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Peripheral identities in an African State: a history of ethnicity in the Kingdom of Buganda since 1884

Stonehouse, Aidan (2012) Peripheral identities in an African State: a history of ethnicity in the Kingdom of Buganda since 1884. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines how the expansion of the Ugandan Kingdom of Buganda in the late nineteenth century stimulated complex and contrasting processes of assimilation and ethnic attachment. Re-orienting Buganda's history away from its frequently studied political and cultural heartlands, it analyses how incorporation within the kingdom's extended colonial boundaries shaped the experiences and identities of communities on the kingdom's peripheries. This work engages with and builds upon new themes in Buganda's long historiographical tradition which have begun to critically address the importance of history from beyond the centre. Through extensive archival research as well as the use of oral histories, the thesis draws upon peripheral histories to provide fresh perspectives on the colonial Ganda state. By considering Buganda through its relationship to newly incorporated peoples, this thesis develops understandings of the relationship between the kingdom and British authorities, as well as of the often cited Ganda ability to incorporate strangers. This research further contributes to the significant literature surrounding identity in Africa arguing that the relatively autonomous position of Buganda within Uganda's colonial framework provides a distinctive setting in which to reassess notions of "invention" and agency in the development of twentieth-century African ethnicities. Focusing on several regions brought into the kingdom at the outset of British imperial intervention, this thesis argues that variations in Buganda's responses to the populations of these territories encouraged disparities in the readiness of individuals and communities to accept participation in the Ganda ethnic sphere. Where assimilative processes were imposed in a coherent or oppressive manner they actively challenged continuity in "tradition" and identity and were less effective in facilitating ethnic adaptation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of History (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.590282
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 12:16
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 12:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12751

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