Mwayi Lusaka

Current Fellows: History Department, PhD

I am a doctoral fellow at the Center for Humanities Research of the University of the Western Cape from History Department of the same university. My research interests revolve around issues of history, culture, intangible and tangible cultural heritage, specifically on how these are constituted in the public domain.

My doctoral research is entitled ‘Culture, History and Politics in Malawi: The Production of National Heritage, 1964-2009’. It seeks to study the production of national heritage in Malawi from 1964 to 2009. It was in this period that independence from British colonial rule came about, an autocracy developed and from the 1990s, two democratic regimes were in power. This period had significant moments which influenced the manner and production of heritage. These processes of heritage production took different forms: cultural performances, language policies, the construction of monuments and memorials, and the establishment of commemorative events and the formation of museums. The research aims at providing a better understanding and explanation on how national heritage in Malawi was produced in this period by looking at three paradigms that explain how heritage is produced: the dominant ideology thesis, the notion of authorized heritage discourse and the argument around a heritage complex. Different methods of historical inquiry will be used, specifically archival research, oral histories, unstructured conversations and site surveys, in responding to the main question of the thesis: what is the appropriate way to understand and explain the processes of heritage production in Malawi between 1964 and 2009?