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Derek Peterson Speaker Agent

Derek Peterson

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Derek Peterson Biography

Derek Peterson is a historian reshaping our understanding of the African experience of colonialism through close study of local texts and the creativity of their authors. Peterson draws on an unprecedented range of vernacular and English-language sources written by Africans, including record books, diaries, religious pamphlets, syllabi and dictionaries, oral histories, and letters. His analyses of these texts extend beyond their content to include the context in which they were created and their intellectual, aesthetic, and material characteristics.

In his first book, Creative Writing: Translation, Bookkeeping, and the Work of Imagination in Colonial Kenya (2004), Peterson focuses on debates among literate Gikuyu about how to read, translate, and interpret colonial texts in accordance with their own aspirations and perspectives. His second book, Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival (2012), shows how the emergence of nationalism and independence movements across East Africa was inextricably intertwined with Protestant revivalism.

Central to Peterson's work as a historian of East Africa is his commitment to identifying and preserving historical documentation. After discovering several local archives in dire conditions during his research, he spearheaded a long-term partnership with African scholars and universities that has resulted in the rescue of local, regional, and national archives, which are now accessible to other scholars. Peterson's wide-ranging scholarship and archive preservation efforts are challenging long-standing narratives about colonialism and nationalism in Africa and opening new avenues for further research.

Peterson received a B.A. (1993) from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Minnesota. Currently a professor in the Departments of History and Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan, he previously held positions at the College of New Jersey (2000–2004) and the University of Cambridge (2004–2009).

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Derek Peterson for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Derek Peterson speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Derek Peterson for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Derek Peterson speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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