Week 1: African Hunters at the Dawn of Colonization, 1895–1914
In this first session, we will consider various African hunting practices, including subsistence hunting by so-called pure hunter foragers, herders, and farmers, as well as the hunting of elephants for ivory. We will discuss the role of hunting in African cultural and gender values as well as diet and economy.
Week 2: European Settlers and Aristocratic Hunters, 1895–1914
European settlers began arriving in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century, bringing a long history of hunting forged by European class prejudices. We will consider the aristocratic hunting practices endangered “at home” as settlers adapted to Kenyan realities and bent African practices to their ideals.
Week 3: The Invention and Evolution of the Hunting Safari, 1909–1939
The safari, a new hunting synthesis, emerged from contact between African, Arab, and European ideas. A corps of Professional White Hunters was a salutary moment in creating Kenya's tourist industry, and the portrait of the “great white hunter” made the “champagne safari” the pinnacle of luxury and excitement.
Week 4: The Gardeners of Eden: Early Gamekeeping, 1900–1939
Early in its colonial history, Kenya established a game department to regulate and encourage sports hunting, with African hunters ipso facto poachers. By the 1920s, the department was promoting the economically important activities of a growing number of sports hunters. Conservation was a distant third among its responsibilities.
Week 5: Conservation and the Making of National Parks, 1933–1963
The 1930s saw a change in wildlife management in Kenya and internationally. The National Parks movement aimed to preserve wildlife rather than conserve game animals for hunting. International air travel saw the safari transformed by clients with a new sensibility about animals.
Week 6: The End of the Game and the Preservationist Idea, 1963–2010
International pressure on Kenya ensured policies that were favourable to conservation, but land scarcity and hostility to sanctuaries that excluded subsistence hunting led to conflict. By 1976, Kenya outlawed hunting to postpone “the end of the game.” The ban’s effects are disputed, and the future of Africa is still in question.