May 15-30, 2020

 CRIT 300 Selected Topics Representing Self: Kenya 
Dates: May 15-30, 2020
Credits: Critical Studies Elective | 3 Credits  
Who can participate? Open to all UArts students

This class explores important issues related to representations of the self through a unique study away experience in Kenya. Using modern Kenya as a case-study, Representing Self invites students to explore how cultural, political and historical contexts inform individual artistic expression. Students will also be asked to consider the relationship between individual representations of self and collective forms of political representation, drawing from a variety of creative forms and critical voices. Students will gain a basic understanding of the history of colonialism and independence in the region while enjoying field trips to galleries and other cultural institutions including the National Theater in Nairobi. 

Students will be staying at the Ndabibi Environmental Conservation Centre a five-acre farm where they teach self-sustainable farming practices including water management and soil improvement, composting, reforesting, rain collection, and aquaculture.

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Student Learning Outcomes

  • Think, read, write, and discuss from a variety of informed critical perspectives to understand the relationship between colonialism and cultural production as they relate to issues of representation.

  • Reflect on connections between the study away experience in Kenya and personal, cultural, and creative contexts. 

  • Access information from a variety of sources and assess their reliability and relevance using multiple critical lenses while examining topics related to the study away experience in Kenya. 

  • Develop a critical language about the complexities of modern Kenya by synthesizing weekly readings on related topics, issues, and themes. 

  • Recognize contemporary issues central to the arts and culture and theorize globally conscious ways of analyzing issues as they relate to study away experience in Kenya. 

Authors read will include Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (Kenya), Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Can Themba (South Africa) and others. Photographers of interest will include Peter Magubane (South Africa), Seydou Keita and Malik Sidibe (Mali). 

Imani Roach
Imani Roach

About the Instructor: 

Imani Roach is a Philadelphia-based artist, writer and art historian who specializes in the art and material culture of modern Africa. After receiving a B.A. in Art History from Stanford University and an M.A. in Art History from Harvard, Imani went on to serve, first as a Senior Editor at Guernica Magazine, and later as the Managing Editor at Artblog, an online journal dedicated to Philadelphia art news and criticism. Since 2016 she has taught courses at both the University of the Arts and the University of Pennsylvania focusing on African art, modernism and post-colonial theory. She has a special interest in the history of photography in Africa, and is currently an advanced doctoral candidate at Harvard University completing a dissertation on the first generation of black South African photojournalists under Apartheid. 

Imani has conducted significant field research in both Ghana and South Africa and spent time in Kenya in 2012, where she visited many sites of cultural importance in and surrounding Nairobi. She is excited about the possibility of renewing the connections that she made during her first visit to East Africa, as she is about introducing students to the arts and literature of modern Africa in an immersive environment.

 Travel Package: $4,380 
Deposit amount: $500 (non-refundable deposit)
Deposit deadline: February 1, 2020
Final payment due by March 15, 2020

Travel Package includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare to Nairobi, Kenya
  • 14 nights of accommodations at a hotel in Nairobi and at the Ndabibi Environmental Conservation Centre (NECC) while in Ndabibi
  • English-speaking, trained professional tour guides
  • Entrances for cultural sites
  • Ground transportation in safe, clean motorcoach 
  • All meals included

Other costs to consider:

  • Course Tuition: $403 The current travel course credit rates are $134 per credit, up to 3 credits. Same tuition rate whether you are taking for credit or auditing the class.
  • Vaccinations, this will vary based on your insurance plan and what inoculations you choose a full list of recommended vaccinations for travelers to Kenya on the CDC website, we recommend reviewing with your insurance company as these can be expensive
  • International cell phone plan
  • $199 Optional Travel Protection Plan Cancel for Any Reason (per person) we do recommend considering this insurance policy
  • Luggage overage fees and hotel incidentals are not included and are the responsibility of the program participants.
  • Passport application fees if you need to secure a passport

Summer Financial Aid

  • Complete the part-time aid form with SFS office to see what aid you might be eligible for.
  • Student Financial Aid will review your application and provide you with any available options and recommendations: 
  • Funding may include Pell Grants, Federal Loans, and State Grants
  • Using summer funds may impact your lifetime aid limits, SFS will review with you.
  • If you need assistance with the cost or need funds for educational expenses for and including the trip, you should go over private loan options with your SFS Counselor.
  • Payment and Refund Policies

Payment and Refund Policies

  • The deposit is non-refundable unless the travel course is canceled.  
  • If your travel course application is not accepted, your deposit will be refunded.
  • Travel fees are non-refundable after the purchase of any travel expenses (airfare, hotel, insurance, excursions, related fees) whether or not the student travels.
  • Students may risk a financial hold on their account if they fail to pay travel-related fees in full.  A financial suspension will prevent students from future registrations.


Email for details.

Application Checklist 

  Make sure you have a passport with an expiration date 6 months after the last day of your trip date.

  Complete the Travel Course Application.  You can access it via the Student Forms page on the Portal.

  Look for your confirmation email.

  Go to Student Financial Service to pay your $500 deposit.

    In person payments: Student Financial Services office.

    Online payments: and select "Make a 1-Time Payment."  You will also need to send an email to Mariann Cardonick in SFS so that she can credit your account.  

  Complete Risk & Release form.

  Complete the Travel Information form, which includes a passport upload & emergency contacts.

  Wait for approval notification.

  Final payment due to SFS.

  Check your registration (you will automatically be registered upon final payment).

  Attend your pre-departure workshop.


Learn more

Caitlin Perkins, Coordinator for Short Travel