After having finished my studies in History and African Studies, I received a Ph.D. degree from Leiden University (The Netherlands) in 1996 with a thesis on oral and written literature, identity and gender in Central Kenya. I then worked at Cologne University (Germany) on a post-doctoral research project, studying violence and exile on the basis of fieldwork with refugees from South-East Angola. From 2001 to 2004 I was engaged in research at Ghent University on the relations between nationalism, religion and popular culture in Northern Angola.
In 2005-2006 I carried out a project on the socio-cultural history of forty years of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation at the African Studies Centre in Leiden. Between 2007 and 2013 I was engaged in a programme on communication technologies, mobility and social relations in historical perspective, with as research focus south-east Angola, while at the same time co-ordinating the programme (https://mobileafricarevisited.wordpress.com/ ).
As of 2014 I taught at Ghent University on a part-time basis and carried out historical research within the Kongo King project (http://www.kongoking.org/).
At present I am working as professor African Studies at the Department of African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University (Belgium). My fields of research include: African literature, African popular culture, and African history. The themes of my research engage African literature, performance, popular culture, narrative, literacy and books in the wider context of communication and public debate in terms of cultural history. Geographically the focus is on Kenya and Angola.
- Introduction into African Literatures
- Genres and Themes in African Literatures
- Language, Culture and Society in Africa
- Media, discourse and representation of/from Africa
- Fieldwork in Africa
- Gender and Identity in African Literatures
- Literature, Media and the Arts in Central and Eastern Africa
- Research Seminar
- Global Processes in Historical Perspective
- Language, History and Identity in Central and Eastern Africa
- Secretary of the Exam Committee (African Languages and Cultures, UGent)
- Secretary of the Evaluation Policy Committee (African Languages and Cultures, UGent)
- Secretary of the Educational Programme Committee (African Languages and Cultures, UGent)
- Coreteam member of the Diversity Team (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, UGent)
- Responsible for the Library Collection L91 African Cultural History (Library Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, UGent)
- PAPER for TAPAS Workshop: ‘(Dis)claiming pasts’, 14/15 December 2017, Ghent: ‘Self-realisation, history and the state in Mau Mau autobiographies (Kenya)’.
- Organisation of a LECTURE: Dr. Sophie Feyder, ‘Private photographic collections from blackphotographers and the making of archives’, Ghent, African Languages & Cultures, 20 December 2017.
- Organisation of a THEMATIC STREAM by Godwin Siundu, Tom Odhiambo and Inge Brinkman, ASA UK, Cambridge, 11-13 September 2018. Title: ‘Text, paratext and context in African autobiographical narratives.’
- PAPER for Symposium 'African Art with Words', in honour of Daniela Merolla, 1 December 2017, Leiden: ‘The Girl and Her Brother’. Concepts of Slavery and Gender Relations in a Gikuyu Tale from Central Kenya.’
- Organisation of a LECTURE: Dr. Walter Nkwi (History, University of Buea, Cameroon), ‘Colonialism and communication: the case of British Cameroon’, Ghent, African Languages & Cultures, 22 November 2017.
- INTERVIEW: Willem Anker, Buys, Week van de Afrikaanse roman, 6 October 2016, 13-17hrs, Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letterkunde (KANTL), Ghent. For a report, see: http://www.litnet.co.za/week-van-de-afrikaanse-roman-2017-letterkundig-symposium-en-slotfeest/
- Organisation WORKSHOP (with Maxim Rigaux and Elizabeth Amann), Ghent, 25 April 2017: ‘Memories of Being Possessed. Literary Representations of Slavery Throughout History.’
- PAPER presented: ‘The Girl and Her Brother’. Concepts of Slavery and Gender Relations in a Gikuyu Tale from Central Kenya.’
- RESEARCH VISIT to Nairobi, Kenya: April 2017.
- LECTURE for Auw La: poetry-society UGent, Ghent, 20 March 2017: ‘Gikuyu slam-dichters in Kenia: gĩcaandĩ in historisch perspectief’.
- LECTURE SERIES on African literatures, Library Merelbeke, 8, 15, 22 March 2017.
- ORGANISATION Lecture, Ghent, 20 December 2016: In Koli Jean Bofane, author from Congo.
- RADIO PROGRAMME, 11 December 2016: Klara radio programme Berg en Dal, interview with Pat Donnez on African literatures.
- PAPER in Migration Studies Group, Ghent, 11 December 2016: ‘Travelling words, travelling people: Mobility, space and place on the Kenyan Pundit weblog’.
