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