SALMEA’s CLOSING CONFERENCE, May 16th 2023, Lisbon

8:30-9:00 | Arrival and coffee break

9:00-9:10 | Opening words: 
Monica Fonseca, Director of CEI-Iscte

10-9:30 | Project SALMEA: A retrospective 
Yvan Droz, Henri Médard, Marie-Aude Fouéré and Yonatan N. Gez

9:30-10:30 | Panel I: History 
Moderator: Clara Torrão Busin 
Presenter 1: Aidan Russell: “After Failure: Disappointment, Peril, and the Curious Defence of François Rukeba” 
Presenter 2: Henri Médard: “Same Sex Intimacies, Conversion and Martyrdom in Buganda Kingdom in the 1880s”

10:30-11:00 | Coffee-break

11:00-12:00 | Panel II: Morality 
Moderator: Anselmo Matusse 
Presenter 1: Elisabeth Schubiger: “Turkana’s Petroscape Hustler” 
Presenter 2: Hervé Maupeu: “L’économie morale des incendies d’école au Kenya”

12:00-13:00 | Lunch-Break

13:00-14:00 | Panel III: Gender 
Moderator: Patrícia Vasconcellos 
Presenter 1: Norah Kiereri: “Navigating Fuzzy States and Ambiguities to Find Respectability: The Lived Experiences of Divorced Middle Class Women in Nairobi” 
Presenter 2: João Manuel de Oliveira: “Pathways of Axé in a Ketu Candomble in the Periphery of Salvador, Bahia: The Effects of Gender Norms”

14:30-15:30 | Panel IV: Religion 
Moderator: Francis Ngure 
Presenter 1: Carla Bertin: “Submissive Wives Without Husbands: Perspectives on Self-Realization and Pentecostal Marriages in Southern Benin” 
Presenter 2: Manuel João Ramos: “Traditional Orthodox Ethics Versus Pentecostal Conceptions of Self-Accomplishment in Ethiopia”

15:30-16:00 | Conclusion 
Yvan Droz and Valérie Golaz: From Project SALMEA to Project FamilEA

21st June 2022 – SALMEA Conference (Aix en Provence)

Program of the day (10.30am-5pm)

10.30am Anna-Riikka Kauppinen (Graduate Institute): “Desiring Professionalism: Accumulation of Certificates (and Other Signs of Achievement) in Accra, Ghana”

11.30am Muriel Champy (AMU, SALMEA): “Travailler en coupé décalé ou le rêve capitaliste à la portée de tous (Côte d’Ivoire)”

2pm Norah Kiereri (AMU, SALMEA): “Finding Respectable Womanhood: The Complexities of the Meaning of Divorce in Nairobi”

2.45pm Peter Lockwood (Graduate Institute, SALMEA): “Ironies of Accomplishment: Negative Aspiration and Egalitarian Punishment on Nairobi’s new Urban Periphery”

3.45pm Elisabeth Schubiger (Graduate Institute, SALMEA): “Blessed Oil Futures. Negotiating Development in Turkana, Kenya”

15 April 2021: Seminar “Women’s strategies in times of crisis (divorce, natural disasters, Covid-19) in Kenya and Mozambique”

A Seminar in English and in French organized by Aix-Marseille University (AMU), LPED and IRD on April 15, 2021 from 12:30pm to 2pm


Norah Kiereri: “Finding respectability: Divorced women on Kenyan Youtube

In this presentation, I will discuss how divorced women in Kenya use YouTube to navigate and negotiate the local moralities to maintain or achieve respectability. I will attempt to show how the interactions in the YouTube comment section are a part of the process of the women renegotiating their status in Kenyan communities. I will demonstrate that how the divorced woman narrates her story is critical for the repositioning and reshaping of her identity in her community. 

Uacitissa Mandamule: “Les catastrophes “naturelles” au Mozambique : perceptions et stratégies d’adaptation à Búzi

A partir d’une approche multiscalaire des enjeux fonciers, nous analysons les transformations socio-spatiales induites par les catastrophes ainsi que les stratégies d’adaptation des femmes à Búzi. Nous analysons comment l’adaptation aux effets des catastrophes se joue avec la renégociant du rôle des femmes dans la gestion des ressources au niveau des ménages et de la communauté. Les stratégies d’adaptation varient entre actions individuelles et de groupe, où l’agentivité des populations affectées se superpose, sur certains aspects, aux injonctions des pouvoirs locaux. 

Lily Njuguna: “The survival of households in Kamukunji village, Eldoret, Kenya amidst the Covid-19 socio-economic crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic and its prevention measures has pushed households to extreme mental, social, and economic difficulties. Though the government of Kenya has tried to cushion vulnerable households, only a few households have benefitted due to limited funds. As a result, many households are left to devise strategies to cope with the harsh realities of everyday life within the pandemic. Using narratives, this paper explores the strategies of selected residents of Kamukunji who strive for the survival of their families and community. ID de réunion : 952 6227 3930 / Code secret : 606901 

Call for Application: 16-month SALMEA Postdoc researcher starting June 1, 2020

Project SALMEA is recruiting a post-doctoral researcher at IMAF in Aix-en-Provence! Field work will foster collaboration with IFRA-Nairobi, Kenya. We are looking for PhD holders with 1 to 4 year experience from the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Research shall be concerned with the ways in which people in East Africa shape their lives to access and transmit wealth, obtain authority and power, and gain respectability and social influence. Its main objective is to understand the dynamic relations between self-accomplishment and morality. Four areas of investigation are prioritized: wealth, violence, religion and kinship. More detailed information is here.

Deadline for application: March 8, 2020

Pentecostalism and Alternative Paths for Self-Accomplishment in Kenya

Interview with Yvan Droz, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute, and Yonatan N. Gez, PhD alumnus of the Institute and a member of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at HUJI Jerusalem.

Author : Daryona.
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Yvan Droz, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute, and Yonatan N. Gez, PhD alumnus of the Institute and a member of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at HUJI Jerusalem, are among the authors of a chapter on Pentecostalism and self-accomplishment in Kenya, published in Religion and Human Security in Africa (Routledge). As they explain below, they find that while neo-Pentecostalism and, to a lesser extent, vigilantism are two new social institutions offering the frustrated youth alternative paths to adulthood, both are underpinned by a backwards-looking, neotraditionalist ethos of self-accomplishment.

Continue reading “Pentecostalism and Alternative Paths for Self-Accomplishment in Kenya”

Project SALMEA

Project SALMEA examines how men and women in contemporary East Africa seek—whether successfully or not—to access and transmit wealth, power, respectability, and authority. These goals may pose a formidable challenge as fast-changing social realities informed by structural change are fundamentally affecting local practices and representations of a well-led life and the practical paths for its achievement.

The project explores the dialectic relations between forms of self- accomplishment and repertoires of morality by focusing on four central themes: wealth, violence, religion, and kinship. They are examined from their economic, political, social, and symbolic dimensions by our interdisciplinary research team and partners.Our approach uses ethnographic field data, historical records and the relevant academic literature on questions of authority, ownership, inheritance, and kinship in East Africa.

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