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Alumni

BIGSAS Alumni Conference 2018

Since BIGSAS was founded in 2007, 169 Junior Fellows have successfully completed the programme. A list of all alumni publications may be downloaded here (PDF).

List of Alumni (alphabetically)

Dr Salma Mohamed AbdallaHide
BIGSAS Alumna Salma Abdalla

Completed Project:

Charity Drops. Water Provision and the Politics of the Zakat Chamber in Khartoum, Sudan

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

The study investigates how the current Islamist regime in Sudan influences the Zakat Chamber to control the Zakat collection and distribution. It argues that these reforms are founded on the extension of fiqh sources introducing modern interpretations of Zakat and based on the prioritization between the Zakat categories according to their definition of 'the public interest'. Thus, the Zakat Chamber funds service projects such as water services for the poor. The study is the first in-depth empirical research on the politics of the Zakat Chamber in Sudan. It gives a novel understanding of internal dynamics of the state and civil society in Sudan.

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Fortune AgbeleHide
BIGSAS Alumna Fortune Agbele

Completed Project:

To Vote or Not to Vote: Understanding the Ghanaian Voter

Project Summary:

Ghana since her return to electoral democracy in 1992, has gone through six elections of which the voter turnout recorded have been relative high. The “relative” term is used within the context of comparative empirical approach where turnout rates are compared across countries within the sub-Saharan region, as well as across internal elections within Ghana (longitudinal). An observation which somehow contradicts findings by Bratton et. al. (2005) which noted a decline in voter turnout between founding and subsequent elections across sub-Saharan African countries. The proposed study therefore seeks to get an in-depth understanding into what accounts for the high interest in Ghana’s electoral process during national level election, looking at possible motivating factors among group properties, regional and ethnic differences, as well as parties´ strategies. An integrative theoretical approach which combines the rational choice model with the group-based model is employed to help explain the phenomenon. Additionally a mixed method design will be used to provide a better understanding of the problem, as well as serve the purpose of triangulation.

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Dr Tamer Abd ElkreemHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Tamer Abd Elkreem

Completed Project:

Power Relations of Development: The Case of Dam Construction in the Nubian Homeland, Sudan

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

"This book provides wide-ranging theoretical perspectives and rich ethnographic material to analyze the state-society-development nexus in Sudan. Overall, it provides a rare insight into the planning phases of the Kajbar Dam, in the home areas of the Mahas Nubian people. The book's chapters provide convincing analysis of how relationships evolved throughout decades of planning between Sudanese state actors and local people - and among the locals - as they positioned themselves for or against the dam. Certainly, an important contribution to the proud tradition of Sudanese anthropology." - Prof. Leif Manger, Bergen University, Norway

Gemechu Adimassu AbeshuHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Gemechu Abeshu

Completed Project:

New Forms of Power in the Afar Region of Ethiopia: The Rise of Big Men near the Ethiopia and Djibouti Border

Project Summary:

The global financial, energy and food crisis in the latter parts of 2000s has been contributing to a dramatic rush to acquire land located in Africa. From the end of the 1990s to 2008, Ethiopia has given over 3.5 million hectares to investors, while the projected figure for 2015 is 7 million hectares. This phenomenon took place largely in geographically lowland and politically peripheral areas of Ethiopia. There is an ongoing contestation on the narratives given to these land transfers. Furthermore, attempts at systematically examining the effects of large-scale land transfers on social structures and social relations in Ethiopia have been quite limited. The objective of this research project is to understand and describe the effects of the large-scale land transfers on the social and political orders in Gambella, southwestern Ethiopia. Research questions raised include: What are the effects of large-scale land transfers on social differentiation and relations? What are the meanings given to the large-scale land transfers by different actors? What are the political processes involved in the large-scale land transfers? This is a qualitative research. To this end, an extended case method (ECM) will be used for data collection and analysis. The fieldwork will be conducted in Gambella Peoples Regional State (GPRS).

Dr Issifou Abou MoumouniHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Issifou Abou Moumouni

Completed Project:

Gouvernance de la sécurité au Bénin : les chasseurs néo-traditionnels dans le système sécuritaire

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

S’intéressant aux associations de chasseurs néo-traditionnels devenus une composante importante de la délivrance de la sécurité publique au Bénin, cet ouvrage s’inscrit dans les débats sur le vigilantisme et sur la gouvernance de la sécurité et de maintien de l’ordre en Afrique contemporaine. Il décrit les « écarts » entre d’un côté les discours justificatifs ou laudateurs vantant la fonction sociale des Dambanga, et de l’autre côté les pratiques opportunistes d’accumulation des avantages multiples. L’ouvrage renonce à considérer les chasseurs néo-traditionnels comme des ennemis de l’Etat et s’oppose aux arguments qui présentent le vigilantisme comme résultant de l’effondrement ou de la crise de l’Etat en Afrique. Il perçoit le vigilantisme comme un instrument pour analyser le fonctionnement de l’Etat local et propose une approche méthodologique pour mieux appréhender ses relations avec l’Etat. Issifou Abou Moumouni est chercheur au Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le Développement Local (LASDEL- Niamey, Niger / Parakou, Bénin).

Dr Kairedin AderaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Kairedin Adera

Completed Project:

Dynamics of Identity Formation and Legal Pluralism: the Case of Customary, State and Religious Dispute Resolutions among the Siltie People, Southern Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Ethiopia is the home for over eighty ethnic groups with diverse socio-cultural settings. This entails not only a remarkable diversity of cultures, but also a diversity of normative orders and juridical institutions, formal and informal (customary ones). Since 1991, Ethiopia has embarked upon a unique political experiment known as “ethnic federalism”. The new 1995 constitution grants specific rights to ethnic groups, including the establishment of ethno-juridical orders. As pervasive across different cultural groups in Ethiopia, legal pluralism, which is manifested through co-existence of customary, state and religious dispute settlement institutions, is also evident among the Siltie. The injection of and the orientation at global legal norms into the local Siltie has further diversified the legal norms in the area. The nature of the interactions and interfaces among the customary, religious and state institutions, the local people’s perspective on why a disputant chooses one or another dispute settlement institution (forum shopping), and the dynamics of the dispute settlement institutions over time have not been explored by the previous studies. The dissertation is thus intended to fill these intellectual voids in the area. It is assumed that the ethno-federal context in contemporary Ethiopia is a particular rich field of exploration.

The research adopts both a diachronic as well as synchronic perspectives to explore the plural legal settings in Ethiopia in general and among the Siltie in particular. It investigates how legal pluralism developed historically and has been operating in the post 1991 ethnic federalism in the country. There also are plural legal and institutional settings installed in the area which have been employed by the local community to settle its disputes. They have been discussed broadly under two categories:-formal that includes the state and Sharia, and informal, customary systems. These plural settings did cooperate and coexist as the theory of legal pluralism expounds (Griffiths, 1986,2002; Merry 1988; Benda-Beckmann et al. 1997). They, however, work rather in competing and at times contradictory ways. The thesis argues that against the constitution’s status as the ultimate source of law, various forms of law, notably customary law functions and considers all forms of conflicts including grave crimes like homicide at the grassroots level in the study area. The dissertation also argues that the informal dispute settlements are more effective and are playing a paramount role for providing justice at the grassroots level due to the fact that they are closer to the society and relevant for everyday lives of the local community than state and Sharia courts in the study area.

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Nikitta AdjirakorHide
BIGSAS Alumna Nikitta Adjirakor

Completed Project:

'I Go for the Vibe': Hip-hop and Spoken Word as Aesthetic Practices in Dar es Salaam

Project Summary:

It is the aim of this thesis to empirically study how the poetic forms of Bongo Fleva and Spoken Word contribute to the construction of lifeworlds in the city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The study starts with the assumption that poetic forms of engaging with the world fundamentally and systematically differ from other more “explicit” forms of communication, due to their unique combination of form and content. Therefore, their study requires a different approach. The thesis thus focuses on the ambiguous relation of poetic works and their aesthetic experience and will examine how poetic language is experienced and rendered meaningful in everyday life. Applying a profoundly empirical perspective, the thesis tries to go beyond previous approaches deducing both experience and effect from the form of the poems themselves, thus methodologically neglecting the difficult interrelation of artwork, experience, and actual lifeworlds. With the focus on aesthetics, it also departs from the discursive approach in African poetry. In combining approaches from literary studies and cultural anthropology, by paying special attention to aesthetic form, and in pursuing a strictly empirical approach to the study of both aesthetic experience and its everyday uses, the thesis not only aims at transcending the ways in which verbal art in Africa is usually studied. It also intends to substantially contribute to general debates about the aesthetic experience, the effects of aesthetic language and of aesthetic forms more generally.

