A Place to Call Home: A comparative study of the urban housing boom in Luanda and Nairobi

Despite their very different political and economic contexts, both Luanda and Nairobi have experienced housing booms and urban property bubbles over the last fifteen years.   Both also exhibit the “extreme splintered urbanism” found in other urban landscapes across Africa, where sprawling informal settlements with inadequate housing and services border new middle class suburbs.  This study … [Read more]

Re-Urbanism in Africa: Building Master-planned, Holistically-designed Satellite Cities

Large-scale property developers have recently embarked on a far-reaching strategy designed to reshape the existing spatial configuration of many cities in Africa. If these strategies are successfully implemented, major metropolitan areas in Africa will be fundamentally restructured to more explicitly serve the interests of property-holding elites and satisfy the desires of the leisure-consuming classes. What … [Read more]

Dog-human correlations in post-Soviet and post-apartheid literature and film

My research project falls into the interdisciplinary field of human-animal studies and deals with the discursive formation of human-dog correlation in socio-political discourse. It is a comparative investigation of narratives, primarily literature, film, and media, which represent and problematize the dynamics of cultural perceptions of dogs and human-dog interactions in post-communist post-Soviet and post-colonial post-apartheid … [Read more]

Falsified Medicines. What the public says and professionals know – knowledge exchange providing a basis for actions

The project focuses on falsified medicines – a growing health problem affecting both developed and developing countries. Falsified medicines range from mixtures of toxic substances to ineffective products. They may be adulterated with corn starch, heavy metals, brick powder, amphetamines, ink or wall colour. Some drugs look so similar to the genuine product that they … [Read more]

Archaeology of a Hungry Mind

Why and how did we (Homo sapiens) evolve into a species that is dependent on its ‘brains’ rather than its ‘brawn’ for our survival and successful spread across the globe? This is an old question, but recent archaeological and palaeoanthropological finds in sub-Saharan Africa, together with breakthroughs in ancient-DNA and palaeo-neurology, are dramatically changing what … [Read more]

Rethinking immigrant integration in a mass-migration era: migrant families in comparative perspective

In our era of mass migration, understanding migrant families’ efforts to forge and maintain meaningful social and civic ties is more important than ever. Building upon my ethnographic work on Cameroonian migrant mothers in Berlin (Mothers on the Move: Reproducing Belonging between Africa and Europe, University of Chicago Press, 2016), this book project comparatively rethinks … [Read more]

The Power of Injury: Memory, Decolonization, and the Challenges of Modernity in Africa

This book examines the political and social effects of Africa’s prioritization of the experience of colonization in its response to the world, and analyzes the role of Nelson Mandela’s notion of forgiveness in Africa’s inevitable path to modernity. It has been customary to suggest colonialism, imperialism, racism, and other abstract isms, as responsible for Africa’s … [Read more]

System Change Africa: Evolution not revolution

Finding an African way of dealing with African urbanism: Complexity theory and systems thinking show how governments and people can work together to achieve something that neither could ever achieve alone. The legacy of modernist planning and the garden city movement has imprinted its mark on how we plan, design and develop cities worldwide. It … [Read more]

Land Restitution and the Moral Modernity of the New South African State

The purpose of this project is to conclude a book-in-progress, entitled “Land Restitution and the Moral Modernity of the New South African State”. Given land restitution’s explicit mandate to redress the historical injustices of the old state, this state-driven process is crucially concerned with fusing the “formal rationality” of the former apartheid state with a … [Read more]

Lithium-ion batteries and the commercialization of science – a narrative

The project is to write an autobiographical narrative about the research and development of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from a research curiosity to practical reality. The introduction of lithium-ion technology in 1991 coincided with the onset of the consumer electronics revolution and the need for compact and light batteries to power cell phones and laptop computers. … [Read more]