- INTERNATIONALISATION@HOME: 5 December 2016, Ghent: ‘Dostojevski en Tolstoj buiten Westen’
- PAPER in Collaborative Research Group History of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, 28 November 2016: ‘History, fiction and Kenyan autobiography’.
- INTERNATIONALISATION@HOME: 22 November 2016, Ghent. ‘Gender & Sexuality’
- PAPER and CONFERENCE-visit: ‘Music and Dance Research in East Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 12-13 October 2016. PAPER presented: ‘Representing performance. Memories of music and dance in Kenyan autobiographical writing’.
- BELEZEN WETENSCHAPPERS, 4 October 2016, 20.30hrs, Het Pand, Ghent.
- PAPER: ‘Digital Publics in Africa’, Cambridge, 10 September 2016. Title: ‘Social diary and news production: audience and identity in social media during elections in Kenya (2007)’.
- PAPER: ASA UK, Cambridge, 7-9 September 2016. Title: ‘Mau Mau memoirs and Kenyan cultural history’.
- LECTURE: Nairobi, Kenya, British Institute for Eastern Africa (BIEA), 4 February 2016:
‘Song and nationalism: political communication during the Angolan and Kenyan liberation wars (1950s-1975).’ http://www.biea.ac.uk/event/song-and-nationalism-political-communication-during-the-angolan-and-kenyan-liberation-wars-1950s-1975/
- PAPER: Birmingham University (UK), 12-14 November 2015, Paper presentation at Symposium: ‘Landscapes, Sources, and Intellectual Projects in African History: Rethinking Historical Evidence and its Interpretation’, in honour of Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias.
Title: ‘The material aspects of the Christian education system in the Kongo Kingdom (16th-18th century)’.
- LECTURE: Bayreuth University (Germany), 3 November 2015, Guest Lecture in the African History Seminar, organized by Prof. Achim von Oppen. Title: ‘Education and politics in the sixteenth century Kongo Kingdom’.
For a full list of papers and presentations, do not hesitate to contact me.
December 2017, INALCO, Paris, committee of PhD defence: Aicha Aid Berry, ‘Rituel et Oralité chez les Ait Soukhmanes. Le cérémonial du mariage: une pratique en mutation’. Supervised by Prof. dr. Daniela Merolla.
- November 2017: Ghent: Secretary to the committee of PhD defence: Deo Kawalya, 'A corpus-driven study of the expression of modality in Luganda (Bantu, JE15)'. Supervised by Prof . Dr. Koen Bostoen and Prof. Dr. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver.
- February 2017: Helsinki, Finland: committee of PhD defence: Jonna Katto, ‘Beautiful Mozambique. Haptics of belonging in the life narratives of female war veterans’. Supervised by Prof. Dr. Axel Fleisch.
- November 2016: Ghent: committee of PhD defence Lydia Namatende, ‘Agency within Interstices of Subodination [sic]: Female Teacher Educators’ Gendered Lived Experiences in Uganda’. Supervised by: Prof. dr. Chia Longman and Prof. dr. Martin Valcke.
- September 2016: Ghent: committee of PhD defence Bastiaan de Roo, ‘Colonial taxation in Africa. A fiscal history of the Congo through the lens of customs (1886-1914)’. Supervised by: Prof. Dr. Baz Lecocq.
- July, 2016: Ghent: Secretary to committee of PhD defence: Mrisho Malipula, ‘Ethnicity, Voting and the Promises of the Independence Movement in Tanzania: The Case of the 2010 General Elections in Mwanza’. Supervised by: Prof. Dr. Koenraad Stroeken.
- May 2016: Leiden, committee of PhD defence of Fatima Diallo, 'L'état spontex. Négocier l'autorité dans les marges conflictuelles: le cas de la Basse-Casamance (Sénégal)'. Supervised by: Prof. Dr. Mirjam de Bruijn and Prof. Dr. Han van Dijk (ASC, Leiden).
- April, 2016: Lisbon, committee of PhD defence of Pedro Miguel Mendes Pereira Figueiredo Neto, ‘Um mundo em movimento. Horizontes operativos entre refugiados e regressados angolanos (Campo de Meheba, Zâmbia)’. Supervised by: Prof. Dr. Rosa Maria de Figueiredo Perez (ISCTE, Lisbon) and Prof. Dr. Michel Agier (EHESS, Paris).