Dr Christina Kenny

Lecturer - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education

Christina Kenny

Phone: +61 26773 5418

Email: ckenny3@une.edu.au


Dr Christina Kenny is a lecturer in Sociology. She works on issues of gender, human rights and development with a focus on colonial histories, gendered citizenship, and gender and sexuality rights in the Global South. Her doctoral thesis, ‘"They would rather have the women who are humbled" – gendered citizenship and embodied rights in post-colonial Kenya’ was grounded in 13 months field work 2012 - 2013, and 2014. Using Kenyan women’s gender and citizenship rights as a focal point, her thesis argues that human rights discourse creates particular kinds of recipients of rights, and often compels these subjects to inhabit their new, human rights based identities in limiting and problematic ways.

Christina has also worked with a variety of human rights based organisations in research, policy development and advocacy in Australia and sub-Saharan Africa including the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals, The Australian Govt. Department of the Attorney General; the Women’s Legal Centre (Cape Town) and the South African Human Rights Commission; the British Institute of Eastern Africa, the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions, and the Kenya Human Rights Commission in Nairobi.


PhD (Interdisciplinary Humanities), Australian National University

Admitted to Supreme Court of NSW

Diploma of Legal Practice, Australian National University 

LLB, University of Sydney 

BA (Hons I) English literature, Early Modern European History, University of Sydney

Teaching Areas

SOCY393 The Body in Society

SOCY382 21st Century Sex: Gender, Pleasure and Social Change

SOCY100 Introduction to Sociology

SOCY319 Global Societal Challenges

Research Interests

East African history

Postcolonial theory

Sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) rights and cultures in African, and Australian migrant and diaspora communities

International Human Rights and critical development studies

I also convene the Feminist Reading Group at UNE.


2014 – 2016             

Principal Consultant (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) Network of African National Human Rights Institutions

Arcus Foundation and Wellspring                                    $400,000 USD

GIZ                                                                                           $60,000 USD

At the invitation the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), I designed an online and in-person program to train high level staff of African National Human Rights Institutions in partnership with the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI). I also co-authored the two grants which funded the development of content, and the training and rollout of the pilot phases of the project. The project is the first of its kind in the region and is designed to build the capacity of national human rights institutions to engage respectfully and effectively with rights violations based on a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression (SOGIE), particularly where SOGIE advocates and human rights professionals are working in countries which host attitudes, cultures and legislation hostile to the rights of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.


Field Work Grant - British Institute of Eastern Africa ($2000)

Monash/African Studies Association of Australasia & the Pacific Post Graduate Essay Prize ($3000): The ‘liberatory value of indigenous institutions’? Cultural practice as resistance in the British Colony of Kenya


Selected peer reviewed publications 

Kenny, Christina 2019 ‘“Women are not ready to [vote for] their own”: Remaking democracy, making citizens after the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya’, in Rita Shackel and Lucy Fiske (eds.), Gender, poverty and violence: Implications for Gender Justice in post-conflict settings, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319778891

Kenny, Christina 2013, ‘“She grows to be just a woman, not a leader” - Gendered Citizenship and the 2007 General Election in Kenya’, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Issue 33, December

Policy and advocacy

Contributing researcher and author on public reports of the national NGO, the Kenya Human Rights Commission:

- Observation of the 2014 Botswana General Electionshttp://www.khrc.or.ke/publications/146-botswana-elections-monitoring-report/file.htmland

- A Democratic Paradox: A report on Kenya’s 2013 General Electionshttp://www.khrc.or.ke/mobile-publications/civil-political-rights/21-democratic-paradox-a-report-on-kenya-s-2013-general-election/file.html

Contributing researcher and author on a number of reports tabled in the Australian Parliament by independent statutory authorities, including:

The Attorney General’s Department, Cornall, Robert 2016, Final Report: Defence Abuse Response Task Force, Commonwealth of Australia, https://www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au/Reports/Documents/Dart-final-report-2016.pdf; Australian Refugee and Migration Review Tribunals as Senior Country of Origin Advisor, providing information packages and individual case research papers, briefing tribunal members on over 80 countries; and The Australian Human Rights Commission with the office of the Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice.


African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAF)

The British Institute of East Africa (BIEA)

The Australian GLBTIQA Multicultural Council (AGMC)

External Profiles