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Historical research

My PhD (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), lay at the intersections of history and literature, examining the history of women's writing after independence in Uganda and Kenya. In a field that at the time was dominated by men, East African women’s voices were comparatively marginalised, and my research aims to retrieve these from the sources available. In 2019/20 I conducted fieldwork in Kampala and Nairobi. My research was a part of the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Another World? East Africa and the Global 1960s’, involving historians from the Universities of York, Edinburgh and Warwick.


My broader research interests include histories of race and its intersections with gender and class; social and cultural history in an (East) African context; and decolonising historical research methodologies.


Select papers and publications


  • “Constructions of agency in Ugandan women’s journalism, 1960-1973”, Edinburgh Centre for Global History, University of Edinburgh (2021)

  • “The influence of globalisation and decolonisation on women’s writing in English in 1960s East Africa.” Beyond Silences: Retrieving Women’s Voices in African Political History, University of Vienna (2021)

  • “Mixed-ish: Race and Class in 1950s and 1960s Kampala through the figure of Barbara Kimenye”, Histories of Race Graduate Workshop, University of Cambridge (2020)

  • “Student Writing and Mobility: How Publications by Students of the University of East Africa in the 1960s contributed to greater Regional Identifications”, UoN@50: History of Scholarship Trajectories a Half Century on, University of Nairobi (2020)

  • “The influence of decolonisation and globalisation on cultural and literary production by women in 1960s East Africa”, African Studies Association of Africa 3rd Biennial Conference, United States International University Africa (2019)

  • “Female African students in European universities from the early 20th century to the present: inclusive readings of history to decolonise the academy”, The European Conference on African Studies, University of Edinburgh (2019)

Peer-reviewed journal articles 

  • Adima, A. (2023) "Mixed-ish: race, class and gender in 1950s–60s Kampala through a life history of Barbara Kimenye." Journal of Eastern African Studies DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2022.2163469

  • Adima, A. (2022) "Exposed Inequalities: Emancipation and Constraint in the Experiences of Kenyan Women Students Abroad (1950s-1960s)." Diasporas 37.

  • Adima, A. (2020) "The Sound of Silence: The 1929-31 Gikuyu female circumcision controversy and the discursive suppression of African women’s voices." Gender and Research 21 (1): 18-37.

Book chapters

  • Adima, A. (2024) "Makerere's English Department: The Cradle of East African Literature". In Makerere's Century of Service to East Africa and Beyond: 1922-2022, edited by A.B.K. Kasozi, Josephine Ahikire, Dominic Dipio and Helen Byamugisha. Kampala: Makerere University Press.

  • Adima, A. (2024) "How to Search for, Find and Read Colonial Sources for Gender". In Interrogating Colonial Documents and Narratives. Marlborough: AM.

  • Adima, A. (2024) "Using Historical Sources to Analyse Black Bodies as Sites of Violence". In Interrogating Colonial Documents and Narratives. Marlborough: AM.



The School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)

Guest Lecturer (2021)

Lecture delivered: “Where were the women? East African writing and the 1962 Makerere Conference”

University of York

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of History (2020)

Teaching on the first-year module Societies and Economies in World History

Shortlisted for the Department History Teaching Excellence Award

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