Dr Azza Mustafa AhmedHide
BIGSAS Alumna Azza Ahmed

Completed Project:

Place identity and urban planning: The case of Tuti Island, Khartoum, the Sudan

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the same title.

The overall objective of this study is to closely examine the socio-political, economic and environmental factors that stand behind the urban space production and built environment formation in a Sudanese community with reference to Tuti Island. This island is located at the junction of the Blue Nile with the White Nile in Khartoum State the capital region of Sudan. This study will be guided by three main research questions: 1. What are the socio-political, economic and environmental factors that produce the urban space in Tuti Island? 2. How do these factors interact in their process of urban space production? 3. Why are these factors crucial for an understanding of the current urban space production in a Sudanese community? More precisely, this study will focus on closely examining the role of different national policies regarding urban planning implemented by successive governments of Sudan on the urban space production and the built environment of Tuti Island (from the British colonial era to the National Congress Party (NCP) government) to study the local initiatives that were involved in the process of planning the island and how their interaction through place identity politics with the policy makers and planners on the national and local levels interactions to the process of urban space production and the built environment of Tuti Island; to examine the impact of global forces represented in the main economic and political reforms (e.g. privatisation, market liberalisation, and the so called Public Interest reforms) on the livelihood of the people of Tuti Island and how they contribute to the urban space production and the built environment of the island; to understand how oil production and the booming real estate market forces are represented at the local level of the island and how they intervene in the process of urban space production and the built environment.​

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Dr Umar AhmedHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Umar Ahmed

Completed Project:

Gender in Media Discourse: The Discursive Construction of Gender in Nigerian Newspapers

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

The study investigates how language is used to construct, reconstruct and deconstruct gender in opinion articles in Nigerian newspapers. Drawing on tools and techniques of analysis from critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, systemic functional grammar and cognitive linguistics, the author analyses the many complex and subtle ways in which gender is conceptualized and represented in the newspapers. He shows how the use of some linguistic features and discursive practices contributes to the (re)construction of certain gender identities, roles and power relations between men and women in society. The book contributes to research on language and gender from a non-western perspective.

Dr Girum Getachew AlemuHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Getachew Alemu

Completed Project:

Localized Adaptation to Climate Change: Pastoral Agency under Changing Environments in Dry Land Parts of Upper Awash Valley, Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Managing Risk and Securing Livelihood. The Karrayu Pastoralists, their Environment and the Ethiopian State".

The hegemonic perspective on adaptation solely focuses on climate stimuli as the driving force behind people’s adaptation. Such a perspective underestimates the role played by historical trajectories of political and social forces of change in shaping current adaptation practices. In doing so, it also separates the environment from processes of social change. This work challenges this dominant view by arguing that adaptation practices pursued by pastoral communities need to be seen at the intersection of state-environment-pastoralists-interactions. In other words, the understanding of pastoralists’ risk management and livelihood practices requires a perspective that situates local actors into their broader socio-political and environmental contexts. By using a political ecology approach that emphasizes on the agency of pastoral actors, this work demonstrates how the Karrayyu pastoral groups of upper Awash valley develop and use various risk management and livelihood practices under the influence of both socio-political and ecological sources of change.

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Dr Abu Baker Ahmed Abdel Rahman Al HadiHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Abu Baker Al Hadi

Completed Project:

Reproductive Dilemmas in the Pro-natalist Sudan: Perceptions of Causes, Treatment Practices, and Consequences of Female Infertility in the Town of Tamboul

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

The study focuses on knowledge and common perceptions of the causes, treatment practices such as traditional and modern healing methods, and the stigmatisation of female infertility in Tamboul town. Infertility poses a threat because it is a biological dysfunction that can lead to many other social problems and consequences, including stigmatisation, divorce and marital disputes in situations in which women are initially held responsible for infertility, as well as within the extended family. The study will investigate perceptions, beliefs and socio-cultural factors of female infertility with respect to the views of the social environment in which infertile women find themselves. Moreover, the research explores the ways in which infertile women manage their situation in the community and respond to social pressures, ostracism and stigmatisation.The study will concentrate on ethnographic qualitative techniques combined with quantitative techniques in order to yield information that is relevant to the topic.

Dr Najoum Abdourahamane AlhassaneHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Najoum Alhassane

Completed Project:

Les ruptures conjugales à Niamey, Niger : processus, stratégies des négociations et systèmes de gestions.

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the title "Les ruptures conjugales en Afrique subsaharienne musulmane".

Ce livre traite de conflits et de ruptures conjugales en milieu urbain, et pas seulement de divorce. Il analyse les processus, les stratégies de négociations ainsi que les systèmes de règlements de ces conflits et ruptures. Pour une meilleure compréhension de ces phénomènes, outre les actions des couples en conflit, il met l'accent sur l'implication de trois institutions majeures dans les négociations de ces conflits et ruptures à Niamey : la famille, des institutions islamiques et les institutions judiciaires.

Dr Stefanie AlischHide
BIGSAS Alumna Stefanie Alisch

Completed Project:

Angolan Kuduro: Carga, Aesthetic Duelling, and Pleasure Politics performed through Music and Dance

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

In this study I investigate kuduro, a form of Angolan electronic dance music with highly expressive dance moves called toques. The thesis is situated in the discipline of musicology. I draw on methods from ethnomusicology, dance studies and linguistics to produce primary data, which I triangulate with popular and scholarly discourses around kuduro. In line with established practice in popular music studies, I contextualise these findings with concepts from cultural, post-colonial, and performance studies. Following Kubik’s (1988) call to investigate African music from an intracultural perspective, I explore the term carga in kuduro. Carga is a polyseme meaning "weight; power; load; electricity; ammunition". Within kuduro carga is construed as an experience of presence and pleasure (Danielsen 2006) induced through competition on vocal, musical, kinetic and sartorial levels which in turn enhances the intensity of performance. I construct an etic perspective of carga as a performatively produced effect of aesthetic surplus. This allows for analysing the performative processes of rhythm, vocals and dance which produce carga in the song-toque "Apaga Fogo" by Noite Dia feat. Puto Lilas. The lens of pleasure politics (Morgan 2013) shapes my interpretation of what kuduro music and dance afford in the Angolan and diasporic context. I expand Morgan's view of pleasure politics as individual performers' empowering strategies and include large-scale strategies to harness kuduro's euphoric mass reception to support presidential, party and state politics. The Black Atlantic (Gilroy 1993) crossed with the Lusophone Martix (Arenas 2011) serves as cultural theory in the background and Music as Performance (Cook 2012) as theory in the foreground. I lay out the musical and historical contexts in which kuduro emerged and proceed to portray kuduro’s spatial hubs (Kiwan, Meinhof) Luanda and Lisbon through case studies. Contributing to the emerging media studies of Africa, I historicise the relationship between dance and mobile video in kuduro, thus investigating kuduro's double existence as local embodied experience and global media phenomenon, as visceral and visual (Daniel 2011).

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Dr Paulo Jeferson AraújoHide

Completed Project:

Domínios conceituais das construções locativas, existenciais, comitativas e possessivas em línguas bantas

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Possessivos e seus Domínios Conceituais. Enfoque sobre as línguas do grupo banto".

Veronica Gabriel BuchumiHide

Completed Project:

The Right to Alternative Care for Children in Tanzania: An lnquiry into the Law and Practice of Foster Care

Dr Benedict ArkoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Benedict Arko

Completed Project:

Translating Discourses of Local Economic Developement: The Case of the Ghana Decent Work Programme

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

Bottom-up development approaches such as local economic development is gaining increasing acceptance as compliments or outright substitutes to top-down development approaches due to their perceived failure among other reasons. The study therefore examines the impact of the very first local economic development strategy embarked on in Ghana from 2003 to 2005 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) known as the Ghana Decent Work Programme.

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Dr Justice ArthurHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Justice Arthur

Completed Project:

The Politics of Religious Sound. Religious Diversity and Conflict in Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "The Politics of Religious Sound. Conflict and the Negotiation of Religious Diversity in Ghana".

"Justice Arthur presents a wealth of intriguing material, an impressive thick description of the conflict and a thorough analysis of the many, very complex factors that contribute to the conflict. His work on the multiple dimensions of the conflict is knowledgeable, comprehensive and plausible and it clearly shows that the so-called religious conflicts are never about `religion' only." - Prof. Dr Eva Spies (University of Bayreuth, Germany)."Justice A. Arthur has laid out a multidisciplinary, multi-perspective and long-term analysis of the clashes on the noise ban in Accra. The chapters are convincingly set up in order to manage the complexity of approaches, covering religious studies, theology, mission studies as well as anthropology, legal and political studies." - Prof. Andreas Heuser (University of Basel, Switzerland).

