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Call for Papers - BIEA Annual PhD Conference 2015:

Centres and Peripheries - Rethinking binaries in Kenya and East Africa

Scholarship on Africa in the social sciences and humanities has long wrestled with the distinction between centre and periphery, across diverse contexts and historical periods. Whether applied to the broad conceptualisation of the ‘Global South’s’ place in a capitalist world order, or the relationship between African cities and their rural environs, or the significance of what Murray Last and others termed ‘deep rurals’ for a myriad of pre-colonial political orders, trade routes and state systems across the wider region, centre-periphery tensions and confluences have long been a powerful problematic underlying African studies.
Increasing recognition of the historical, social, cultural and political significance of the shifting realities of life across sub-Saharan Africa, the mobility of migrants, and the waxing and waning spread of ideas, religious movements and different forms of political organisation and sociality, has provoked social scientists, historians and archaeologists to look beyond static models of social life in order to understand regional connections, power fluctuations and mutating political thought in Kenya, eastern Africa and beyond. Yet within this broader re-focusing of attention upon ‘trans-regional’ flows, connections and mobilities, ‘centre and periphery’ tensions have shown little sign of going away any time soon. Recent critical theory has framed ‘Africa’ – too often still re-imagined as an undifferentiated whole - as a (peripheral) zone of experimentation for neo-liberal forms of statecraft. In Kenya, in particular, the reality of a new constitution and devolved political structure has revived older discussions of ‘centre and periphery’ in academic and other spaces. Similarly, studies of urban social movements and state power continue to find in notions of ‘centre and periphery’ a model to think through competing forms of protest and governance in Kenya, the region and the wider continent.  Read more

To apply please submit a title, abstract (250 words max), and up to 5 keywords for your paper.
Submissions should be emailed to by 31 August 2015.
Successful applications will be notified by 15 September 2015.
The conference will take place on 30th-31st of October 2015 at the BIEA office in Nairobi (Kenya) and it will be free of charge.  
We look forward to reading your abstract and if you have any further questions, please contact:

The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) seeks to appoint a suitably experienced, self-motivated and skilled person to the post of Project Development Officer (PD0) in its Nairobi office on Laikipia road, Kileleshwa. This is a part-time fixed term contract for two years in the first instance, with a possibility of becoming permanent for an additional 3 years to complete the implementation of the full PTRI scheme.
Minimum, a master’s degree in the social sciences or humanities and/or social development or their equivalent- A PhD would be an advantage. Relevant experience at the national or international level providing advisory and hands-on experience in management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects, research contracts and professional training. Strong written or verbal communication and organisational skills. Skills in Information Technology with experience of university level teaching and service is a strong advantage. Knowledge of BIEA activities will be an added advantage.
Application process:
Please send covering letter and full CV, indicating at least three referees, to this email: Applicants should have the right to work in Kenya.  
Application deadline: 5th September 2015 6.00 PM [East African Time]
Only shortlisted candidate will be contacted and called for interview, on or around 29th September 2015.
Start date: To begin on, or as soon as possible after, 3rd October 2015
Further particulars for this post can be accessed here:
New positions at the Rift Valley Institute 
The Rift Valley institute is currently seeking new staff in several locations: Nairobi, Hargeysa and London. The posts include two mid-level management positions and an internship.
  • RVI Education Manager
  • RVI Programme Manager
  • Intern

Applications by 18 September 2015.

Click here for more information

The diversity of violence in eastern Africa Conference
3-4 September 2015

Date: 3rd-4th September 2015
Venue: BIEA Seminar Room Laikipia Road

Violence is inherent in day-to-day politics across eastern Africa. Ideology and beliefs have a place in explaining motives for violence, but state leaders and organised groups employ violence also to achieve more mundane and immediate political goals. This violence takes many forms: governments use threats and coercion to control its own more

​NB: â€‹Registration is obligatory by email to no later than 21 August 2015. Please specify if you will attend the reception on 3 September.
(Re) searching the middle class in Nairobi : applications for workshop (IFRA EVENT)
Workshop on Land-use and Land-cover change in Eastern Africa.  

Two-day workshop at the British Institute in Eastern Africa and the National Museums of Kenya on the 22nd and 23rd October.  The workshop, organised by Rob Marchant (University of York) and Stephen Rucina (National Museums of Kenya) will bring together archaeologists, palaeoecologists, historians, ecosystem and climate modellers focused on working in East Africa.  
The workshop will bring together material evidence from across the Eastern African region to develop a synthesis of regional land cover change that will feed into the wider LandCover6K project.
Colleagues interested in participating should contact Dr Rob Marchant
There is no charge for the workshop.
Some modest support for travel may be available for scholars based in the region.

Click here for more details
East Africa Research Fund (EARF) Funding for development research

The East Africa Research Fund (EARF) announces its first competitive call for interested organizations with extensive experience in high-quality research synthesis to conduct an 18 month research study into the factors that influence the propensity for poor people to engage in, resist and report corrupt transactions, in East Africa, with field research proposed for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. This research project will run starting from January 2016 to August 2017.
The bid is a 2 stage process beginning with a pre-qualification (pre-proposal) stage. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal during the tender stage. Interested organizations who wish to participate in the pre-qualification should register on the EARF website and download the application pack (comprising of the Call Notice, Invitation to Tender Instructions, Terms of Reference, and the Pre-qualification Template).
The deadline for submission is Friday 11 September, 2015 at 4pm. East Africa Standard Time
See this link for further details:
BIEA African Studies and Theory Reading Group

Tuesday 1st Sept 2015

You are welcome join the BIEA research community our weekly reading group meeting held every Tuesday 1.00pm-2.00pm at the BIEA. We discuss mostly foundational texts in African Studies and theory. Reading texts are circulated one week before the meeting.

We are currently discussing Bewitching Development: Witchcraft and the Reinvention of Development in Neoliberal Kenya (James Howard Smith, 2008)

Suggestions are welcome for interesting books for consideration.
Please sign up at the BIEA or send an email to 

Thursday 3rd Sept 2015
9.30 am

PhD researchers based in Nairobi are invited to attend an informal meeting to share research experiences, ideas, and inspirations, and to meet other PhD researchers based in Nairobi. 

For more information visit:
Facebook page: ,
Twitter: @biea_phd 
Google group:!forum/phdgroupnbo 
In our continual quest to improve services the BIEA Library wishes to order new books to add to our collection. We are therefore calling out for book suggestions from our members and regular patrons to be considered in this round of acquisition. We would like to offer you only the most relevant information materials.

Get in touch with the Librarian at
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