Dr. Nick Rahier is a Postdoctoral Research Associate affiliated to CARAM (Centre for Anthropological Research on Affect and Materiality) and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven. His Phd research (2016-2021) dealt with following question: how does 'heat', understood as a cultural artefact, relate to the daily lives of people and how does it contribute to the production of new ideas about being and becoming in a Kenyan secondary city? Nick's monograph sheds light on urban life in Nakuru, a vibrant secondary Kenyan city of 610 000 inhabitants situated 160 km Northwest of Nairobi, and is based on 18 months of ethnographic research. Fieldwork focused on how people in Nakuru made sense of their urban lifeworlds, yet did so with 'heat' as a leitmotiv illuminating different understandings about a variety of opposing or cohesive uses, ideas and/or meanings of technologies, symbols, and substances that flow through the city. He published parts of his research as articles or scientific outreach in journals/media/blogs such as Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Cultural Anthropology, and Development Economics. More articles are currently under review and Nick is working towards publishing his first book-lenght monograph with UCLPress. Nick is mostly interested in anthropological research on the intersection of technology, environmentalism, the urban, the post-human and health.
Nick has a background in African Studies and has previous experience with organising and coordinating smaller micro-projects in Central-Africa in close collaboration with local stakeholders. He has experience as a program coordinator at the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology , KU Leuven, is coordinating a state-of-the-art research consortium on Chronic Respiratory Disease in Africa (RESPIRA), leading a research project on eco-pesticide production in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and involved in a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network on the topic of Climate Urgency (C-Urge) which he co-authored together with Prof. Dr. Katrien Pype (KU leuven) as PI.