PhD Orals Document: Querying Science and Technology Studies in Africa

Submitted by:

Angela Okune

Graduate Student

Department of Anthropology

University of California, Irvine

October 2, 2018

To her committee members:

Dr. Kim Fortun (Chair)

Dr. Kris Peterson

Dr. George Marcus

Dr. Angela Jenks

Dr. Cecelia Lynch


This essay, submitted by University of California, Irvine Anthropology PhD student Angela Okune in partial fulfillment of her requirements for advancement to candidacy, is an annotated subset of a broader exhibit entitled "STS in 'Africa' in formation" created by Angela as part of the 4S 2018 STS Across Borders initiative.

This orals document queries key social studies of science and technology in/on Sub-Saharan Africa to understand how analysts have understood the construction of “Africa” as an object of study and the ethical responsibilities of doing research in/on the continent. This document includes discussions over the binary construction of “indigenous knowledge” versus "science" and how these debates feature in STS work. The document also investigates the data practices that STS scholars themselves use (and their articulations about these practices).

This is one of three essays. A second essay looks at efforts towards decolonizing the African university here. A third essay queries collaboration collaboratively and can be found here.

STS in Africa Workflow

Conceptual Framework:

AO: These orals documents are framed around Fortun’s conceptualization of discursive risks and gaps (Fortun 2012). Fortun writes that the contemporary Late Industrial period is characterized by complex conditions for which there is no available...Read more

Content Bibliography: STS in Africa Orals Doc


Okune, Angela. 2018. "PhD Orals Document: Querying Science and Technology Studies in Africa." PhD Orals Document. UC Irvine Anthropology. October. ...Read more

PECE: Analytics, Structure, Discursive Risks & Motivations for Use

AO: These orals documents seek to understand the discursive risks (Fortun 2012) of relevant literatures for my project. How have scholars been thinking and writing about science and technology in Africa, collaboration, and investments into the African university?

...Read more

Angela's Project + "STS in Africa"

This orals essay focuses on understanding the themes and topics that social scientists studying Science and Technology in Africa have been working on. I am particularly interested in studying the data practices of these scholars and how they describe their own and others’ data practices. This...Read more

Angela Okune: Brief Research Description

“Research for Africa”: Qualitative Data Sharing Cultures and Practices

This doctoral research project examines how qualitative research data is produced, shared, and contested by diverse research groups in Nairobi, Kenya. Despite decades of research aiming to solve Africa’s problems and...Read more

Angela Okune: Brief Bio

Angela Okune ( Twitter | Web ) is a doctoral student in the Anthropology Department at the University...Read more

PhD Orals at UCI Anthro

When a student begins a graduate program, s/he is not yet a candidate for a graduate degree. According to the UC Irvine Graduate Division website , t o become a...Read more

STS in "Africa" Extended Narrative

Scholars working on Science and Technology in Africa have worked on a wide range of projects related to cultural astronomy ( Holbrook ; ...Read more

Data Ethnography of "STS in Africa"

The process of compiling the orals essay (and STS in Africa exhibit) required me to scour the Internet and attempt to acquire materials to include in the individual’s essay. Doing this for the 40 individuals in the essay and over one hundred artifacts which I created and uploaded in the...Read more

Full Bibliography: STS in Africa

Aimé, Segla Dafon, and Akpona Simon. 2018. “The Role of a Yoruba Traditional Leaf in a Fermented Food Technology (Nauclea Latifolia, Sarcocéphalus Latifolius): Shedding Light on African Accuracy of Implicit Knowledge and Technologies".” Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal 5 (2...Read more


Orals Commitee members are requested to use the following google form to submit any feedback response in your evaluation of the essays and candidate. The author and advisor have drafted these...Read more