Dr ​Morenikeji AsaajuHide
BIGSAS Alumna Morenikeji Asaaju

Completed Project:

Gender and Marriage: An Exploration of Changes in Marital Relations in Southwestern Nigeria, 1914-1960

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

The main focus of this research is to explore the changes and continuity in the marriage systems of South-Western Nigeria focusing on two periods: pre-colonial (19th century) and colonial. For the pre-colonial period the research will contrast the marriage as practised by the different social strata, groups and towns with a view to exposing their mild differences. For the colonial period it will examine the different types of marriage practised by different social entities e.g. among Christians as well as Muslims in different areas, including the perspectives of important or influential individuals such as community leaders. From about the nineteenth century, many towns in South-western Nigeria were developing. Abeokuta, for instance, became an important centre for the production of ‘Adire textile’ an indigo dyed cloth. These developments, together with early culture contact with missionaries led to significant economic, political and social changes. This research will analyse how these changes, e.g. the introduction of Western education, helped to further divide or newly produce social groupings in different towns and also affected their understandings and practices of marriage. The research is also interested in interrogating wider discourses of feminist historiography that focus only on the plight of women, but wants to examine changes in marriage also as a result of the agency of women. For generating primary data, I will rely on research interviews, personal diaries, archival material and court records.

Dr Asaf Cassule Noe AugustoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Asaf Augusto

Completed Project:

North to South Migration: Portuguese Labour Migration to Angola

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the same title.

The study looks at Portuguese labour migration to Angola. Since the end of the Angolan civil war, Portuguese citizens and businesses have been migrating to Angola. This kind of migration is unique because most migration is theoretically defined as citizens from countries in the global south moving to countries in the north or from poor countries moving to rich countries, but the Portuguese migration to Angola is north to south migration. Portuguese unemployment, as well as economic austerity imposed after the economic crisis, has been the catalyst for migration to the former colony. The Angolan economy has been growing tremendously due to the oil boom but Angola as country still has lots of acute social problems, characteristic of many developing countries. Nevertheless, these problems have not hindered businesses and young Portuguese citizens from migrating to Angola to find job opportunities there. This dissertation argues that the Portuguese migration to Angola needs to be viewed in the light of the unemployment in Angola as well as the social problems. It will investigate why Portuguese migrants in Angola are able to find jobs in Angola market, when the majority of Angolans are still living the less the 1 dollar a day.

Dr Ahmed Khalid AyongHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Ahmed Ayong

Completed Project:

Traditional Islamic Scholarly Culture in Northern Cameroon, 1900 to the Present

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Traditional Scholarly Culture in Northern Cameroon, 1900 to the Present".

This dissertation examines how the jauleru (lit. vestibule, entrance hall), also known as the majlissa (scholarly circle), a deep-rooted institution of Islamic advanced learning in the old Adamawa region, has achieved a remarkable level of influence in Northern Cameroon. Drawing on social, historical, biographical, religious and ethnographic research, it provides an account of Islamic scholarship in the region. The study traces several networks of religious knowledge acquisition back to Yola, the capital of the ancient Islamic Emirate of Adamawa under the charismatic leadership of Modibbo Adama (1771–1847). The study also gives due credit to the môdibbo (Muslim scholar), as the most vital asset in shaping scholarly and spiritual authority in Northern Cameroon. It analyzes the question of whether the jauleru has been able to evolve and adapt to meet the challenges posed by the rise of the madrasa (Islamic school) and its precursors, the ustādhs trained in Middle-Eastern institutions of learning. The findings further demonstrate that, in this region, the emergence of the madrasa paved the way for a scholarly generation referred to in this dissertation by the coinage môdi-ustādhs, combining the words môdibbo and ustādh to reflect the “hybrid pedagogies” and “hybrid epistemologies” that this study argues they practice, blurring the lines between the two institutions of learning, each borrowing from the other for pragmatic reasons. It is argued throughout the dissertation that the aim of the madrasa-trained reformists in this region was only ever to “Wahhabize” the jauleru, and not, as others have argued, to wholly erase it as an old and outdated institution, due to the conviction that the traditional (jauleru) way of learning is still the most arduous, thorough and genuine way to acquire Islamic knowledge in the region and the Muslim world in general.

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Dr Renzo BaasHide

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the title "Fictioning Namibia as a Space of Desire. An excursion into the literary space of Namibia during colonialism, apartheid and the Liberation Struggle".

Dr Dida BadiHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Dida Badi

Completed Project:

Recits d'Origine et de Fondation des Communautes Nomades et Sedentaires du Tassili n Azjer (Algerie/Libye)

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2012 under the title "Les Touaregs du Tassili n Ajjer : Mémoires collective et organisation sociale".

Les matériaux sur lesquels se fonde ce travail de recherche sont le produit d'une requête de terrain effectuée dans le cadre d'une thèse de PhD en anthropologie soutenue, en 2010, à l'université de Bayreuth ( Allemagne). le souci permanent du chercheur, afin d'objectiver sa position is à vis du terrain au cours du procès de la recherche, était la distanciation par rapport aux groupes enquêtés. EN ce sens une telle expérience de recherche est un apport en soi qui s'inscrit dans le cadre des études déjà effectuées par d'autre chercheurs autochtones sur les propres sociétés.

Dr Timothy BaiyewuHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Timothy Baiyewu

Completed Project:

The Transformation of Aladura Christianity in Nigeria

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The research intends to critically investigate recent developments in Aladura Christianity in Nigeria. From the 1920s onward, Aladura Christianity significantly reshaped and contextualised African Christianity, beginning in Yorubaland and spreading to many parts of West Africa with its unique worldview and culturally-influenced liturgy. It attracted notable theological, anthropological and sociological inquiries beginning from the 1950s and 1960s. With the upsurge in Pentecostal activities and its almost inescapable social visibility, Aladura scholarship significantly weaned, with many scholars claiming that Pentecostalism has all but erased Aladura Christianity. The present study contests and interrogates this claim and intends to describe the resilience of Aladura churches in the context of aggressive Pentecostal proselytizing activities in Nigeria. Designed as a multiple case study using ethnography and quantitative method, the research focuses on three different Aladura churches (Cherubim and Seraphim; Church of the Lord Aladura and Celestial Church of Christ) in three different Nigerian cities (Lagos, Ibadan and Jos).

Dr Mohamed BakhitHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Mohamed Bakhit

Completed Project:

Identity and Lifestyles Construction in Multi-ethnic Shantytowns: a case study of Al-Baraka community in Khartoum, Sudan

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Identity and Lifestyle Construction in Multi-ethnic Shantytowns".

This book examines the construction of identity and different lifestyles of the Al-Baraka shantytown community. The concepts of lifestyle and localization process are used as basic tools of analysis to develop a theoretical model that can be applied elsewhere. The localization process reveals how Al-Baraka people adopt different kinds of behaviors, institutions and activities from various origins, and re-invent them locally to be their own. The book concludes that the social identity of Sudan today is not confined to a simplistic binary opposition (Arab vs. African), but is constituted of social identities comprised of more complex sets of practiced lifestyles.

Dr Mimboabe BakpaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Mimboabe Bakpa

Completed Project:

Etude du ngbem, parler gangam de Koumongou. Description et analyse comparative

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "Etude du ngbem, parler gangam de Koumongou".

Le present ouvrage analyse le ngbem, parler gangam pratique autour de Koumongou au nord du Togo. Il decrit systematiquement le parler en question et fait ensuite une esquisse comparative entre les parlers gangam et les autres langues du sous-groupe Gurma. La description est axee sur la phonologie, la morphologie et la syntaxe. Elle aborde egalement les mecanismes syntaxiques qui meublent la topicalisation et la focalisation dans le parler decrit. Quant à la partie comparative, elle rapproche les donnees phonologiques et morphologiques des parlers gangam, du moba, du gulmancema, du ncam, du konkomba et de l'akasele.

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Dr Adeyemi Sharapha BalogunHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Adeyemi Balogun

Completed Project:

Being a "Good Muslim": The Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Islamic Reform and Religious Change in Yorubaland, 1954 - 2014

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

By the 1950s, the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria had converted both to Christianity and Islam. However, while Nigerian education was dominated by Christians who mostly used their advantage to win converts into the religion, majority of Nigeria’s (northern) Muslims also looked down on Yoruba Muslims as less serious about their faith. As a result, Yoruba Muslim youths began to create their own sense of what it meant to be good educated Muslims in Nigeria, appropriating the influences of modernization to achieve their objective. Providing both mutual support and envisioning what a modern Muslim identity might look like, they engaged both with the practices and activities of important Muslim communities and modern institutions (and ideas) through a wide range of local, associational and social activities which sometimes breeds conflict and dissension in the larger Yoruba Muslim community. The proposed PhD will thus focus especially on the factors that led to the development of Muslim youth identity and culture and how they are constructed. It will also examine the influence of modernization and globalization in the formation of Muslim youth identity and culture and the conflicts between the vision of a modern Muslim youth identity and those of the mainstream Muslims.

