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Dr Mark Lamont

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7352

+44 (0)20 7919 7813

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Department of Anthropology
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
SE14 6NW

Office hours:
Wednesday: 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wednesday 1:00pm - 2:00pm (senior tutor hours)

Over the past two decades, my research interests in East Africa have changed from an initial focus on the liberalization of the agricultural sectors of central Kenya to many other topics: the ritual abeyance of age-set formation in Meru; ethnographic studies of late life, death, pollution, and funerals; the proliferation of Pentecostal-charismatic Christian ‘para-churches’ and the popularization of gospel music; and more recently the globalized politics of road safety in Kenya and Tanzania. I am currently researching and writing a book, Speed Governors: Road Safety and Infrastructural Politics in Postcolonial Kenya, which offers critical perspectives on the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (c. 2011).


Mark Lamont convenes the BA History and Anthropology programme.

Mark Lamont teaches on the following courses:

Research interests

Age-set formation; generations; death and funerals; road safety and injurability; morality and ethics; religion and secularity; Kenya and Tanzania.

Mark Lamont’s current work builds upon more than a decade of ethnographic research in central Kenya among the Meru. His PhD focused on the auto-poesis of generation through age-set formation, an exploration of why older generations are often projected as ‘more’ moral than younger ones. He has since published on street performances and the use of indigenous allegories of ‘the End’ in gospel music (African inspired Pentecostal-Charismatics) and is working on further outputs from this research.

Mark was a collaborator in ‘Death in Africa: A History c.1800 to Present Day’, an AHRC funded project based at Goldsmiths and Cambridge. He has published on forced burial in colonial Kenya and its impact on contemporary funerary and mortuary rituals, as well as several articles on road death/safety.

Most recently, Mark has contributed to rethinking the ‘accidental’ within everyday mobility through a focus on infrastructural disruption. Engaged in a longer-term research project on the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) in Britain and the UK, Mark is currently researching a book on road safety as infrastructural governance with a specific focus on the politics of ‘repair’.

Death in Africa Project


Selected publications

(forthcoming 2013 with Rebekah Lee) ‘Africa! Arrive Alive! Road Safety in Kenya and South Africa’, Technology & Culture

(forthcoming 2013), ‘Speed Governors: Road Safety and Infrastructural Overload in Postcolonial Kenya, c. 1963-2013, Africa

2012 ‘Malinowski & the “Native Question”’, Histories of Anthropology Annual, 8 (1)

2012 ‘Accidents have no cure: road death as industrial catastrophe in Africa’, African Studies, 71: 2

2011, 'Decomposing pollution? Corpses, burials, and affliction among the Meru of central Kenya', in Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomena, Michael Jindra and Joel Noret (eds) New York & London: Berghahn Books

2010 ‘An epidemic on wheels? Road safety, public health and injury politics in Africa’, Anthropology Today, 26: 5

2010 ‘Lip-Synch Gospel: Christian music and the ethnopoetics of identity in Kenya’, Africa, 80:3

2009 'Interroger les morts pour critiquer les vivants, Ou éxotisme morbide? Encounters with African funerary practices in Francophone anthropology, a review’, Africa, 79:3

Content last modified: 13 Jan 2015

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