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Article
The Abject Oath: British Psychosis and the Mythos of Mau Mau Oathing
Ofo: The Journal of Transatlantic Studies (2011)
  • Maisha L Wester, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Abstract
The Abject Oath” examines British propaganda about the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. The article specifically focuses upon British rumors about the nature of the Mau Mau oathing ceremonies, concluding that these rumors intentionally misrepresents these oaths as part of a slander campaign. Most significantly, “The Abject Oath” adds to previous discussions of the subject by applying Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to the propaganda; the essay concludes that the content of the rumors is a reflection British desire and anxieties, rather than any real reflection of Mau Mau crimes or Kikuyu culture. The real Mau Mau’s disappear in the propaganda about their ceremonies; they are, instead, displaced by British ideology of and anxiety over their history, recurrent drives, and problematic desires.
Keywords
  • Mau Mau rebellion,
  • British propaganda,
  • abjection
Publication Date
Spring May, 2011
Citation Information
Maisha L Wester. "The Abject Oath: British Psychosis and the Mythos of Mau Mau Oathing" Ofo: The Journal of Transatlantic Studies Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/maisha_wester/3/