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Alexander Kagaha (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) recently completed a writing retreat at a resort and retreat center in Uganda where he had been for one and a half months. The academic writing retreat offers researchers time to finalize their PhD dissertations, write manuscripts for publication, and prepare proposals for postdoctoral engagement. 

For Kagaha, his time in the retreat bore three manuscripts revised and accepted for publication by the Health policy and planning journal, the Women and Health journal, and the Anthropology and Medicine journal. Besides, he has now submitted his PhD dissertation and awaits the examiners’ reports. He also drafted his postdoctoral concept, which he plans to use to secure research funding opportunities.

Kagaha says the retreat has been an ambient environment for thinking, reading, and reflecting and that he has been able to concentrate with little distraction. “It is this stimulating environment that I am using to rethink the problems of materiality and the vitality of things, which I hope to investigate for my postdoctoral project,” he said. 

His academic writing retreat was fully funded by CARTA. “I am immensely grateful for it. I have also constantly received mentoring support from my supervisor, Professor Lenore Manderson. The mentorship has developed me into an academic who is also a research leader. I have been challenged to explore my potential beyond academics and seek to address the population and development concerns facing Africa,” he says. His postdoctoral research project aims to explore unimagined fields of the vitality and shared agency of life materials and non-human objects and the conception of technology assemblages.

“I take this opportunity to thank all the CARTA team for the support, all the technical, administrative, financial, and moral support that was rendered to us throughout the year,” said Kagaha. 


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