Introducing the BIEA

The British Institute in Eastern Africa has been active since 1960 and has its research centre  with accommodation, lecture facilities, work space and reference library in Nairobi, Kenya. The Institute is a registered charity which exists to promote research in all the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences within the wider region of eastern Africa. It offers financial support , affiliation services and logistical assistance to research projects, and runs a graduate attachment scheme. The Institute publishes a regular newsletter as well as the journal Azania: archaeological research in Africa and the Journal of Eastern African Studies.

Membership is open to all and we would be delighted if you would join us.


Call for Papers: BIEA 2021 Annual Conference

The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) is pleased to announce a new annual conference. The 2021 Annual Conference will take place digitally over four afternoons in late 2021 (15.00-18.00 EAT on Wed 17 November, 24 November, 1 December and 8 December) and will discuss the latest cutting-edge research. We welcome papers in the humanities and social sciences on any part of the African continent that speak to the Institute’s core research themes of retelling the past, changing environments, urban lives, technologies of politics, next generations, and epidemics, pandemics and epizootics. We welcome papers by those who have previously received support from the BIEA, as well as from those who are new to the Institute. Early career academics are encouraged to participate. If you would like to present a paper please submit a title, abstract (300-500 words), short bio (maximum 200 words), and a note on any of the scheduled dates or times that you would not be able to present to [email protected] by Friday 30 July 2021. All presenters will be given approximately 15 minutes to discuss their paper.

Open Call 2021: Documentary Heritage


First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat


The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme and the Whiting Foundation announce a fourth cycle of the Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat. We invite proposals for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to safeguard documentary heritage.

What’s at stake

“Documentary heritage” includes objects designed to carry information in writing, such as books, archives, manuscripts, tablets, carvings or inscriptions. These written records are sometimes the local stakeholder’s only surviving tangible connection to their past. Whether etched onto tombstones, drawn onto cave walls, or painted onto parchment these documentary records hold a wealth of information that once lost would be irretrievable. Owing to the effects of time they are incredibly fragile, susceptible to fire, insects, and the effects of our acute climate crisis. They are also sometimes singled out for deliberate destruction by those afraid of their potential to resist narratives that seek to exclude and marginalise. In the face of an interruption – whether natural or man-made, local actors need support to make sure their critical heritage is not lost forever more on how to Apply (Click here)