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Dr. Carotenuto publishes article and presents paper on Kenyan Sport History

Matt Carotenuto, Associate Professor of African History and Coordinator of African Studies, recently published an article on the history of wresting in colonial and postcolonial Kenya. His article “Grappling with the Past: Wrestling and Perfomative Identity in Kenya” appears in the latest issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport and explores the colonial decline of indigenous sporting traditions as well as contemporary attempts to revive traditional wrestling.  

In November he also presented a follow-up piece to this article at the Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Baltimore. At the conference Dr. Carotenuto chaired a panel on “Debating Identity in African Sport History” and presented a paper titled, “Prison Games: State Patronage and Neotraditional Sport in Kenya.” His paper incorporates archival evidence and oral interviews from field research conducted in 2011 and 2013 and explores the historic role that the Kenyan prisons department has played in supporting martial arts like wrestling boxing and judo. During his research Dr. Carotenuto had a chance to work out with the Kenyan national wrestling team at their home base in a Nairobi Prison as well as observe and help officiate a traditional wrestling tournament in western Kenya.