Dr Lotte Hughes: Principal Investigator (The Open University)
Lotte is an historian of Africa, empire and postcolonial issues, who specialises in Kenya. She previously led the AHRC-funded research project ‘Managing Heritage, Building Peace: Museums, memorialisation and the uses of memory in Kenya’ (2008-11). This resulted in the book Managing Heritage, Making Peace: History, Identity and Memory in Contemporary Kenya, co-authored with Annie E. Coombes and Karega-Munene (I.B. Tauris, 2014). Her earlier books include Moving the Maasai: A Colonial Misadventure (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Environment and Empire, co-authored with William Beinart (Oxford University Press, 2007). Lotte’s other research interests include memorialisation and memory legacies of Mau Mau, the anti-colonial rebellion which took place in Kenya in the 1950s. She has two book chapters forthcoming on this topic in 2016.
Dr Mark Lamont: Research Associate (The Open University)
Mark has previously worked as a lecturer at Goldsmiths Anthropology Department, the University of London. Straddling anthropology and history at Goldsmiths, he was also engaged on an AHRC-funded project, ‘Death in Africa’, researching changing burial practices in Meru, Kenya and accidental deaths in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His recent publications include a tentative, comparative history of road safety in Africa (co-authored with Rebekah Lee) in Technology & Culture; several articles on road death and injury in Kenya (Africa; African Studies), as well as writings on Kenya’s new infrastructural dispensation. His longstanding interest is, however, on age-set formation and the cultural histories of ritual in central and northern Kenya. Mark joined the project in September.
Dr Steve Ouma Akoth: Consultant
Steve Ouma is a legal anthropologist, with a PhD from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is a former Director of Programmes and Deputy Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). He teaches at Tangaza University College, Nairobi. He is on the board of three leading national human rights and social justice organizations in Kenya. His research interests include ethnography, workers’ rights, urban poverty, the pedagogy of humanities, the social life of human rights and the discourse of modernity. His publications and papers include Constitution and Challenges to Nationhood (2011), Sex Boycott (2011), Obama Memory (2011), Meanings of Obama (2010) and Rethinking Modernity and Human Rights (2009). In 2016 he was appointed to the Taskforce on Informal Justice Systems.
Dr Gordon Onyango Omenya: Consultant
Gordon works as an Assistant Lecturer in History at Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya. He recently completed his PhD at the Universite de Pau in France where he prepared a thesis in history titled The Relations Between Asian and African Communities: A Comparative Study of Western and Nyanza Provinces of Kenya. His research interests include popular culture, gender and governance issues. Gordon has participated in a number of research projects including Poverty, Resource Accessibility, and spatial Mobility in East Africa; Modern Lifestyle in East Africa; Heritage, Museums and Memorialisation in Kenya; Fighting the Mau Mau: The British Army and the Counter-Insurgency in the Kenya Emergency and Topic-Secret Agent: A History of Intelligence and Espionage in Kenya 1900-1999.
Dr Harriet Deacon: Consultant
Harriet is an historian of Africa, with particular interests in intangible heritage, cultural policy and intellectual property law. Since 2010, she has been a consultant to UNESCO on the capacity-building programme for the implementation of the Intangible Heritage Convention of 2003. She has published in the fields of heritage, medical history and HIV/AIDS stigma. She has also worked with national government in South Africa on developing intangible heritage policy (2007-2009) and HIV/AIDS stigma policy (2005). From 1999 to 2002, she was head of research at Robben Island Museum in South Africa.
Dr Nicola Stylianou: Research Assistant (The Open University)
Nicola was awarded a PhD in 2013 for her thesis ‘Producing and Collecting for Empire: African textiles at the V&A 1852-2002.’. The research was funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award between the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN ) at the University of the Arts London (UAL) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). She went on to work at the V&A as an Assistant Curator on a two room display about the African objects in the V&A collection and to receive an AHRC Cultural Engagement Award to further disseminate the results of her work.
Former Team Members
Dr Zoe Cormack: Research Associate (The Open University)
Zoe is an historian and an ethnographer whose main research interests straddle the study of pastoralism, oral history and cultural heritage. Her PhD, was a study of historical memory in a Dinka community in South Sudan, focusing on how rural people have renegotiated relationships with the landscape through recent years of conflict and displacement. Zoe’s work for the project focussed on pastoralism and cultural rights in northern Kenya.
Heather Scott: Administrator (The Open University)
Heather provided project support, advising on University and funding procedures, project management, planning for deadlines, budgets and considering future strategy. She has experience of working with a range of stakeholders inside and outside the University, across national and linguistic lines, and drawn from professional fields outside academia. Heather left the project to take up a new role as Co-ordinator for the School of Art History, Classical Studies, English & Creative Writing, and Music at The Open University
Research Advisory Board
The project is pleased to be able to draw on the support and expertise of a research advisory board made up of:
Clara Arokiasamy – Founder of Kalai an international consultancy engaged in the planning and delivery of cultural heritage services.
Prof. Mary Hickman – Professor Emerita of Irish Studies and Sociology at London Metropolitan University.
Dr. Neil Carrier – Departmental Lecturer in African Anthropology, African Studies Centre, Oxford University.
Prof. John Wolffe – Associate Dean Research Scholarship & Enterprise, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at The Open University.
Former Board Members
Dr Jérémie Gilbert – Reader at the University of East London, his research focuses on the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples.
Dr. Celia Nyamweru – Professor Emerita St Lawrence University, and former Academic Dean at Kenyatta University in Kenya, where she worked for 25 years.
Dr. Annika Mombauer – Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the OU and Associate Dean (Research) for the Arts Faculty.