Material Cultures of Eastern Africa: New Historical Perspectives from the Local to the Global

Wed 7 - Thu 8 Feb 2024, 13:00 - 16:30

Online event

For more information or any queries, please email [email protected]

Two carved sandals or clogs from Central Africa, circa 1800s

Event ended

British Academy Conferences bring together scholars from around the world to present, discuss and consolidate new research in the humanities and social sciences.

Watch the recording of this conference on the British Academy's YouTube channel: day one | day two

This multi-disciplinary conference brings together scholars and practitioners to explore how eastern African cultures have related to each other, as well as wider Indian Ocean and global networks, through the production and consumption of objects, architecture, and ideas. Themes include conflict, gender, religion, regional/global mobilities, collecting, museums, and empire. One of the key aims of the conference is to examine the appropriation of eastern African cultural material by collectors and museums, and consider the possibilities and implications of restitution and repatriation of historic cultural property. The conference aims to deconstruct and dismantle the borders between established fields, disciplinary traditions, and geographical locations, to open-up new methodological avenues, and to embrace a non-hierarchical approach towards critical thinking and cultural production.

Conference convenors:
Dr Alison Bennett
, University of Manchester

Abiti Nelson, University of the Western Cape/ Uganda Museum

Jenny Peruski, Harvard University/Metropolitan Museum

Speakers across the two-day conference include:

Abiti Nelson, University of the Western Cape/ Uganda Museum

Jenny Peruski, Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Harvard University

Zoe Cormack, British Museum

Patrick Abungu, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Anatoli Lwassampijja, Makerere University

Sana Mirza, Smithsonian Institution

Catherine Ajiambo, Uganda Museum

Eileen Musundi, National Museums of Kenya

Fred Mutebi, Artist, Uganda

Dr Sarah Longair, University of Lincoln

Dr Njabulo Chipangura, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

Betty Karanja, National Museums of Kenya

Dr Alison Bennett, University of Manchester

Noemie Arazi, Africa Museum in Tervuren (Belgium)

Dr Sarah Fee, Royal Ontario Museum

Professor Jeremy Prestholdt, University of California, San Diego

Dr Jazmin Eyssallenne, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Dr Awet T Araya, British Museum

Please book online for this event using the booking link above. Conference ticket prices:

  • Admission: £10 per day (£20 for both days).
  • Concessions: £6 per day (£12 for both days).

A programme for this conference will be added closer to date.

Funded by DSIT

If you have any questions about this event please refer to our events FAQs or email [email protected]

Image: Sandals (mitalawanda / mitawanda) or clogs (kiatu cha mti), c.1800s. Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, unidentified carver. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Educational Purchase Fund 1929.566.

Organised in partnership with:

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