Faculty Profile Q&A: Kundai Chirindo
July 30, 2012
The following Q&A is part of a series created by the college dean’s office to introduce new faculty. Get to know Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies Kundai Chirindo, who joins the faculty this fall, in the interview below.
Education: Ph.D. 2012 (anticipated) University of Kansas; M.A. 2008, B.A. 2004 Bethel University
Research and Teaching Interests: Rhetoric, culture, and hermeneutics; the discursive construction of Obama; Africa in the public imaginary
What most excites you about joining the L&C community?
I got my undergraduate degree and first job at a liberal arts college like Lewis & Clark. After spending the last few years in a large university, I look forward to experiencing the collegiality and intimacy the Pioneer community enjoys.
Describe the current trajectory of your scholarly research.
My research focuses on questions about the ideological work done by discourses of identity in various African contexts and in the African diaspora. I am interested in how different understandings of Africa and Africanness are used for political purposes. My dissertation, for example, studies how Barack Obama’s African roots affected his rise to the presidency. In the future, I hope to study how African identities invented during colonialism affect present-day politics in sub-Saharan Africa. I am interested in the different ways that African politicians evoke identities to advance their political agendas.
What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I enjoy live jazz, camping, watching sports, and cooking.
What were your childhood goals/aspirations?
For the longest time I wanted to have a photography business like my father did.
What are you listening to in your car right now?
I am going between NPR and podcasts of the Judge John Hodgeman show.
What was your favorite childhood story?
I remember laughing the most when I heard trickster tales about the hare outsmarting the baboon.