Dr Baba Mai BelloHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Baba Mai Bello

Completed Project:

The Perception of HIV/AIDS among Students in North-Eastern Nigeria 

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "The Perception of HIV/AIDS among Students in Northeastern Nigeria".

This study is a comparative analysis of the perception of HIV/AIDS in Hausa and English in north eastern Nigeria. Based on the cognitive linguistic view of language as a reflection of human experience and the way we perceive and conceptualise our world, the study uses a variety of approaches to make analyses and comparisons at various levels. From these, the study concludes that language plays an important role in shaping the discourse of AIDS and its understanding or education via sensitisation messages and that any meaningful improvement in HIV/AIDS enlightenment in Nigeria has to take the role of language into consideration.

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Dr Sakinatou BelloHide
BIGSAS Alumna Sakinatou Bello

Completed Project:

La traite des enfants et l'application des conventions internationales relatives aux droits de l'enfant en République du Bénin

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "La traite des enfants en Afrique : L‘application des conventions internationales relatives aux droits de l‘enfant en République du Bénin".

Un autre regard sur la traite des enfants en Afrique ! Avec la codiication des droits de l’homme et leur développement, les conventions internationales relatives aux droits de l’enfant ont connu une adhésion quasi-universelle dans le cadre des Nations unies et au niveau régional, notamment africain. Le constat est donc unanime ! Les droits de l’enfant jouissent d’une protection airmée, du moins sur le plan normatif. Dès lors, ne serait-on pas en droit de croire à l’efectivité desdits droits ? Sans doute, oui. Mais en réalité, une telle perception des choses perdrait de vue les diicultés liées à la mise en oeuvre des conventions sur le territoire des États parties notamment ceux dits « en voie de développement ».

Cet ouvrage, tout en faisant le tour de la problématique de la traite des enfants et de la mise en oeuvre des conventions relatives aux droits de l’enfant par les États parties, éclaire sur les aspects sociologiques et juridiques de la protection, et de la traite des enfants en Afrique de façon générale, et au Bénin en particulier. Aussi dévoile-t-il le paradoxe : d’une part, richesse normative, institutionnelle et inancière en matière de protection des enfants ; et d’autre part, les graves violations dont font l’objet leurs droits…

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Dr Ramzi Ben AmaraHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Ramzi Ben Amara

Completed Project:

The Izala-movement in Nigeria: Its Split, Relationship to Sufis and Perception of the Sharia Re-Implementation

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2013 under the title "The Izala Movement in Nigeria: Its Split, Relationship to Sufis and Perception of Sharīʿa Re-Implementation".

The Izala Movement in Nigeria: Its Split, Relationship to Sufis and Perception of Sharia Re-Implementation Abstract The religious landscape of Northern Nigeria is very heterogeneous. Nevertheless two Sufi Brotherhoods, the Tijāniyya and the Qādiriyya dominated the religious field until the 1970s. This situation changed in 1978 with the appearance of Jama’atul Izalatzul Bid’a wa Ikamatis Sunna (Society for Removal of Innovation and Reestablishment of the Sunna). This reform movement was established to fight the so called bidac (in Arabic: non-Islamic innovations) on the basis of the tradition of the Prophet. The long Islam tradition in Nigeria has to be “purified” and the model of al-salaf al-ṣāliḥ (in Arabic: the pious predecessors) should be followed. This created numerous tensions between Izala and Sufi Brotherhoods. In 1999 and during the process of transition to the Fourth Republic Nigeria, Islamic Penal Law was re-implemented by the Governor of Zamfara State Ahmad Sani Yeriman Bakuru. This step was followed by eleven northern states. This meant amongst others the introduction of ḥudūd-punishments – corporal punishments like lashing, hand amputation, or stoning to death. The re-implementation provoked a debate in and outside Nigeria. Many observers raised questions related to the constitutionality of Sharia-laws, human rights, religious freedom and to the democratic process. Opinions on this process were divided. Almost all Islamic organizations of Nigeria stood for the re-implementation of Islamic Law. Izala was among those who supported that project. Sharia goes side by side with Izala doctrine of “islamizing the society”. Izala was ready to compromise within the Sharia context and a kind of “domestication” of the long-going Izala-Sufi struggle seems to have taken place. During the Sharia-reimplementation, no Islamic organization (except of Shiite movement) risked opposing Sharia. Islamic Law was started by a single politician within a political campaign and after him the masses pushed in eleven states to have Sharia re-implemented. Izala claimed being behind the Sharia re-implementation. One could ask if this was a re-orientation strategy of the movement especially after the end of its conflict with Sufi. Do Izala really contributed to the re-implementation of Sharia law?

On the basis on solid fieldwork in Northern Nigeria including participant observation, interviews with Izala, Sufis, and religion experts, and collection of unpublished material related to Izala, three aspect of the development of Izala past and present are analysed: its split, its relationship to Sufis, and its perception of Sharia re-implementation. “Field theory” of Pierre Bourdieu, “Religious Market theory” of Rodney Start, and “Modes of Religiosity theory” of Harvey Whitehouse are theoretical tools of understanding the religious landscape of northern Nigeria and the dynamics of Islamic movements and groups.

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Linda BesigirohaHide
BIGSAS Alumna Linda Besigiroha

Completed Project:

Re-thinking Gender in Contemporary Uganda using the Comedy of Anne Kansiime

Project Summary:

“African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.” – Wangari Maathai Media use in Africa is rapidly changing due to advances in telecommunications, especially mobile phones and the Internet. However, on the African continent as elsewhere on the globe, the media world is still a highly gendered one. Yet this certainly has not kept alternative views of gender from developing in the media industry to challenge patriarchal, heterosexual, “single stories” (in the words of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). A look at new acts on Uganda’s comedy circuits reveals that this is happening in refreshingly novel ways. The study therefore investigates women’s agency in hegemonic discourses on Uganda’s contemporary media scene by looking at how a female comedian challenges the status quo on television. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the analysis draws both from discourse analysis discussions in the cultural studies and critical content analysis methods of media studies. This gives rise to questions related to the effects and “effectiveness” of television as a media format. Looking forward, the project also briefly considers how the Internet acts as multiplier for televised shows in the entertainment industry (i.e. YouTube and its metaphors of library, archive, a laboratory or a medium like television as described in new research, e.g. by Pelle Snickars and Patrick Vonderau).

Dr Lena BloemertzHide
BIGSAS Alumna Lena Bloemertz

Completed Project:

Socio-Ecological Dynamics in the Lower River Nyando Basin, Kenya

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Society and Nature in the Lower River Nyando Basin, Kenya".

Society-nature relations are regarded as being in crisis (e.g. climate change). In order to deal with this crisis there is a call for interdisciplinarity in science. Therefore this thesis reflects on the potential goal of interdisciplinarity and on ways of analysing, representing and managing society-nature relations.

The first part of the thesis argues for a more conscious use of vocabulary and concepts in order to improve the way we reason about society-nature relations. Among others it reflects about the nature-society divide and different understandings of dynamics in natural and social science. Following that, the concepts of risk and resilience, prevalent in natural and social science, are discussed. The second part of the thesis concentrates on the application of the gained insights to the analysis of social-ecological relations and dynamics in the Kano Plain (Kenya). A focus will be on the influence of gradual changes and sudden extreme events (floods). The final part will reflect on the manageability of society-nature relations and the role of existing theories to understand what is happening and to guide us in decision making.

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Dr Astrid BochowHide
BIGSAS Alumna Astrid Bochow

Completed Project:

Intimität und Sexualität vor der Ehe. Werbung (courtship) und Werte im Wandel in Kumasi und Endwa (Ghana)

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2010 under the title "Intimität und Sexualität vor der Ehe. Gespräche über Ungesagtes in Kumasi und Endwa, Ghana".

Lassen sich Jugendliche in Kumasi (Ghana) in ihren vorehelichen Beziehungen von globalen Ideen "romantischer Liebe" leiten, etwa in der Feier des Valentinstages? Welchen Einfluss haben charismatische Pfingstkirchen auf Vorstellungen von Partnerschaft, Ehe und Sexualität? Das Buch fragt nach der Kommunikation von Intimität und lotet dabei auch Momente von Ungesagtem und Schweigen ethnographisch aus. Damit ordnet es charismatisch-christliche Umgangsweisen mit Sexualität und vorehelicher Partnerschaft in den Wandel von Generationen- und Geschlechterbeziehungen der matrilinearen Ashanti ein.

