This Actuvirtual Symposium focuses on ‘Rethinking Sage Philosophy: Interdisciplinary
Perspectives on and beyond H. Odera Oruka, edited by Kai Kresse and Oriare Nyarwath.
It explores the works of Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka, and various concepts
in African societies such as being, person/hood, freedom, equality, death, and the
afterlife. The discussions encompass African philosophy, African studies, anthropology,
literature, postcolonial critique, and decolonial scholarship.
Format : Hybrid – In-person (1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg) and via Zoom.
RSVP on https://forms.gle/kfTwNJWD9HBRLEkJ7 to receive the Zoom details.
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Oriare Nyarwath is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a PhD, MA and BA from the University of Nairobi. He teaches African Philosophy and Logic. He has authored, among others, a book Traditional Logic: An Introduction (2010), co-authored Theory and Practice of Governance in Kenya: Towards Civic Engagement (2006), co-edited Rethinking Sage Philosophy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On and Beyond H. Odera Oruka (2023), Odera Oruka in the Twenty-first Century (2018) and Thought and Practice in African Philosophy (2002).
Benedetta Lanfranchi is a Postdoc at the University of Bayreuth where she is working on her book project: “Writing and Speaking Freedom in Uganda. Contemporary Politics and Digital Genres”, under a European Research Council Consolidator Grant entitled “Philosophy and Genre: Creating a Textual Basis for African Philosophy”. She obtained her PhD in African Philosophy at SOAS, University of London, in 2016 and worked as a Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) in 2017-2019. She co-edited together with Alena Rettová and Miriam Pahl, Critical Conversations in African Philosophy. Asixoxe – Let’s Talk! (London: Routledge, 2022). She is currently finalising her first book monograph entitled Philosophies of Justice in Acholi. Responsibility in Times of Collective Suffering.
Bruce Janz is Professor in the department of Philosophy, co-Director of the Center for Humanities and Digital Research, and core faculty of the Texts and Technology Ph.D. program, all at the University of Central Florida. He works in African philosophy, contemporary European philosophy, digital humanities, and on concepts of place and space across disciplines, among other things. He has taught in Canada, Kenya, South Africa, and the US. His latest book is African Philosophy and Enactivist Cognition: The Space of Thought (Bloomsbury, 2023).
Kai Kresse is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin, and Vice-Director of Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and African Studies from SOAS, University of London. He was Associate Professor of African and Swahili Studies at Columbia University, in the Department for Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS), 2013–2018. He has published on African philosophy, Swahili thinkers and intellectual culture, Islam in East Africa, and Indian Ocean connections. His book Philosophising in Mombasa: Knowledge, Islam, and Intellectual Practice on the Swahili Coast (2007) was shortlisted for the ASA Herskovits Award. Further publications include Guidance, an English translation (with Hassan Mwakimako) of Sheikh al Amin bin Ali Mazrui’s essays (orig. Uwongozi , 2017, with Brill, and Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2018), the monograph Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience (Indiana University Press, 2018, and Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2019) and an earlier volume on H.Odera Oruka, called Sagacious Reasoning: Henry Odera Oruka in memoriam (Peter Lang Verlag, 1997), co-edited with Anke Graness.
Reginald M.J. Oduor is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nairobi. He holds both a B.Ed. (Arts) and an M.A. in Philosophy from Kenyatta University, and a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Nairobi. He is the first person with total visual disability to be appointed to a substantive teaching position in a public university in Kenya. Dr. Oduor is the Editor of Africa beyond Liberal Democracy: In Search of Context-Relevant Models of Democracy for the Twenty-First Century (Lexington Books 2022), and the Lead Editor of Odera Oruka in the Twenty-First Century (RVP 2018). He has also published journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, articles in academic blog pages, and feature articles. His most recent book chapter is “Reviving the African Sage Philosophy Project: Continuities and Discontinuities in the Research Methodology” in Rethinking African Sage Philosophy: interdisciplinary perspectives on and beyond H. Odera Oruka edited by Kai Kresse and Oriare Nyarwath (Lexington Books 2022). He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the New Series of Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya (2009-2015). He is a 2016 African Studies Association (ASA) Presidential Fellow. Over the past thirty-three years, Dr. Oduor has lectured philosophy in five universities in Kenya (two full-time, three part-time). His research interests include political philosophy, African philosophy, philosophy of technology, the politics of knowledge production, ethics, disability rights, and philosophy of religion. Dr. Oduor is also a Co-Founder and Chair of the Nairobi-based Society of Professionals with Visual Disabilities (SOPVID).
Fazil Moradi is visiting associate professor at Faculty of Humanities, Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, University of Johannesburg (JIAS-US); associate researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences; and affiliated scholar at the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes against Humanity at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center—CUNY. He is actively involved in collaborative research with medical scientists at the University of Gothenburg, focusing on the long-term effects of chemical weapons, and convenes the Actuvirtual Symposium at JIAS. Moradi is the editor of Memory and Genocide: On What Remains and the Possibility of Representation (co-ed. By M. Six-Hohenbalken and R. Buchenhorst, Routledge 2017); author of Being Human: Political Modernity and Hospitality in Kurdistan-Iraq (Rutgers University Press, January 2024) and editor of In Search of Political Futures: Engaging Mahmood Mamdani’s Neither Settler Nor Native (Special Issue in Anthropological Theory, forthcoming 2023). His scholarly contributions also appear in Public Culture(2022); Palgrave Macmillan(2022); Critical Arts(2021); British Medical Journal(2020);Praesens Verlag(2020); Critical Studies(2019); PLOS ONE (2019); Routledge (2017) Rutgers University Press (2016); Journal of Higher Education in Africa (2010).