Staff and research

There are over 50 academics working on Africa across the University, with concentrations in the Department for African Studies and Anthropology, the International Development Department and Geography.  

African Studies and Anthropology

Professor Dame Karin Barber

Emeritus Professor of African Cultural Anthropology

I am an anthropologist with a particular interest in popular culture, religion, and the verbal arts, both oral and written. Most of my research has been in the Yoruba-speaking area of Nigeria, and I am currently working on early Yoruba print culture. 

Dr Maxim Bolt

Senior Honorary Research Fellow

Max Bolt is an anthropologist of Southern Africa specialising in labour, migration, borders, development, the social dynamics of money and - most recently - urban property, will-making and inheritance. His research has been based in both university and museum settings. 

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4598-8011

Dr Stewart Brown

Honorary Research Fellow

For me the best part of living and working in Birmingham through the last two decades has been the sense of being in a genuinely multi-cultural city which, at all sorts of levels, celebrates and cherishes that cultural diversity. Few other cities in Europe have embraced the fact of such an ethnic, linguistic, religious and more broadly cultural encounter with such enthusiasm and panache. 

It ...

Dr Lynne Brydon

Senior Honorary Research Fellow

Research and teaching in the interdisciplinary environment that is the Department of African Studies and Anthropology has been one of the most rewarding and challenging phases in my life: rewarding as this kind of work pushes me to join up the dots, to make connections across disciplines and sets of ideas, and challenging because this kind of fluidity and opportunity is a square peg in the round ...

Dr Reginald Cline-Cole

Senior Lecturer

I am a (human) geographer by training and multi-disciplinary researcher by choice; and have, to date, had the good fortune of practising these ‘trades’ within the three related disciplines of Geography, Environmental Studies and, currently, Area Studies.

Dr Marco Di Nunzio

Lecturer in Anthropology of Africa

Marginality, development, the politics of existence and the right to the city  

Professor Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias

Honorary Professor

I am a historian. I have worked on epigraphic sources for the medieval history of West Africa. I have also developed new approaches to the 17th-century Timbuktu Chronicles, and to some historical oral narratives current among the Mande, Songhay, Baatombu, and Yoruba.

Dr Leslie Fesenmyer

Lecturer in the Anthropology of Africa

I am a social anthropologist whose research interests include transnational migration, kinship, belonging, and religion (especially Pentecostalism).I have pursued these interests in the United Kingdom and Kenya and in the context of migration between the two countries.  

Dr Juliet Gilbert

Lecturer in African Studies and Anthropology

I am an anthropologist with a particular interest in youth studies, religion (especially Pentecostalism), insecure livelihoods, and aspects of popular culture (fashion, beauty pageants, mobile phones). My doctorate thesis focused on young women’s livelihoods in Calabar, southeastern Nigeria.

Dr Sarah Howard

Research Fellow

I am a social anthropologist who has carried out long-term ethnographic research in Ethiopia on public service, labour, development and the everyday state.

Dr Jessica Johnson

Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of Africa

I am a social anthropologist specialising in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on the anthropology of gender and law in Malawi.

Professor Tom McCaskie

Senior Research Fellow

History and culture of Asante and Africa; comparative history; history of ideas; historiography

Dr Insa Nolte

Reader in African Studies
Head of Department of African Studies and Anthropology

Monday 13:00 - 14:00, Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 (term time only), on Zoom.
For details please contact me at m.i.nolte@bham.ac.uk

Professor Olukoya Ogen

Visiting Senior Research Fellow
Professor of History, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

Dr Katrien Pype

Honorary Research Fellow

I am an anthropologist interested in the social and cultural contours of communication. Until now, I have studied how messages were transferred to masses (proselytization via TV serials/propaganda via TV news). Lately, I have started to analyse how people make sense of communication technologies in their daily lives and how it impacts urban lifeworlds.

I am also an Assistant Professor at the ...

Dr Benedetta Rossi

Senior Honorary Research Fellow

Benedetta Rossi works on the history and anthropology of twentieth-century West Africa, with a focus on Hausa and Tuareg societies in the Republic of Niger. Her recent publications focus on slavery; emancipation; labour; migrations; governance; and the history and impacts of planned development. 

Personal website:  www.benedettarossi.com

Dr John Spall

Teaching Fellow

I am an anthropologist working on Angola, specialising in particular in gender and masculinities, war, military service, military refusal, religion and politics, and moral economy.  

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Birmingham Law School

Professor Nelson Enonchong

Professor Enonchong is the author of three major practitioner works in the field of banking and commercial law. He has advised in a number of complex international commercial disputes and has acted as an arbitrator in international commercial arbitrations.

He has written numerous articles for the Journal of African Law and the African Journal of  International and Comparative Law.