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Dr Stephan BockHide

Completed Project:

Translations of urban regulation within the relation of Kigali (Rwanda) and Singapore

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Translations of Urban Regulation in Relations between Kigali (Rwanda) and Singapore".

Following debates on urban policy-mobilities and -learning in Human Geographies the dissertation takes the example of Kigali's masterplan to show how aspirations of Rwandan and Singaporean policy-makers are transformed into concrete urban planning interactions. It provides a close analysis of the practices behind the mobilization of spatial planning expertise. The dissertation traces how planning approaches and regulations are mediated within the interaction between Singaporean and Rwandan actors and ultimately take shape in Kigali's urban space.

Dr Julia BogerHide

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "The Job Hunt. Return Migration and Labour Market Entries of Cameroonian and Ghanaian Graduates from German Universities".

Dr Lohna BonkatHide
BIGSAS Alumna Lohna Bonkat

Completed Project:

Surviving in a Conflict Environment: Market Women and Changing Socioeconomic Relations in Jos, Nigeria - 2001-2010

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Jos, the capital of Plateau state, Nigeria is a cosmopolitan city with residents drawn from different parts of the country. As a major centre of tin mining activity during British colonial rule, Jos attracted a flow of labour migrants from other parts of Nigeria. As the city continued to grow in the decades following its independence in 1960, tensions developed between autochthonous groups referred in the literature as “indigenes” and some of the migrant groups also generally represented in the literature as “settlers”. These tensions were to culminate in violent conflict, with a severe case of collective violence erupting in September 2001, and recurrent episodes in 2004, 2008, 2010 and still ongoing. This research attempts to study insecurity and socio-economic uncertainty created by incessant episodes of violent conflict in Jos, Central Nigeria. The focus will be on examining the impacts of violence on livelihoods and households of small-scale women entrepreneurs and the coping strategies employed by these women; the broader social environment and inter-group relations. The research will also explore changing patterns of intergroup relations within these commercial networks. The patterns identified here will help uncover the nature of relations in the past, how they have changed and the risk these women face as they go about their daily lives.

Dr Anne-Kristin BorszikHide
BIGSAS Alumna Anne-Kristin Borszik

Completed Project:

Dispute Settlement in Eastern Guinea-Bissau: Self-presentations, Stories and Agency

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

"There is no justice in Guinea-Bissau", many people lament in this West African country. Impunity and legal uncertainty tend to mark their interactions with judges, régulos (chiefs), police officers or imams when they have become involved in a dispute. Based on case analysis, this book analyses dispute settlers’ self-presentations, stories told on them and aggrieved parties’ agency in semi-rural Guinea-Bissau. By introducing a typology of dispute settlers as well as the concepts of person-bound dispute settlement and supporter activation, this book contributes to debates in legal anthropology.

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Dr Oumarou BoukariHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Oumarou Boukari

Completed Project:

Articulation du discours dans le Songhay. Pour une réflexion syntaxique et semantico-pragmatique à partir de quelques connecteurs du Songhay-Zarma

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2009 under the title "Articulation du discours dans le Songhay : Une analyse des connecteurs dans le discours des Songhay-Zarmas émigrés en Côte d’Ivoire".

Le présent travail présente une analyse des connecteurs (adversatifs, délimitatifs, argumentatifs etc.) en songhay-zarma. Il est basé sur un corpus de conversations recueillies auprès des locuteurs Songhay-Zarma en Côte d'Ivoire. Cette description comble une lacune dans les études songhay. L'auteur se base sur des théories pragmatiques à la suite des approches de Grice qui visent à dégager des fonctions discursives á travers des raisonnements des interlocuteurs.Le présent travail a été soutenu comme thèse de doctorat dans le cadre la Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies en 2008.

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Dr Jean Pierre BoutchéHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Jean Pierre Boutché

Completed Project:

Fula spoken in the city of Maroua (Northern Cameroon). A sociolinguistic insight into its use by non-ethnic speakers

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

This book investigates the speech of non-ethnic Fulfulde speakers in Maroua, Northern Cameroon, focussed on the Christian community, where the language is adopted as evangelistic instrument beside French. Three key reasons motivate our investigation. First: Context - Fulfulde is embedded in a multilingual contact situation with Indo-European languages (French, English) and many other local languages belonging to Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo phyla. Second: Fulfulde as lingua franca in the region. This status is unique compared to the situation in other countries such as Senegal, Chad or Sudan where it is mainly an intraethnic medium of communication. Third: In contrast to the common perception of Fulfulde as the language of a Muslim community - here we are targeting the Christian Fulfulde speakers who share the language as well as the Bible (translated into Fulfulde) as common goods for interethnic communication in their religious activities.

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Dr Abraham BrahimaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Abraham Brahima

Completed Project:

L'intraduisible en question. Problématique linguistique africaine et décolonisation conceptuelle, une lecture critique

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "L'intraduisible en question. Problématique linguistique africaine et décolonisation conceptuelle".

Concept équivoque s’il en est, l’intraduisible dénote la difficulté de concevoir l’acte de traduire en dehors des catégories de l’inaccompli, du consensuel et du relatif. Incomplétude essentielle liée à la fois aux caractéristiques formelles du texte original et aux spécificités culturelles inhérentes qui opèrent comme des puissances de résistance à la traduction. Dans le contexte africain d’inscription du présent ouvrage, ces résistances sont d’autant plus accentuées qu’elles dérivent de la conscience encore vive des séquelles de la violence coloniale et des incohérences identitaires, existentielles, discursives, linguistiques et culturelles subséquentes. En un mot, comment parler à bon escient de traduction lorsque les textes à traduire confinent les langues en présence dans la logique inextricable de la différence, marquée d’un côté par les survivances de la « phrase coloniale » et de l’autre par les appels réitérés à la décolonisation mentale ? Le présent ouvrage entreprend de confronter les prémisses idéologiques de ces textes aux enjeux pragmatiques de la problématique linguistique dans l’Afrique d’aujourd’hui, en guise de contribution à la réflexion sur les enjeux et défis actuels de la traduction.

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Dr Felix BrinkmannHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Felix Brinkmann

Completed Project:

Kleinhandel unter schwierigen institutionellen Voraussetzungen - Reaktionen, Strategien und Lösungen der Händler auf dem Chisokone-Markt in Kitwe/Sambia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

Zambia’s economy is mainly based on copper mining and export; the centre is Kitwe. No other country in Africa’s small scale enterprises are as powerfully affected by volatile commodity prices as those in Zambia. The Chisokone-Market, the field of investigation, is the second largest of its kind in Zambia and has never been officially registered as such. Several actors compete for influence and power. The statutory authority for market management, the Kitwe City Council (KCC), has been unable to ensure administration for years. Market associations have filled this void and act as substitute market administrations. Just like the KCC, these market associations use the Chisokone-Market as a source of income. Those involved often engage in competitive or collaborative activities, depending on the circumstances. Consequently, economic action for small-scale enterprises is becoming increasingly difficult and quite unpredictable.

This project will demonstrate the operational and personal strategies small-scale enterprises use in order to ensure their own economic and institutional survival in this unusual environment. The exposition of traditional economic perspectives goes beyond this and furthermore focuses on the standards and value system of retailers – a crucial factor in the local market. This project works out success factors for a favourable economic development of small-scale enterprises and also discusses the limits of economically rational theories in the Zambian context.

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Dr Suleiman ChembeaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Suleiman Chembea

Completed Project:

Competing and Conflicting Power Dynamics in Waqfs in Kenya, 1900-2010

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

This project seeks to investigate the practices of waqf in Kenya during the post-colonial period (1960-2010). Waqf was an important element of personal status law in Islam, a significant segment of the Islamic economy that had an inherent symbolic value and a source of social authority and symbolic power. Administered autonomously according to normative traditions, it became a vehicle for enhancing common identity of an autonomous social group keen on protecting and advancing the particular interests of its members (Hoexter 2002; Powers 1989; Kozlowski 1998), a scenario that became antithetical to various political regimes.

