Professor Eddah Mutua

Eddah M. Mutua (Ph.D., University of Wales, Aberystwyth) is a Professor of Intercultural Communication at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. Her research interests include African communication education and scholarship, the role of women in grassroots peacebuilding initiatives in post-conflict societies in Eastern Africa, relations between East African refugee and host communities in Central Minnesota, and critical service-learning as a pedagogical practice in peace education. Her work has received national and international recognition for a nationally recognized award-winning service-learning project.

She is the co-editor of Rhetorical Legacy of Wangari Mathaai: Planting the Future and Internationalization of the Communication Curriculum in an Age of Globalization

Other publications appear in The Journal of Social Encounters, Qualitative Inquiry, Africa Media Review, African Yearbook of Rhetoric, Women & Language, Text and Performance Quarterly and several edited intercultural books. She has served as a guest editor for Africa Media Review and Journal of Social Encounter.

Gender and decolonisation in Africa

Rural Women Decolonizing Knowledge: The Case of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, Eddah Mutua:
Wangari Maathai’s reference to Kenya’s rural women as “foresters without a diploma” challenges the Western and modern scientific “systemic sidelining of knowledge from Africa”. In this presentation, I will use Maathai’s rhetoric to illustrate ways that the Green Belt Movement became a site for transformative legacy of rural women as custodians of local knowledge.

Centring African languages to decolonise curricula in health sciences, Professor Elelwani Ramugondo:
Whereas both IsiXhosa and Afrikaans have long been part of undergraduate learning and teaching in Health Sciences degrees at the University of Cape Town, the teaching of IsiXhosa has been found to be inadequate (Tyam, 2016). Furthermore, both at University of Cape Town and within academia broadly, there has never been a focus on African languages as cultural capital for learning within professional health sciences degrees, as legitimate tools for scholarship and scientific research, and a resource for communication on health matters. Black students and staff often feel disconnected from their communities as they progress in the academy. Upward mobility often means lesser use of African languages and the ability to link acquired disciplinary knowledge with communities. Meaningful decolonisation of curricula requires direct engagement with communities based on issues that concern them. I hope to share our story of a project based at University of Cape Town, focussed on centring African languages to decolonise curricula.

Professor Eddah Mutua