2018-2019 CIRS GU-Q Faculty Fellow

Phoebe Musandu is a scholar of African history. She has research interests in African historical methodology, mass media and has published papers in women and gender history. Her last major research project resulted in a manuscript she is preparing for publication that examines the establishment and operations of various secular newspapers in East Africa between 1899 and 1990. As a consequence of working on this project, she has also developed an interest in the history of other forms of mass media as well as African commercial history which she intends to cultivate in the long-term. Phoebe obtained her doctoral degree from the University of California Los Angeles’ Department of History.

As a CIRS GU-Q fellow, Musandu is conducting research about the business and politics of the postcolonial East African print media sector. This project will examine the operations of Kenya’s major newspapers between 1960 and 1990. Musandu will argue that most were established and managed with the objective of enabling the interests that controlled them to permeate the political field and other sectors of the economy that had little or nothing to do with newspapers or the media. That is, newspapers acted as bases from which to affect various centres of power. At the same time, they served as media for the production of conformity, steering public opinion towards those positions.