Thus, it could be argued that state control of awqaf as witnessed in the Ottoman Empire (1826), British Zanzibar (1905), and French Algeria (1831), was not only a sharp departure from normative autonomous administrative traditions of the institution but also a deliberate move to control and manipulate the political and economic spaces. Such competing struggles for the control of political and economic spaces could not possibly be explained better than in societies like Kenya which is predominantly Christian and where Muslims are perceived as a significant minority and marginalized group. What types of awqaf exist in contemporary Kenya? How do state legislative and judicial constructs influence waqf practices in Kenya? How do Muslims negotiate the waqf practices vis-à-vis state policies and judicial constructs? How do debates and practices about waqf in the Islamic sphere influence the practices of waqf in Kenya? These are the central questions that the study seeks to answer. The main objective of the study, therefore, is to interrogate the influence of state policies on one hand, and debates about practices of waqf in the Islamic sphere on the other, in the contemporary practices of waqf in Kenya.

The study aims at breaking new ground in academic research by providing insights in to practices of waqf in modern states where Muslims are a minority, a sharp departure from earlier works (Anderson 1951; Oberauer 2008) that studied the institution of waqf during the colonial times in the East African region. This project is multi-disciplinary and would significantly seek to employ theoretical frameworks on state-society interface. As an empirical multi-disciplinary study, the methodological approach would as well be multifaceted comprising of qualitative social science research techniques and fieldwork.

Dr Pamela ChepngetichHide

Completed Project:

Spectacles of Displacement, Institutional and Vernacular Photography on Refugees in Dadaab, North-Eastern Kenya

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The media has been quite instrumental in disseminating images about refugees. In particular, photographic images of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya’s media have conjured up impressions of humanity at its most vulnerability and utter hopelessness (Liisa Malkki 1996). Meanwhile, self representation, a nascent form of participatory journalism where refugees are empowered to visualise their own experiences, also known as pluralist photography, has been hailed as democratic, emancipatory and capable of countering constructs of refugees as portraits of bare humanity (Roland Bleiker & Amy Kay, 2007). Led by various humanitarian organisations, efforts at self representation are vibrant at the camp running alongside the regular photojournalistic work.

Following the thoughts of Michael D. Harris (2003) on the theory of representation, the study probes how media representation of the Dadaab refugee camp in the Kenyan media on the one hand, and self representation of refugees on the other, conflate to produce images of refugees that conceal rather than reveal life in the refugee Camp. While not necessary aimed at making a comparison, the study investigates the way in which photographs from these two categories produce further ambiguity in the photographic representation of refugees.

Dr Nonlourou Marie Paule CoulibalyHide
BIGSAS Alumna Nonlourou Marie Paule Coulibaly

Completed Project:

Logiques sociales de la solidarité envers les personnes vivant avec le VIH: Etude de cas menée dans les zones transfrontalières de la Côte d'Ivoire avec le Ghana et du Ghana avec le Togo

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Logiques sociales de la solidarité envers les personnes vivant avec le VIH".

Appeared at the beginning of the Eighties, the aids pandemic became quickly a social plague. The disease causes the deterioration of the social fabric of the infected person. Facing the profound impacts of HIV/aids, families and some association mobilize their efforts together to fight against any form of social exclusion and to improve of the living conditions of the infected person. However, the lack of financial resources for the activities of PLWHA’s organizations is one of the major difficulties in ensuring support to its members living in the border localities of Noé (Côte d’Ivoire), Elubo and Aflao (Ghana) and Kodjoviakope (Lome). Also, the solidarity network between the family’s members is weakened due to their situation of poverty. Also, people create different strategies to maintain the solidarity within the social group and to provide a social security. These forms of solidarity are various and complex. The research raises questions about the functioning of the logics of solidarity by underlining the reasons that motivate people to come together to help the PLWHA. This qualitative and a quantitative research seeks to analyze the social relations between people and the infected person to HIV and also to see to what extend solidarities vary within the different social groups such as families and associations.

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Dr Erika DahlmannsHide
BIGSAS Alumna Erika Dahlmanns

Completed Project:

Die Einheit der Kinder Gihangas. Kulturelle Dynamiken und politische Fiktionen der Neugestaltung von Gemeinschaft in Ruanda

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

Wie soll nach der Erfahrung des Genozids in Ruanda Gemeinschaft neu begründet werden? Welche »Bilder« und kulturellen Formen werden vor Ort mobilisiert, um Herausforderungen der Vergangenheitsbewältigung zu begegnen? Abseits normativer Betrachtungen untersucht Erika Dahlmanns zentrale Programmatiken und Denkfiguren der staatlichen Einheitspolitik sowie Symbolwelten der postgenozidalen Kunst (politische Lieder, Theater, bildende Kunst), zu denen bislang Vorstudien fehlten. Anhand des reichen Materials aus ihrer Forschung in Gefängnissen, Regierungsinstitutionen und mit Künstlern zeigt sie, wie sich Politik und Kunst in gesellschaftliche und historische Deutungsmuster einfügen, diese verändern und Transformationen mit betreiben. Narrative der Ungleichheit werden in Bilder der Einheit, Stärke und Moral transformiert.

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Carsten MildnerHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Carsten Mildner

Completed Project:

DEAF-DEAF-DIFFERENT. Ambiguities of being deaf in Benin

Project Summary:

“Being deaf” is more than a physical or medical phenomenon. It is a social role and position that is constantly shifted and renegotiated between the deaf and the hearing individuals and communities. In my research project “learning to be deaf in Benin”, I seek to understand how deaf identity is established within, across and beyond the various religious, ethnic and linguistic groups in Benin.

Dr Chikas DanfulaniHide
BIGSAS Alumna Chikas Danfulani

Completed Project:

The Re-implementation of Sharia in Northern Nigeria and the Education of Muslim Women 1999-2007

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2013 under the same title.

This study investigates the impact of the re-implementation of Sharia on the education of Muslim women between 1999 and 2007, in four states in northern Nigeria namely, Zamfara, Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna. The study fills the research gap in the description of the status of women with respect to education under the Sharia dispensation re-introduced in 1999. Before this era, scholarly works have documented the state of female education in northern Nigeria; however, none deals directly with post re-implementation and its impact on Muslim women’s education. This period is particularly interesting because it coincides with the return of the country to democratic rule after a string of military rules.

Using interviews with Sharia proponents, school administrators, women and reports from Sharia Commissions in these states, the work establishes that while Zamfara and Kano States underwent transformations in the educational sector as a result of the programs introduced by the Sharia governments, the changes in the educational domain in Bauchi and Kaduna were exceedingly triggered by the return of democracy in Nigeria after decades of military rule. The results arrived at in this study reveal interesting facets of the relationship between Sharia and the education of Muslim women. The research shows that proponents of Sharia used the premise (also supported by verses from the Qur’an and Prophet Mohammed’s teachings) that education is an important part of Islam to which both males and females have equal rights, to sell the Islamic-based educational programs introduced by the Sharia regime. Using religion to promote these programs, the predominantly male Sharia bodies, mitigate the often tough cultural practices and religious dogmas that have prevented women from having full access to formal, western education. However, the type of education offered to women under these Sharia programs is a hybrid of formal education and Islamic education which pays strict attention to such cultural and religious practices like the wearing of the hijab, the separation of males and females in schools, the teaching of practical, home craft skills such as knitting and baking to the women. So, instead of the education taking women out of the home domain in which they have been restricted in the past, it rather further maintains them while providing them access to formal education which they will hardly use in any public career.

Dr Antje DanielHide
BIGSAS Alumna Antje Daniel

Completed Project:

Organisation - Vernetzung - Bewegung. Frauenbewegungen in Kenia und Brasilien

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Die Studie zu Kenia und Brasilien leistet einen erkenntnistheoretischen Beitrag, denn Einzelkonzepte der Bewegungsforschung werden miteinander kombiniert und durch Studien zur Transnationalität, Pfadabhängigkeit, Netzwerkanalyse oder Organisationssoziologie erweitert. Damit wird die Bewegungsforschung des globalen Nordens zugleich für die Analyse von Protest im globalen Süden fruchtbar gemacht. Ebenso werden Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten sowohl mit Blick auf die Frauenbewegungen und ihre Praktiken als auch bezüglich des gesellschaftlichen, politischen und transnationalen Kontexts deutlich und die Besonderheiten des jeweiligen Falls aufgezeigt.

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Dr Serawit Bekele DebeleHide

Completed Project:

Managing Irreecha Ritual: Religion and Politics in Post-1991 Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

Following the 1991 change of government, Ethiopia endorsed the ideology of ethnic federalism, which states the rights and equalities of all of the many diverse ethnic groups living in the country. Government is declared to be secular, with a clear separation of church and state. The state is also declared to be a secular state which separates state and religion. The constitution also addresses the question of religious freedom. Many different religions mushroomed as a result of the state’s secular stance, in stark contrast to previous governments. Although the constitution states that the government shall not interfere with religious affairs, this has not always been the case in with respect to the revival of religious groups. This is witnessed in a number of instances in which the government acts against the constitutional provision of separation. In this context, the research mainly focuses on the Oromo religion called Waqqefana in post-1991 Ethiopia. It employs two main components of the Oromo religion, the Qallu institution and an annual ritual called Irrecha, to study the dynamics of government intervention and determine whether the religious areas spaces are apolitical. The research will investigate what goes on in Waqqefana religious areas that forces the government to interfere, thereby breaching its own commitment to secularism. The objective of the study is to describe and analyse how the religious space in post-1991 Ethiopia is appropriated and used by different actors including the government and the reasons accounting for it through a critical engagement with the two elements of the Oromo religion.

