seminar: Can dogs be racist? The colonial legacies of racialised dogs in Kenya and Zambia
This lecture places dogs into the centre of the politics of the everyday within late colonial and postcolonial Kenya and Zambia, focusing upon how colonial systems of racialisation relied upon the animal to naturalise and legitimise tenuous structures of power. The legacy of this colonial racialisation of dogs continued after Independence through the widespread discourse of - and belief in - ‘racist dogs’. Engagement with the idea of ‘racist dogs’ is the central development in the paper and begins to unpack why dogs are considered racist in certain contexts and what these ‘racist dogs’ can tell us about their owners’ postcolonial positionality. Joshua Doble is the Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Leeds, where he researches the social history of settler colonialism within the context of decolonising territories of Kenya and Zambia. This research examines the intimate relations between white settlers and the African people and environment around them to question what decolonisation means in these pseudo-settler postcolonial territories.