Bunting Program
Williams College
"Worries of the Heart": Widows' Lives in Western Kenya, 1900 to the Present


Kenda Mutongi is an assistant professor of history at Williams College. She has published articles in the Journal of African History, the International Journal of African Historical Studies, and in Gender and History.

This year, Mutongi will finish her book “Worries of the Heart: Widows’ Lives in Western Kenya, 1900 to the Present” (Heinemann Press, forthcoming). In it she narrates the isolation and emotional distress of African widows as well as the socioeconomic problems of land conflicts, burdensome children, rivalry with co-widows, and property inheritance. In essence, Mutongi will address the issues of the histories of gender, colonialism, and the post-colonial state.

Mutongi has received a number of fellowships, including the Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, the Social Science Research Council International Doctoral Research Fellowship, and the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship. She earned her PhD in African history from the University of Virginia.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.