Language Policy and the Nation in East Africa

My dissertation research examines the development of Kenyan and Tanzanian language policies–the regulations governing the use of different languages in the educational system, legislative debates, broadcast media, political campaigns, and other areas–and their influence on how Kenyans and Tanzanians understand and identify with their nations. In 2019, I carried out qualitative research for 11 months in Kenya and Tanzania, including semi-structured interviews with more than 160 Kenyans and Tanzanians, ethnographic observation, and archival research in Kenya National Archives, the Tanzania National Archives, and other collections. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced me to continue my research. including additional interviews, remotely. I am currently working with in-country research partners to plan a multilingual, phone survey experiment to examine several empirical implications of my qualitative research.

I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the American Political Science Association, the Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Georgetown University Department of Government, the African Studies Association, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Cosmos Club Foundation for their support of my dissertation research.