Translation of the Amharic Novel, Tobiya (1908) into English

African-language literatures have long and deep histories in their societies but take place within fenced literary spaces and typically are unavailable to world literature audiences. As a scholar and translator, I have always endeavored to bridge this gap between African-language authorship and the global readership, by translating African poetry and fiction into the English language. … [Read more]

Bodies and/as Texts: Representing queer on screen in contemporary Africa

The body is an assemblage of not only the physical and the material. The body is a text which is embedded with codes and meanings. There exists solid scholarship on the centrality of screen media in documenting queer identities and practices. However, these studies have primarily concerned themselves with examining screen texts in their attempt … [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]

Considering Zimbabwe’s 2017 Coup: Causes, Consequences, Concepts

A faction of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and many soldiers removed the country’s 93 year-old president from power over party and polity during a few weeks of November 2017. The country’s military component of its security forces used a significant amount of force in this exercise, killing up to thirty police officers who were on the … [Read more]

After the Eruption: Reflections on Higher Education in South Africa

At this critical historical conjuncture in South Africa, at the very precipice of tumultuous social change, multiple forces converge onto the stage of higher education in South Africa. This is a national stage where ordinary university lecturers are asked to rethink inherited logics, and what it means to work with students in and out of … [Read more]

South Africa and the emergence of international human rights

South Africa has played a leading role in the development of international human rights in very different and sometime diametrically opposing capacities. Three phases can be distinguished: 1) The role of South Africa and more specifically Jan Smuts in the founding of the United Nations and the adoption of human rights as a core value … [Read more]

Making a Difference: How Anthropology Constructed South Africa’s colony, Namibia.

Colonialism was not only racist and exploitative, it was also ridiculous. Indeed it was the absurd rules of etiquette that largely radicalized the anti-colonial movements. This project considers how ‘native experts’, in particular ethnologists, contributed to framing this ridiculous situation in one country, Namibia, South Africa’s ‘forgotten’ colony. Following recent studies in the sociology and … [Read more]

Neo-Abolitionism: The Case Against the Employer-Employee System

The controversial institution in the economic system throughout most of the world is not the market or private property but the employer-employee relationship. In the technical terms of Economics, the employer is renting the employees. The abolition of slavery abolished any voluntary contractual form of buying labor “by the lifetime” in addition to involuntary slavery. In its … [Read more]

A Season of Prosperity (working title)

This novel will blend a sequence of narratives, set at various turning points in the history of the British Virgin Islands from 1807 To present day, concerned with the themes of body and work, individual and collective identity, and the intersections of trauma and Virgin Islander identity.

Everyday Authoritarianism: Urban Life and Politics in Luanda, Angola

This project poses the question of how authoritarian politics systems institutionalise themselves through everyday life. While there has been a rise in authoritarian politics across the African continent over the last decade, there is little understanding of how authoritarianism is actually experienced on the ground, and why ordinary citizens come to support these systems Focused … [Read more]