Dr Asebe DebeloHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Asebe Debelo

Completed Project:

Conflicts, Narratives of Entitlement and Competing Views over Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Wilderness or Home? Conflicts, Competing Perspectives and Claims of Entitlement over Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia".

This book critically probes into the politics of nature conservation and commodification. Building on political ecology, the book argues that conservation is used by state and non-state actors as an instrument of controlling multidimensional spaces of indigenous communities. The study creates a nexus between the hegemonic discourse of wilderness conservation in colonial Africa and Ethiopia's appropriation of this narrative and how it internally exported it to its peripheries. It found out that the successive Ethiopian regimes (the imperial, military and developmental state) share commonalities in using nature conservation both for political control of societies and their territories, and as a means of economic extraction through commodification.

Dr Barbara DegenhartHide
BIGSAS Alumna Barbara Degenhart

Completed Project:

Space - Food - Society: Changing Food Consumption Practices of the Emerging Urban Middle Class in Meqele, Ethiopia - A Relational Approach of Local Dynamics and Spatial Manifestations of Socio-Cultural Transformation Processes

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Space – Food – Society. Changing Food Consumption Practices of the Emerging Urban Middle Class in Meqele, Ethiopia".

Food prices have risen steadily in recent years. At the same time, particularly in cities, the demand for food is increasing dramatically. As a result food security has become a key theme in urban development. This issue is taken up by food systems and value chains that guarantee the availability, accessibility, stability and aspects of utilisation of food. In order to support people with sufficient commodities, specific structures and regulation dynamics must be developed.

Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the rate of urbanisation there is also increasing; the regional cities in particular are expected to witness tremendous urban population growth in the future. The degradation of the economic structure and rapid urbanisation combined with the scarcity of land resources will only exacerbate urban poverty in Ethiopia, being directly correlated to urban food insecurity and questions of resilience, coping strategies and adaptation. The multidimensionality of urban food security and urban livelihoods aims for an interdisciplinary approach in human and social science. The overall goal is to uncover, analyse, identify and evaluate aspects of urban food security in relation to impacts, vulnerabilities and capabilities of urban livelihoods in two mid-sized cities in northwestern Ethiopia to determine and synthesise the sustainability of coping and adaptive strategies.

Dr Ricarda de HaasHide
BIGSAS Alumna Ricarda de Haas

Completed Project:

Spoken Word Goes Digital. Performance Poetry und Social Media in Harare (SIMBABWE) und Johannesburg (SÜDAFRIKA). Eine gendersensible Analyse.

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Spoken Word Goes Digital. Performance Poetry und Social Media in Harare (Simbabwe) und Johannesburg (Südafrika)".

Digitale Technologien sind aus der zeitgenössischen afrikanischen Literatur und Kunst nicht mehr wegzudenken. Die hier vorgestellten Poet_innen aus Harare und Johannesburg experimentieren mit den Möglichkeiten Neuer Medien. Sie nutzen Social Media, um sich untereinander zu vernetzen und neue von Verlagen unabhängige Publikationsmöglichkeiten zu schaffen. Poetische Performances finden nicht mehr ausschließlich live statt, sondern werden im virtuellen Raum als Videopoetry oder in poetischen Blogs re-inszeniert. Dabei kommt es zu vielfältigen Überschneidungen und Verflechtungen zwischen beiden Sphären und zwischen künstlerischen offline- und online-Aktivitäten. Die Grenzen zwischen Produktion und Rezeption verschwimmen, und Performances finden gleichzeitig als lokales und globales Ereignis statt. Die Autorin nähert sich diesem rezenten Phänomen mit einem doppelten Fokus: Sie widmet sich einerseits poetischen Netzwerken wie den Word N Sound Series aus Johannesburg und dem House of Hunger Poetry Slam aus Harare. Andererseits analysiert sie Werke von Kgafela oa Magogodi, Lesego Rampolokeng, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers und Comrade Fatso, die ihre poetischen Performances mit Medien wie Film, Theater, Video oder Audio kombinieren. Im Zentrum stehen dabei Fragen nach dem Verhältnis von Textualität, Oralität, Theatralität und Medialität. Die Arbeit leistet einen bedeutsamen Beitrag zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung von Spoken Word und Performance Poetry in zwei urbanen Zentren des südlichen Afrika sowie zur Konzeptionalisierung neuer ästhetischer Formen im virtuellen Raum.

Dr Anna DeutschmannHide
BIGSAS Alumna Anna Deutschmann

Completed Project:

Studierende als Akteure im politischen Wandel Afrikas. Eine vergleichende Analyse studentischer Mobilisierung und Organisation in Mali und Kenia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the title "Studierende als Akteure im politischen Wandel Afrikas. Ein Vergleich studentischer Mobilisierung und Organisation in Mali und Kenia 1960-2018".

Anna Deutschmann untersucht die Bedeutung studentischer Mobilisierung und Organisation. Die Auseinandersetzung mit Erkenntnissen der Elitesoziologie und der sozialwissenschaftlichen Bewegungsforschung bildet die Grundlage für die Analyse zweier empirischer Fallstudien. Die Fälle Mali und Kenia zeigen im kontrastierenden Vergleich Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede der Entwicklung und Bedeutung studentischer Organisation in spezifischen politischen Gelegenheitsstrukturen und illustrieren, wie situative und strukturelle Gelegenheiten politisches Handeln rahmen und fördern. Die Autorin stellt dabei eine changierende Bedeutung der Akteure – auch für die (Rekrutierung von) politischen Eliten – fest.

Dr Brahima DialloHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Brahima Diallo

Completed Project:

Childbearing in Practice: Expectations and Experiences among the Fulbe in Central Mali

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Approaching women’s reproductive attitudes and the knowledge transaction among actors involved in the management of pregnancy, childbirth and babies' healthcare, this work tries to understand the ways Fulbe community in the centre of Mali deal with mothers and babies health issues. Dealing with these issues, the work focuses on people's knowledge and experiences providing helps to pregnant women and babies in the local community. These helps can be traditional remedies (plants or animal products), biomedical health services, and the Koranic ones. Moreover, local people's observation of taboos (food, other particular behaviors, etc.) will be also approached. The main purpose of this work is to provide ethnographic data on social and cultural basis of the management of pregnancy, childbirth and newborn babies' healthcare. By depicting these realities with concrete details about Fulbe people in central Mali, we think, will enable us to understand the whole and complex issues of women and children health conditions, as seen from the perspective of a local community. Major settings of this project are the community itself, the health institution, and Medecin du Monde, an NGO working to improve the capacities of the health institution to provide maternal and infant health services.

Hanza DimanHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Hanza Diman

Completed Project:

Wood for the kitchen: Towards a history of the supply and use of fuelwood in an urban setting of West Africa: The case of Lomé (from 1907 to 2017)

Project Summary:

Up to today, fuelwood (wood and or charcoal) remains one of the most important sources of energy used for cooking purposes in the majority of West African cities. In line with the accelerating urbanization, especially during the later 20th century, this demand for fuelwood has been steadily increasing, causing at least two major problems: On one hand, the hinterland areas supplying the cities with the needed material has continuously expanded and led to accelerating deforestation there. On the other hand, the rising demand for fuelwood and the increasing distances of supply areas have an increasingly significant impact on the income of households that cannot afford other sources of domestic energy (electricity or gas). The environmental as well as socioeconomic and social causes and consequences of fuelwood consumption in the context of urbanization in Africa have so far found little attention in research. Considering all these challenges, a historical approach appears to be particularly promising, because it helps to look at changes regarding the fuelwood as energy source in a shifting political and socio-economic context. For that matter, this dissertation project examines the supply as well as the use of fuelwood for cooking in Lomé, the capital of Togo. The case study provides an analytical framework for a better understanding of the development and of the changing mechanisms of fuelwood demand and consumption. This will clearly help for an assessment of the future of fuelwood demand and supply in West African capital cities. The thesis is therefore raising the following questions:

How and by what factors has the supply and use of energy or rather wood use for the domestic need in Lomé, evolved in different historical periods, from the colonial period up until today? How have prices of fuelwood developed over time? Which measures have been taken by the authorities before and after 1960 to intervene in this sector, for instance in deforestation caused by the production of charcoal, or in marketing mechanisms? Who used, and why, which kind of domestic energy for cooking at different times? How has the constant growth of the population affected the need for fuelwood as well as the socioeconomic situation of households? How did households try to cope with the situation in different historical and social contexts? What changes in the size and sources of domestic energy supply can be anticipated for the future in view of these historical experiences including the opinions of different actors involved in the process of supply and use of fuelwood?

