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Situating Fireside Knowledge in Development Feminist Academy

Mary Njeri Kinyanjui


As a feminist development geographer scholar for the last 26 years, I have interacted with the feminist development academy. I have experienced two scenarios. The first one being a marginal scholar in the global knowledge production ladder because I am a female working in an African university. The second one is that I am both a subject recipient of development and a researcher of development. These experiences have placed me as a marginal scholar in the development feminist academy writing about marginal communities in patriarchal capitalist global development. I have envisioned and positioned my scholarship work as situating fireside knowledge in development feminist development academy. I coin the term ‘fireside knowledge’ from my Agikuyu tradition that separated knowledge that was passed on in the woman’s fireside in the kitchen from that of men in the men’s hut. The difference in the two forms of knowledge was expressed in the saying cia riiko ti cio cia thingira (knowledge or information passed at the kitchen fireside is different from that conveyed in a man’s hut).

Key words: Fireside, knowledge, feminist, global capital, marginalization, Gikuyu