PhD Defense Ceremony

Wednesday the 12th of January, 2011, has become a very special day. I succesfully defended my PhD thesis entitled “The Need for Circumcised Men”: The Quest for Transformed Masculinities in African Christianity in the Context of the HIV Epidemic. The event took place in the Academy Hall of Utrecht University. In this room one is never sure whether the men (yes, they are exclusively male) on the wall are encouraging or frightening you. Critical questions were raised by six highly learned opponents. Apparently the Big Men on the Wall of Fame were good-tempered, as after the defence I received the diploma cum laude. In the Netherlands, this is the highest distinction possible. Reason enough for a celebration, and so we did! At this picture, from left to right: Professor Martha Frederiks (promoter); Dr. Nyambura Njoroge, who had come from Geneva to attend the ceremony; myself; Dr. Fulata Moyo, who appeared to be the most critical opponent (but we are still friends ;-); Professor Ezra Chitando (promoter); Professor Anne-Marie Korte (promoter).

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