- Tom Cunningham
- African Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- Research Interests
- History, Colonial/imperial history, Historical Ethnography, Body, Britain, Kenya, Archives, Oral History, Everyday Life
'Muscular Christianity':The Church of Scotland Mission, Gikuyu and the Question of the Body in Colonial Kenya
My PhD thesis is a cultural history of the Church of Scotland Mission in colonial Kenya. It is about the role played by the missionaries in colonising processes in the Gikuyu highlands, with particular emphasis on how missionary work raised questions about the body, embodiment and personhood. With attention to missionary sport programmes, hygiene, the "labour question" in colonial Kenya, and the "female circumcision controversy" of 1929, it shows how missionaries played an important role in colonial biopolitics. It is based on archival research in Edinburgh and central Kenya and oral history interviews conducted during 10 months' fieldwork in Kenya.
Between January and April 2016 I worked on the British Library-funded Protecting the Archive of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa project.