Dr Maureen Mapp

Dr Mapp's research and teaching interests are in the development of sustainable transnational cyber laws. In this context, she has provided technical expertise to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Council of Europe Cybercrime division. She also researches the cultural transformation of domestic and international criminal law through legal translation, particularly the interplay between law and kinship practices in pluralist societies. As part of her professional service, she has advised the Uganda Law Reform Commission on the development of sentencing guidelines for Judicial Officers, and provided technical expertise on the drafting of The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines For Courts Of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, Legal Notice 8 of 2013. Dr. Mapp is also a qualified advocate of the High Court of Uganda, a Fellow of the African Centre on Cyber law and Cyber Crime Prevention (ACCP), and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Dr Walters Nsoh

Dr Walters Nsoh is an expert on environmental law and policy. His work relates primarily to the intersection between property (land) law and environmental law, the legal and policy challenges to nature conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources in developed and developing countries. His work has featured in academic and practitioner publications and he regularly contributes to policy consultations, including contributions to the Law Commission’s report on Conservation Covenants published in June 2014.

Birmingham Business School

Dr Roshan Boojihawon

Dr Roshan Boojihawon is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy at the Business School, University of Birmingham and a Visiting Research Fellow the Open University Business School. He specialises in teaching Strategic Management, International management and related subjects.

As an educator, Roshan ascribes to this quote from Paulo Freire: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”  - Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Professor Amon Chizema

Amon Chizema is a Professor of Strategy and Corporate Governance. Previously he held a Professorship at Loughborough University, where he was also Head of the International Business, Strategy and Innovation Group. Amon’s research explores corporate governance issues including executive compensation, adoption and diffusion of governance practices across countries and dynamics of the board of directors.

Dr Christian Darko

Christian joined the Birmingham Business School in 2017 as a lecturer in Applied Business and Labour Economics. Before joining Birmingham Business School, he worked as a teaching fellow in economics at King’s Business School, King’s College London. Christian received his PhD from the University of Birmingham and his MSc in Business Economics and Finance from the University of Surrey. His first degree in Economics is from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. 

Dr Samuel Fosu

Samuel is a lecturer in Finance. He has a PhD in Economics from University of Leicester. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Samuel has research interests in corporate finance and banking with particular focus on capital structure, competition and market interactions. 

International Development

Dr Philip Amis

Philip is a Senior Lecturer in the International Development Department

Dr Danielle Beswick

Danielle’s research is increasingly situated at the interface of security and development, focusing on how fragile and conflict affected states seek to improve their security through their relationships with aid donors. Danielle is currently developing research on the role of small African states in African peacekeeping and security initiatives and the UK's involvement in facilitating these processes.  

Professor Nic Cheeseman

Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy and International Development at the University of Birmingham. In addition to numerous book chapters, he is the author of Democracy in Africa: Successes, failures and the struggle for political reform (CUP, 2015) and over twenty journal articles including "Rethinking the 'presidentialism debate': Conceptualizing coalitional politics in cross-regional perspective" (Democratization, 2014), which won the inaugural GIGA prize for the best article published in Comparative Area Studies. Professor Cheeseman is also the editor of the collections Our Turn to Eat: Politics in Kenya Since 1950 (2010), The Handbook of African Politics (2013), and African Politics: Major Works (2016), and two special issues of the Journal of Eastern African Studies on the Kenyan elections of 2007 and 2013. 

Dr Jonathan Fisher

Jonathan’s research is focused on the relationship between Western aid donors and African states, particularly those in eastern Africa. Within this he is particularly interested in how donors ‘construct’ perceptions of foreign governments and key concepts (eg ‘fragile state’) in international development. He is also interested in the extent to which these ‘knowledge construction’ processes are influenced by African actors and bureaucratic structures as well as by policy-makers themselves. He is currently working on a project on Somali international relations since 2001. 

Dr Heather Marquette

Dr Heather Marquette is Senior Lecturer in Governance in the International Development Department (IDD), and is the Director of the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. She has 13 years international experience in research, policy advice, consultancy and training in governance. A political scientist by background, she has particular interests and expertise in anti-corruption reforms and strategies, political economy analysis, good governance, state-building, aid policy, the transition to democracy and civic education. She has worked primarily on Africa, and Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana in particular, as well as Afghanistan and India.

Dr Fiona Nunan

Fiona’s research interests are within the broad area of environment and development, particularly in terms of how institutional arrangements enable or constrain access to renewable natural resources by the poor. She is currently working on coastal ecosystem and livelihoods projects in Kenya and Sri Lanka. Before returning to the University in 2008, she worked for five years in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania on fisheries co-management projects and has published a number of articles from her inland fisheries experience. She also has experience in natural resource and livelihoods research in Ghana and Mozambique.

 

Political Science and International Studies

Dr Marco Vieira

Marco's research is currently focused on the rising influence of ‘South powers’, specially South Africa, India and Brazil, and their growing importance in reshaping global governance structures, including areas such as institutional frameworks to tackle climate change, international trade and finance, and the reform of UN’s Security Council.

