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Products for grant FA-54113-08

FA-54113-08
Troubled Legacies and Postcolonial Dilemmas of White Kenyans
Janet McIntosh, Brandeis University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-54113-08

Unsettled: Denial and Belonging among White Kenyans (Book)
Title: Unsettled: Denial and Belonging among White Kenyans
Author: Janet McIntosh
Abstract: In 1963, Kenya gained independence from Britain, ending decades of white colonial rule. While tens of thousands of whites relocated in fear of losing their fortunes, many stayed. But over the past decade, protests, scandals, and upheavals have unsettled families with colonial origins, reminding them that their belonging is tenuous. In this book, Janet McIntosh looks at the lives and dilemmas of settler descendants living in post-independence Kenya. From clinging to a lost colonial identity to pronouncing a new Kenyan nationality, the public face of white Kenyans has undergone changes fraught with ambiguity. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews, McIntosh focuses on their discourse and narratives to ask: What stories do settler descendants tell about their claim to belong in Kenya? How do they situate themselves vis-a-vis the colonial past and anti-colonial sentiment, phrasing and re-phrasing their memories and judgments as they seek a position they feel is ethically acceptable? McIntosh explores contradictory and diverse responses: moral double consciousness, aspirations to uplift the nation, ideological blind-spots, denials, and self-doubt as her respondents strain to defend their entitlements in the face of mounting Kenyan rhetorics of ancestry.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520290518
Primary URL Description: University of California Press website
Secondary URL: https://www.amazon.com/Unsettled-Belonging-Kenyans-Ethnographic-Subjectivity/dp/0520290518/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468962501&sr=1-1&keywords=unsettled+denial+and+belonging
Secondary URL Description: Amazon website
Publisher: University of California Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780520290518
Copy sent to NEH?: No

Linguistic Atonement: Penitence and Privilege in White Kenyan Language Ideologies (Article)
Title: Linguistic Atonement: Penitence and Privilege in White Kenyan Language Ideologies
Author: Janet McIntosh
Abstract: This article analyzes language ideology among whites in Kenya, documenting an historical shift from colonial settlers’ condescending attitude toward Kiswahili to an enthusiastic stance among settler descendants, some of whom pride themselves on their Kiswahili abilities and say it is their language of “connection” to Afro-Kenyans. I situate this change in a context of contemporary white anxiety about national belonging, especially given that colonial misdeeds have been put in the spotlight by events of the last decade. I argue that whites’ stance of “linguistic atonement” attempts, with mixed results, to elide racial and class-based distinctions in Kenya, but it is thwarted in part by the fact that whites perpetually link Kiswahili to a register of “slang,” banter, and informality, reserving English as a language of authority. I further suggest that settler descendants experience a certain relief in being able to move from the affectively stunted persona they associate with English to a relaxed, warm, and open one in Kiswahili, but that this very mobility between registers could be construed as a new manifestation of white privilege.
Year: 2014
Primary URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/564873/summary
Primary URL Description: Anthropological Quarterly via Project MUSE
Secondary URL: https://www.academia.edu/13216361/Linguistic_Atonement_Penitence_and_Privilege_in_White_Kenyan_Language_Ideologies
Secondary URL Description: academia.edu
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Anthropological Quarterly
Publisher: Anthropological Quarterly

Autochthony and "Family": The Politics of Kinship in White Kenyan Bids to Belong (Article)
Title: Autochthony and "Family": The Politics of Kinship in White Kenyan Bids to Belong
Author: Janet McIntosh
Abstract: For white Kenyans descended from colonial settlers, the question of how to establish their right to belong in Kenya provokes considerable anxiety. Some whites attempt to suture themselves to Kenya through kinship narratives that reach backward in time, as well as laterally across races. Whites’ relationship to colonial ancestors indexes a bloodline on Kenyan soil, a version of autochthony that some hope will establish entitlement to land or broader legitimacy as cultural citizens. Many also posit a kind of kinship with their Afro-Kenyan domestic staff based on affective ties and, sometimes, the time-depth of their families’ association. Both narratives invoke white Kenyans’ sense that they are important stewards or patrons in Kenya, aspiring to write their belonging into Kenyan history and establish themselves as part of the nation. Yet both kinship narratives re-invoke problematic racial hierarchies.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/582262
Primary URL Description: Anthropological Quarterly via Project MUSE
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Anthropological Quarterly
Publisher: Anthropological Quarterly


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