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Patience Kabamba, PhD


Institute of Critical International Studies (ICIS) and visiting lecturer at Emory University.

More by user: B4nafter
Created: 19th Nov 2008
Modified: 19th Nov 2008
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Institute of Critical International Studies (ICIS) - Emory University
visiting lecturer
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Biographical Information
Patience Kabamba, PhD
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: //
Gender: male
Tel: 404-727-2217
Website: http://www.ici...
Place of Origin: Africa
Born in a remote village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Kabamba was educated at a Jesuit boarding school sixty miles from his home. After high school, wishing to join the Jesuit order himself, he attended university, earning what would be the first of many degrees (in Mathematics) in the DRC. Soon after, he started the Jesuit “formation” or training, which brought him to many other institutions, including the Centre Sevres, Jesuit College of Philosophy in Paris (part of the Sorbonne) for a BA in Philosophy; the University of Natal Durban, South Africa where he completed Master’s degrees in both Philosophy and Development Studies; and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, for an additional MA in Philoso- phy. By then, he had also begun to engage in service work as part of the Jesuit curriculum. In Chad, he taught mathematics and philosophy in a high school and served as a prison chaplain. Later, in Nairobi, he was in charge of street children. These experiences, and several others like them, were rewarding. As he recounts, “I wanted to have my feet on the earth.” It was in Nairobi (after 11 of the 14 years required for ordination) that he decided to leave the order, but with no regrets: “One of the things I liked about the Jesuits is that you deal with very intellectual people as well as the poorest of the poor; that is the goal of the formation—to be able to link the two.” “I wanted to have my feet on the earth.” A chance meeting in South Africa with Columbia University’s then Director of the Institute of African Studies, Mahmood Mamdani, introduced him to the idea of studying anthropology— an area where he could continue to blend theory with field work on the ground. Mr. Kabamba’s dissertation, “Trading on War: Conflict, Trade and Ethnicity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” concentrates on one of the world’s “states at risk.” Through over two years of field work in the DRC, he has constructed a case study virtually unknown to outsiders: that of a highly successful network of traders in northeast Congo who, amidst war, violence, social chaos, and lack of government and infra-structure, have created a highly functional and socially complex, country-wide organization for commerce. It is the Nande people, an ethnic group traditionally engaged in trading, who have become the DRC’s business elite in a state where business, effectively, has no viable way to exist. In his own words, Mr. Kabamba’s research “argues that the collapse of public authority and the resulting conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to the emergence of new institutional arrangements between grassroots populations, armed actors, and various ‘elites’ at the local and regional level. These foster new strategies of social, economic and political integration.” During the Spring 2008 semester Mr. Kabamba is teaching an undergraduate seminar, “Violent Transformations in African States.” He will also continue to give public lectures and advise ICIS and members of the Emory Community on matters related to Africa; he serves as a resource on the ICIS “States at Regional Risk” project in particular. His PhD program at Columbia is being supervised by Professor Charles Tilly; his dissertation defense takes place at the end of May.

-- Newsletter of the Institute for Comparative and International Studies at Emory Spring 2008 Volume 8 | Numbers 1 & 2

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