I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Benjamin Kipkorir on 20 May 2015. Born in 1940 in Kapsowar, Elgeyo-Marakwet District in Kenya, Ben was the pre-eminent Marakwet intellectual. Through his work on the Marakwet, he made an enormous contribution to the history and anthropology of Kenya, championing oral historical techniques as well as ‘ethnography of the self’ in the days beforepostcolonial reflexivity had become established. Ben’s support and astute critique has been present from the very beginning of my academic career, when I arrived in Kenya as a PhD student. In fact, in 1981 he convened the conference at the University of Nairobi where I gave the very first paper on my Marakwet research, and his edited collection The Kerio Valley contained my first publication. It’s hard to believe that his kindly, wise, critical voice will no longer be heard.More »
Sitting here on a beautiful day in London with all the newspaper headlines saying the feel-good factor is coming back, it’s very easy to think that everything that’s happened since 2008 was just a terrible nightmare and now we can all relax. But I do not believe that is the case. This week the Sunday Times Rich List quoted the largest ever annual growth in wealth of the richest people in the UK and the recent OECD report put inequality at the highest rate for several decades. If you look at the American figures, from 1976 to 2007, 1% of the population in the USA took 40% of the income.
Read Henrietta L. Moore on her new UCL Institute in the NewStart online magazine, 21 May 2014More »
Like a sleepwalker roused from his dream, the world is slowly waking up to the full nightmare of the Ebola outbreak decimating west Africa. With small numbers of cases turning up in western countries, governments here are belatedly pledging action to fight the disease, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all countries struggling to recover from wars still fresh in the memory – have buckled under the onslaught of this horrific virus.More »
Ranging from African initiation rituals to Japanese anime, and from sex in virtual worlds to Schubert songs, Henrietta Moore focuses on how best we might approach the relationship between critical thought and politics, as well as the dynamics of intimacy and meaning in contemporary cultural and social life. This book explores how the ideas of social analysts and ordinary people intertwine and diverge, and argues for an ethics of engagement based on an understanding of the human need to engage with cultural problems and seek social change.More »
Prophets of the future are being ostracised from the canon. Is this reluctuance to accept speculation in the arts a symptom of decline, as we no longer wish to imagine new possibilities for culture and our lives? Or is fantasising about the future a childish past-time which avoids real engagement with human nature? On 5 June Henrietta L. Moore, fantastical novelists Nick Harkaway and Justina Robson imagined a brave new world at this year’s philosophy and music festival at Hay on WyeMore »