Ambivalent belonging: Born-again Christians between Africa and Europe

Danford Room 2nd floor Arts Building (R16 on the campus map)
Wednesday 5 December 2018 (16:30-18:30)

Speaker: Leslie Fesenmyer, University of Birmingham

Part of the Africa Talks Seminar Series Autumn 2018.

Talks are held in the Danford Room, 2nd floor, Arts Building (R16 on the campus map). 
All welcome. 

  • Full seminar programme


Questions of belonging are pressing and affective ones in Africa and Europe, entangled as they are with race, religion, and history.  In this paper, I consider how born-again Christians negotiate belonging between Kenya, their country of origin, and the United Kingdom, their current place of residence.  ‘Migrants’ in one context and ‘diasporans’ in another, they are seen as not belonging in either context.  While they derive certainty from the belief they are God’s children, they nonetheless contend with contradictions and ambivalence in their lived experiences transnationally.  Engaging with debates about autochthony and globalization, I employ the notion of scale to unpick how these born-again Christians foster a sense of belonging within and across specific settings. 

Speaker biography

Leslie Fesenmyer is Lecturer in the Anthropology of Africa at DASA. Prior to joining the department in September 2018, she held several research and teaching positions at Oxford University, including an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship (2013-2016) at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. Her research interests include migration, kinship, place-making, and Pentecostalism, which she has explored through long-term fieldwork in the United Kingdom and Kenya.