Lily Alice Elisabeth Rice
Centre for African Studies
Karen Blixens Plads 16, 2300 København S
My PhD is jointly based at University of East Anglia, in the UK, and the University of Copenhagen.
My PhD research is focused on an ethnographic and historical study of the humanist movement in Uganda. This is a relatively new movement which has grown in recent years, and is part of the global humanist movement which advocates for the possibility of living a good ethical life without believing in a deity, belonging to a religious organisation, or believing in supernatural forces. My primary question is whether there is something distinctive about humanism in Uganda, and what is responsible for its recent growth here? The humanist movement in Uganda is idiosyncratic – this thesis hopes to also explore the question of what form humanism is taking in Uganda, and why.
This research engages with ongoing debates in anthropology and other fields about the nature of religion, and non-religion, and where we draw the boundaries of these, by exploring what humanism means to people in Uganda today. These movements in Uganda also presents an important opportunity to nuance understandings of religion and non-religion by looking at these movements in a non-Western context.
In particular, I hope to focus my study on the Western and South-western regions of the country, as this has been a particular focus of humanist activities. I am especially interested in how the humanist movement fits into a broader cultural and historical landscape of movements in these regions.