People

Dr Beth Kamunge-Kpodo

Lecturer

Dr Beth Kamunge-Kpodo

School/Department: Leicester Law School

Email: beth.kamungekpodo@le.ac.uk

Profile

I am an ECR with research interests at the intersection of International Environmental Law, Black Feminist Philosophy, Public Health Law and Human Rights. I read Law (LLB with honours) at the University of Sheffield supported by an Academic Achievement Merit Scholarship that I maintained during my studies.

My interest in International Environmental Law began when I undertook an LLM in Public International Law (International Environmental Law & Human Rights pathway) also at the University of Sheffield (UK). My LLM thesis (supervised by Prof. Duncan French) provided my first extended opportunity to explore the links between International Environmental Law and the Human Rights of African Women.

Prior to starting work as a legal academic I trained as Barrister and was called to the Bar in Kenya (currently non-practicing). In this capacity I was involved in strategic/public interest litigation and legal mobilisation and advocacy in East Africa for the Human Rights of African women; and, for the protection of environmental and human rights of Indigenous communities displaced from their land by multinational corporations. These displacements were for the purpose of extractive mining projects and/or ‘land grabbing’ for the production of biofuels. It is here that I gained an ongoing interest in debates within law and social movements particularly the food justice movement; public participation of Black communities in environmental decision-making; legal mobilisation; and, the limits of business and human rights approaches in protecting the interests of marginalised communities in the Global South.

It was also within the context of working with Indigenous and other marginalised racialized communities that I began to engage with critical Black (and) feminist, decolonial and Indigenous literatures particularly from the humanities to shape my understanding of the role of law in bringing about social change. My work is necessarily transdisciplinary as reflected in my ongoing work exploring various notions of ‘justice’ from Black feminist and other critical perspectives- a task that began during my PhD (using the notion of ‘food justice’ as a grounded example) also from the University of Sheffield and continues today.

I joined the University of Leicester in September 2023, from the University of Reading where I was a Lecturer in Law and the Deputy Director of the Law, Justice and Society Research cluster at the Law school.

Research

I primarily engage in empirical, socio-legal research. My research is emancipatory and seeks to centre the perspectives and lived experiences of marginalised and underserved groups. I have a keen interest in black women’s lived experiences of food poverty, health and environmental inequalities and harms, and the (in)effectiveness and  of the law in bringing about social change. During the COVID-19 pandemic I was a Senior Research Assistant in the Centre for Health Law and Society, at the University of Bristol’s School of Law. There I worked with Prof John Coggon on a £1.4 million UKRI funded collaborative research project between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol, Edinburgh, University College London, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, in the Public Health and Health Inequalities workstream. I have extensive experience of public engagement in various contexts within and beyond academia, including disseminating research on the ethics of racialised public health inequalities in a forum in Westminster (May 2022).

Publications

  • John Coggon, Beth Kamunge-Kpodo, The legal determinants of health (in)justice, Medical Law Review, Volume 30, Issue 4, Autumn 2022, Pages 705-723.https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwac050
  • Kamunge, B (2022). Place and health inequalities: An ethical framework for developing and evaluating policy. UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator. Available online
  • Kamunge, B. (2021b) Intersectional approaches to tackling pandemic inequalities. UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator. Available online
  • Kamunge, B. (2021a) Response to ‘An Equal Recovery’ Inquiry by the Treasury Committee, UK Parliament. Report submission number AER0039. Available online
  • Johnson, A., Joseph-Salisbury, R., & Kamunge, B. (Eds.) (2018). The Fire Now: anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. London: Zed Books.
  • Kamunge, B. (2018). Intersectional approaches to food and gender politics in Kenya. Cha Kula, Route to Food: Nairobi. Available online (pp.16-20)
  • Kamunge, B., Joseph-Salisbury, R., & Johnson, A. (2018). Changing our fates in The Fire Now. In A. Johnson, R. Joseph-Salisbury, & B. Kamunge (Eds.), The Fire Now: Anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. London: Zed Books. (pp. 1-12)
  • Kamunge, B. Mwangi, W. and Ali, O. (2018). Writing in the Fire Now: Beth dialogues with Wambui and Osop in A. Johnson, R. Joseph-Salisbury, & B. Kamunge (Eds.), The Fire Now: Anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. London, UK: Zed Books (pp.189-197).

Supervision

I welcome PhD thesis proposals in areas broadly including, but not limited to:

  • Epistemic oppression and the law
  • Food and environmental justice
  • Black women’s participation in environmental decision-making

Teaching

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law (LW1120)
  • Land Law (LW2390)

Press and media

  • food and environmental justice;
  • racialised health inequalities;
  • black women’s lived experiences of law and social injustice.
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