On 27-29 March 2012, two co-authors of this blog, Aidan Stonehouse and Vincent Hiribarren gave a paper at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism.
Aidan Stonehouse: ‘All this is Buganda Kingdom’: Secession, Conflict and Cultural Boundaries in Uganda.’
Abstract: In September 2009 widespread riots erupted in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, and elsewhere across the country’s central region known as Buganda Kingdom. The underlying cause of the unrest, which claimed several lives and resulted in severe destruction, was the proposed shift of Buganda’s symbolic cultural boundaries. This paper presents doctoral research which addresses the history of the extension and contraction of ‘ethnic’ boundaries within Buganda, often understood within Uganda as a “nation” within a nation (Jooga, 1993). While Buganda’s borders with neighbouring areas embody no political divide, the tenacity with which the kingdom maintains its cultural or ‘ethnic’ frontiers belies their lack of physical distinction and emphasises their importance to Uganda’s largest ethnic group. In particular, the paper focuses on communities of the areas of Bugerere and Buruli in north east Buganda who are currently seeking a redrawing of the kingdom’s ‘ethnic’ borders in order to enable them to secede from the kingdom’s cultural sphere and formalise their own ‘cultural community’. Utilising oral histories, indigenous language newspapers and archival material attained through fieldwork within Uganda the paper argues that the politicisation of Buganda’s boundaries since the restoration of the kingdom in 1993 has encouraged competing historical narratives intended to add substance to symbolic representations of the legitimate dividing line between communities. Moreover, these often fractious discussions over the ‘traditional’ geographical and social location of a cultural boundary has encouraged the intensification of ‘ethnic’ or ‘sub-ethnic’ identities in opposing camps.
Vincent Hiribarren analysed the colonial history of Borno, Nigeria in his paper “The Long Scramble for Borno, Nigeria (1902-1961)”. This is the Prezi he used during the conference:
For more details about the papers, please email the authors:
Aidan Stonehouse: A.T.Stonehouse@leeds.ac.uk
Vincent Hiribarren: V.E.Hiribarren@leeds.ac.uk