Matthew Carotenuto

Matthew Carotenuto is associate professor of history and coordinator of African Studies at St. Lawrence University. He studies the ways Kenyan identities are imagined within the context of colonial violence, postcolonial politics, and indigenous sport.

Listed in: African Studies · American Studies · International Studies

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Obama and Kenya · Contested Histories and the Politics of Belonging
By Matthew Carotenuto and Katherine Luongo

Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused worldwide attention on Kenya. Carotenuto and Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past. Ideal for classroom use and directed at a general readership interested in global affairs, Obama and Kenya offers an important counterpoint to the many popular, but inaccurate texts about Kenya’s history and Obama’s place in it.

“In the US, Barack Obama is African; in Africa, he is Kenyan; and in Kenya, he is Luo. … Historians Carotenuto (St. Lawrence Univ.) and Luongo (Northeastern Univ.) emerge from the pages of this book as a dynamic academic duo as they glide through Kenya's colonial and postindependence periods.… This book also demonstrates that African studies is in good academic hands. Summing up: Recommended.”