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Katherine Bruce-Lockhart

Research Interests

My current research, supervised by Dr. Emma Hunter, focuses on the prison system in Uganda from the onset of colonial rule to the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979. I am interested in how prisons became sites of interaction and contestation between the state and society in both the colonial and post-colonial periods; spaces in which questions of power, morality, and identity were negotiated and challenged. My previous research focused on the detention of women during the Mau Mau Rebellion in colonial Kenya, with a particular emphasis on how colonial gendered perceptions of deviancy shaped the detainees' treatment. More broadly, I am interested in the history of crime and punishment in colonial and post-colonial Africa; histories of women's detention and incarceration across the African continent; and the politics of reparations.


  • MSc African Studies, St.Antony's College, University of Oxford, 2012-2013
  • BA History and African Studies, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 2008-2012

Awards and Honors:

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge
  • Trinity College External Studentship (Honorary), Trinity College, University of Cambridge
  • Clarendon Scholarship, University of Oxford
  • Dahrendor Scholarship, University of Oxford
  • John H. Moss Scholarship, University of Toronto


  • International History
  • Imperial History

Key Publications

Katherine Bruce-Lockhart. '"Unsound" minds and broken bodies: the detention of "hardcore" Mau Mau women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954-1960."Journal of Eastern African Studies 8:4 (2014): 590-608. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2014.948148, available:

Katherine Bruce-Lockhart. 'The "Truth" about Kenya: Connection and Contestation in the 1956 Kamiti Controversy.' Journal of World History 26:4 (2015): 815-838. DOI: 10.1353/jwh.2016.0062, available:

Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. ‘Reconsidering Women’s Roles in the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya, 1952-1960.’ In Countering Insurgencies: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies, edited by Martin Thomas and Gareth Curless, 227-256. London: Bloomsbury, 2017. (Forthcoming)

Other Publications

Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. Review of The Boy is Gone: conversations with a Mau Mau general by Laura Lee P. Huttenbach, Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute 86:2 (May 2016): 359-360.

Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. ‘When does hate speech become dangerous speech? Consider Kenya and Rwanda.’ Free Speech Debate. April 26, 2013.

Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. ‘From incitement to self-censorship: the media in the Kenyan elections of 2007 and 2013.’ Free Speech Debate.  February 14, 2014.