School of Education

Emeritus Professor Clive Harber

From 1995-9, Professor Harber was head of the school of Education at the then University of Natal, South Africa and was head of the School of Education, University of Birmingham from 2003-2006. His most recent research has involved a study of a quality of education project in four African countries (Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) for Save the Children Norway and a study teaching controversial issues in teacher education in England and South Africa.

 

Theology and Religion

Professor Allan Anderson

Raised in Zimbabwe, Professor Anderson began his academic career in South Africa before joining the University of Birmingham in 2005.  His research interests are in the areas of the history, mission and theology of Pentecostalism in Africa and Asia.

Professor Francis Davis

Francis works at the intersection of business, civil society, and central and local governments. He is especially keen to hear from others interested in communities with complex challenges, globalising cities, island/landlocked economies and SADCC countries.

Dr Sigvard von Sicard

Dr von Sicard's research interests are centred around Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa.He is currently involved in research on the potential of the concept of the Kingdom of God as a means towards a deeper understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Dr von Sicard is currently editing an East African manuscript entitled "Kawkab al-Durriya li Akhbar Ifriqiya".

Classics and Ancient History

Dr Gareth Sears

Dr Sears is a Roman historian who teaches and researches on the city, city life and religious change in the Roman world and in particular late Roman North Africa. He has co-directed archaeological work at Cyrene in Libya. 

Mechanical Engineering

Dr Remi Olatunbosun

Dr Olatunbosun is originally from Nigeria and was on the academic staff at the University of Lagos before joining Birmingham. He retains close links with University of Lagos and was a visiting professor in the Faculty of Engineering in 2007/08. Dr Olatunbosun regularly gives lectures and seminars at the University of Lagos and he also helps the International Office with recruitment in Nigeria.

Biosciences

Professor Graham Martin

Professor Graham Martin is an Ornithologist with an international reputation built upon his research into the sensory worlds of birds. In recent years he has used his expertise to focus on understanding why some bird species are particularly vulnerable to collisions with human artefacts such as wind turbines and power lines.

This work has taken him to southern Africa where he has worked on the collision vulnerability of Blue Cranes, bustards and vultures whose populations are threatened by their high rate of collisions and the rapid development of power generating and distribution infra structure. He has also worked on the foraging behaviour of African Spoonbills and Ground Hornbills. These hornbills are a flagship species of conservation concern in South Africa.

 

Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Dr Fabien Cante

Dr Cante is an interdisciplinary researcher working across urban, media and African studies. Through ethnographic attention to everyday practices and perspectives, he examines how media infrastructures shape the city as a space of social exchange and political contest.

Dr Sara Hassan

Dr Sara Hassan is an urban planner with a strong multidisciplinary background. Her research and teaching interests include the development of innovation in community planning engagement and planning policy reform and its impact on poor and vulnerable communities; she has been particularly engaged with community development and urban planning in developing countries. Sara works closely with poor communities in the development of community research training and developing a decision making model for sustainable development and collaborative planning.

Dr Lorena Melgaço

Dr Lorena Melgaço is a Brazilian architect and urban planner with an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Planning and an MSc in International Cooperation and Urban development. She is currently a research fellow at the SAPER Project: The appropriateness, usefulness and impact of the current urban planning curriculum in South African Higher Education, where she aims to understand planning Higher Education in South Africa and expand the discussion to the global South.

Dr Francis Pope

Francis is an environmental scientist with wide ranging interests in the atmospheric sciences, human health and sustainable cities. He trained as a physical chemist and he uses this fundamental knowledge to develop novel instrumentation and probe systems of interest. 

Francis has active research projects in the broad areas of air pollution, climate change, fundamental aerosol chemistry and microphysics, and city resilience. He leads the ‘A Systems Approach to Air Pollution (ASAP) East Africa’ which is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling air pollution in the study cities of Nairobi, Kampala, and Addis Ababa.

Modern Languages

Dr Berny Sèbe

Brought up in France and the Sahara desert Berny Sèbe has academic interests in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century European imperial history, decolonization and post-colonialism and in the history of the Sahara from 1880 to the present. He also has a personal interest in desert photography. Dr Sèbe’s teaching covers areas such as Franco-African relations and cinema, media and visual culture.

Dr Emanuelle Santos

Emanuelle is a Lecturer in Modern Languages at the Department of Modern Languages, where she also coordinates the Portuguese Studies programme and the Instituto Camões’ Cátedra Gil Vicente.

Her research focuses on the intersections between the cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world, postcolonial studies, and theories of world literature, drawing attention to the global-local dialectics in epistemology and literary and critical theory. Her work also addresses representations of race, gender and sexuality, memory studies, world-systems theory, and decolonial critique especially with regards to structures of inequality, oppression and hegemony.