Katrien Pype, University of Birmingham


Katrien Pype is an anthropologist, who has been carrying out ethnographic research in Kinshasa since 2003. She obtained her PhD in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven (2008), with a dissertation on the production of (evangelizing) television serials in Kinshasa. She then moved to Birmingham, where she worked on a postdoctoral project that explored the nexus between media, memory and politics in Kinshasa during the festivities for 50 years of political independence in the DRC. A second postdoctoral project, on elderly’s participation in Kinshasa’s media world, was carried out at MIT (2011-2013) and KU Leuven (2013). As from mid-2013, Katrien is a part-time fellow at the Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) at the University of Birmingham and assistant professor at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) at KU Leuven. She currently runs a team project on technology & the city.

In 2009, Katrien co-created the CongoResearchNetwork (CRN). This platform brings together scholars from the humanities and social sciences studying Congo’s lifeworlds in the DRC and its diasporas. 


Major Research Grants and Fellowships

Norwegian Research Council (Norway) – collaborating researcher – €20,000 (PI Jo Helle-Valle, U of Oslo) – awarded December 2014;

Odysseus Grant, FWO (Belgium), awarded November 2013 - €838.624 ;

FWO-ERC-Runner-Up Budget (Belgium), awarded November 2013 - €280.000

Birmingham Fellowship (part-time), awarded November 2012 (full time declined in favor of the U of Leuven BOF-ZAP professorship) ;

Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, European Commission, FP-7-PEOPLE, awarded in 2009 – €237,159.40 ;

Newton Alumni Grant (2011-2017, annually £6,000), British Academy  ;

Newton International Fellowship, British Academy (UK) awarded in 2008, £66,000  ;

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa), offered in 2008 (declined in favor of the Newton International Fellowship of the British Academy) 


Research and Publications

Katrien serves also on the editorial board of the journals Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (since 2013), Journal of African Cultural Studies (since 2017), and the African Mobilities Strand of Transfers (since 2015).

Katrien’s work has been published in journal articles (among others Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute; Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology; Visual Anthropology; Journal of Religion in Africa; Journal of Southern African Studies; Africa: Journal of the International African Institute: Journal of African Cultural Studies; etc.) and book chapters. She is also the author of The Making of the Pentecostal Melodrama. Religion, Media, and Gender in Kinshasa (2012, Berghahn Books), and co-editor of Ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa: Spaces and Practices of Care (with Jacobus Hoffman, 2016, Policy Press).

Katrien’s research interests include: DR Congo, Kinshasa, popular culture, media, materiality, evangelization, propaganda, entertainment, technology & society, knowledge production.


Teaching Positions

At the University of Birmingham (2013, ‘African Religion & Ritual’,; 2012-2013, ‘Introduction to the Anthropology of African Cultures and Societies’; 2010-2011 ‘Perspectives on Africa’, all with Prof. Dr. Karin Barber).

At the KU Leuven (2013-present, ‘Anthropology & Popular Culture’; 2012-2013, “Antropologie en populaire cultuur’, with Prof. Dr. Steven Van Wolputte; 2010 part time lecturer, replacement of an ill lecturer, ‘Anthropology of Arts and Popular Culture (in Dutch), 2008-2009, senior teaching and research assistant; 2002-2008: junior teaching and research assistant).

At the University of Ghent (2012-2013, ‘Introduction to the Anthropology of African Cultures and Societies’ (in Dutch).