Cory Rodgers

Cory Rodgers

DPhil Student

Keble College

Thesis: People of the Periphery: Language, Place and Skill as the Making os Pastoral Identity in Turkana, Kenya

Research: I am studying the ways language, landscape, and livelihood create a sense of place and a basis for belonging and exclusion among semi-nomadic herding communities in Turkana, Kenya. My two years of fieldwork in northwestern Kenya involved research across an urban-rural transect in Turkana County, with a focus on herders living on the remote plains near the Kenya-Uganda border. I employ a phenomenological framework to understand the ways that the Turkana landscape evokes a sense of place among those who dwell in or travel through it, exercising what the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945) called ‘operational intentionality’ with differential effects on well-attuned inhabitants and out-of-place outsiders. This tacit politics of belonging has implications for the future of Turkana herding amidst the influences of the state, development and humanitarian agencies extending their reach into the pastoral periphery.

Other research interests: Mobility, language, refugees, infrastructure


2015 Centres and Peripheries: Rethinking Binaries in Kenya and East Africa, Oct 30-31, British Institute in East Africa, Nairobi

Title: “The Rise of Urban Centres Among "People of the Periphery": herders responding to devolution and development in Turkana” 


Cory is supervised by Professor Elisabeth Hsu and Dr David Turton


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