal colonial rule (ca1895-ca1964). The brutal, bloody, conflict of the late-colonial period known as 'Mau Mau' looms large in the history of this region. On this course we will study Mau Mau, but we will also go 'beneath' it exploring Mau Mau's complex roots and difficult legacies and engaging with more-subtle social and cultural histories of the region.
This course explores cultural and social histories of central Kenya (or, as it might be called the 'Gikuyu highlands') roughly focusing on the period from the start to the end of the formal colonial rule (ca1895-ca1964). The brutal, bloody, conflict of the late-colonial period known as 'Mau Mau' looms large in the history of this region. On this course we will study Mau Mau, but we will also go 'beneath' it exploring Mau Mau's complex roots and difficult legacies and engaging with more-subtle social and cultural histories of the region.
Through weekly seminars organised thematically and around a rich body of primary source material we will explore: the Gikuyu 'moral economy' and precolonial understandings of virtue, wealth, and self-mastery in this part of Kenya; violence, punishment and the colonial state; labour, time, and space; reproduction and fertility; the white settlers and the production and policing of categories of sex and race; the role of Christian missionaries in the colonising process; ethnicity, ethnography and colonialism; youth, style and modernity in Nairobi; generational change and political thought and action; and Mau Mau.
While revisiting some of the classic themes in the social, cultural, and political history of this region, throughout the course we will be brining to bear upon Kenyan history new and current approaches to the study of colonialism. In this way we will engage with the theoretical and methodological challenges of doing African history.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 4,000-word essay (worth 90% of the final mark)
Class participation (worth 10% of the final mark)
One 500-word book review, due in Week 6, a required submission for feedback, but does not contribute to the formal course mark
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate in assessed essay, book review and seminar participation a detailed and critical command of the existing body of knowledge concerning the social and cultural history of central Kenya.
- demonstrate in seminar participation and coursework an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon both established and the emerging bodies of scholarship concerning colonial Kenya, and an ability to critically engage with approaches to the history of colonialism.
- demonstrate in coursework and seminar participation, an ability to understand and apply the methodologies considered in the course.
- demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions, book review and essay by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course.
- demonstrate in seminar participation and coursework, originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
|Berman, Bruce and John Lonsdale (eds), Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya & Africa, London: James Currey, 1992. Book One: State and Class. Book Two: Violence and Ethnicity London:|
Anderson, David M. Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.
Lonsdale, John M. "The Prayers of Waiyaki." In Revealing Prophets, edited by David M. Anderson and Douglas H. Johnson, 240-91. London: James Currey, 1995.
Lonsdale, John. "Mau Maus of the Mind: Making Mau Mau and Remaking Kenya." The Journal of African History 31, no. 03 (1990): 393-421.
Kanogo, Tabitha M. African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900-50. James Currey, 2005.
Kershaw, Greet. Mau Mau From Below. Oxford: James Currey, 1997.
Ocobock, Paul. An Uncertain Age: The Politics of Manhood in Kenya. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2017.
Odhiambo, E.S. Atieno and John Lonsdale (eds). Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration. Oxford: James Currey, 2003.
Peterson, Derek R. Creative Writing: Translation, Bookkeeping, and the Work of Imagination in Colonial Kenya. Social History of Africa. Portsmouth, N.H: Heinemann, 2004.
Thomas, Lynn M. Politics of the Womb: Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
White, Luise. 'Separating the Men From the Boys: Constructions of Gender, Sexuality, and Terrorism in Central Kenya, 1939-1959.' International Journal of African Historical Studies 23, no. 1 (1990): 1-25.
White, Luise. The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Mr Tom Cunningham
Tel: (0131 6)50 4619
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948