The dissertation addresses all these questions by using an interdisciplinary approach (diverse fields of history - such as economic and social history, environmental history, history of energy, fieldwork and archival research-, cultural studies).

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Dr Julia DittmannHide
BIGSAS Alumna Julia Dittmann

Completed Project:

Ent-Täuschung des weißen Blicks. Rassismussensible Strategien für eine ideologiekritische Filmanalyse

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Das Buch „Ent-Täuschung des weißen Blicks. Rassismussensible Strategien für eine ideologiekritische Filmanalyse“ ist ein Handbuch für alle, die Rassismus in Filmen identifizieren und dekonstruieren möchten. Durch die Re-Lektüre des Ursprungstextes der feministischen Filmtheorie wird die Grammatik rassifizierter Repräsentation, die bislang vor allem von Schwarzen Theoretiker_innen in verschiedenen Einzelwerken erarbeitet wurde, zusammengeführt und systematisiert. Für diese Systematisierung liest Julia Dittmann den Ursprungstext der feministischen Filmtheorie „Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema“ von Laura Mulvey mit einer spezifizierten Lesart des symbolischen Phallus nach Lacan und weitet Mulveys gendersensiblen Analyseansatz zu einer diversitätssensiblen Analysemöglichkeit von Filmtexten aus. Die als Fazit entstehende und einfach zu handhabende Analysematrix fokussiert rassismussensible Strategien für eine ideologiekritische Filmanalyse. Zur Entwicklung dieser Analysematrix wird die in okzidentale Mainstream-Spielfilme eingeschriebene Ideologie des Rassismus anhand der Blockbuster Eine Weiße unter Kannibalen (D 1921), Geschichte einer Nonne (USA 1959), Jenseits von Afrika (USA 1986) und Die weiße Massai (D 2005) offengelegt und inszenatorische Gegenstrategien anhand des Third Cinema-Klassikers La Noire de… (Kamerun/Fr 1966) von Ousmane Sembène aufgezeigt.

Dr Tsevi DodounouHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Tsevi Dodounou

Completed Project:

Le Mythe de l’Abinos dans les Récits Subsahariens Francophones

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2011 under the same title.

Un thème comme celui de l'albinos marque une nouvelle orientation dans le champ littéraire africain. Plus qu'un thème, l'albinos est un mythe survivant dans l'inconscient collectif, voyageant d'œuvre en œuvre, un véritable mythe dont l'origine remonte aux temps anciens. L'apparition d'un albinos semble prédestinée à créer un malaise dans la course ordinaire de la vie. C'est le choc de se voir confronté - selon la formule de Roger Little - à l'autre autre. Mais au-delà du mythique, l'albinos est aussi une figure de la déconstruction, source d'un questionnement, d'un regard critique sur la marginalité et l'altérité. Sa position de « l'entre-deux » est représentative de la position du sujet dans les sociétés postcoloniales, position sous-tendue par des idées de fluctuation, de mobilité et de labilité de l'identité humaine.

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Kamal DonkoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Kamal Donko

Completed Project:

Territory, Identity and Local Politics in the Frontier Zone of Central Benin

Project Summary:

This study refers to the ongoing debate on the political geography of migration, land conflicts and political power in sub-Saharan Africa, and is based on the interpretative framework of the "African frontier". It intends to scrutinize the inter-linkages between struggles over access to land and questions of belonging and local politics in the frontier zone of central Benin, West Africa. The research has three main objectives: First, the study is to understand the dynamics of land ownership in the study area. Second, it seeks to analyze the socio-spatial strategies of controlling and maintaining political power. And third, it investigates how new hybrid forms of local politics and political structures emerge in order to understand to what extend these new trends affect the relationship between the different ethnic groups in the region and beyond. Specifically, the focus is to examine the connections between land ownership, identity representations, institutional arrangements and socio-political innovations.

The study aims at giving new insights into how the issues of migration, territory and identity can be a vehicle of domination and political control in a West African country. The research will also help in understanding how local and national politics are linked to land dynamics in a frontier zone. A multi-sited approach will be applied, using narratives interviews, group discussions, participant observation and mapping.

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Dr Weeraya DonsomsakulkijHide
BIGSAS Alumna Weeraya Donsomsakulkij

Completed Project:

Towards A South African Literary "Post-Pastoralism": Alternative Environmentalism and Multispecies Narratives in Selected Post-Apartheid South African Literature

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Towards A South African Literary Post-Pastoralism".

This book demonstrates how The House Gun and Get A Life by Nadine Gordimer, Disgrace and Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee, and The Heart of Redness and The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda, inspire the environmental awareness and contribute to the field of the environmental justice by insisting on the power of nonhuman agents. The book employs insights of “postcolonial-material ecocriticism” to discover a way of reading fictional representations in which all entities reflect on the enmeshment that challenges the binary segregation. The South African fiction is scrutinized as alternative environmentalisms, mirroring a turn to rethink nonhuman positions as a way to subvert anthropocentrism.

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Dr Lamine DoumbiaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Lamine Doumbia

Completed Project:

Le foncier urbain à Bamako / Mali - Processus dans l'impasse et diligence des acteurs face à l'équation

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Une sécurisation foncière urbaine dans l’impasse, exemple de Bamako, Mali".

Dans un cadre d’anthropologie juridique et politique, cette étude décrit les enjeux du foncier urbain à Bamako comme une dynamique transitionnelle et transactionnelle dans l’impasse. Les formes endogènes de la pratique foncière dans le contexte de croissance exponentielle urbaine ; la pénurie de l’espace à occuper ; la manière pour l’État de garder la notion de domanialité et de propriété qui représente pratiquement son cauchemar, sont entre autres des thèmes traités de cette recherche. Comment appréhender le foncier urbain bamakois, relevant des communs, à partir d’une description empirique de la pluralité de normes existantes et d’acteurs en compétition pour l’enjeu ?

Adama DraboHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Adama Drabo

Completed Project:

Marqueurs discursifs et pragmatèmes dans le français en Côte d’Ivoire : Une analyse empirique de dƐ, kƐ, tchô et toi aussi

Les études linguistiques menées après la période coloniale sur les français en Afrique subsaharienne ont mis en évidence leur dynamisme (Lafage : 1990 ; Abolou : 1994, 2012 ; Krol : 1995 ; Kouadio : 1998, 1999, 2006 ; Tsofack : 2010 ; Klaeger : 2010…). Il ressort de ces travaux que les français africains sont des restructurations du français standard par ses ‘nouveaux’ locuteurs (Drescher & Neumann-Holzschuh, 2010 ; Ploog, 2010 ; Boukari, 2010).

Si, tous s’accordent à justifier les variations du français en Afrique par l’incapacité du français standard à traduire certaines réalités des locuteurs africains, ils restent cependant muets quant aux substances communicatives et expressives de chacune de ces réalités. Nous avons donc voulu combler cette lacune. Ainsi, notre objectif vise à déterminer les différents besoins communicatifs et expressifs non satisfaits par le français standard. Selon les hypothèses que nous privilégions ces besoins sont en rapport avec les variations d’ordre stylistique et syntaxique. De fait, notre étude articule ensemble les domaines linguistiques et pragmatiques. Le volet linguistique s’appuie sur les approches fonctionnalistes d’André Martinet (1960, 1972) et de Creissels (1996, 2006).Quant au volet pragmatique, elle s’inspire de la vision de Maingueneau & Charaudeau (2002) qui s’est développée à partir de la théorie des Actes de langage (Austin, 1970, Searle, 1972).

Par souci d’efficacité et de précision, nous avons restreint notre champ d’investigation au cas spécifique de la Côte d’Ivoire. Nous optons pour le français tel que parlé par les acteurs du téléfilm brouteurs.com. Ce choix se justifie par le fait qu’il est très difficile de recueillir des données authentiques des brouteurs car la cybercriminalité est un délit. De plus, la langue pratiquée dans ces films est le reflet des manifestations du français ivoirien dans les situations réelles de communication. Néanmoins, notre corpus sera enrichi par des énoncés authentiques recueillis au moyen d’interviews accordées aux acteurs du téléfilm en question. Cela nous permettra de comparer éventuellement ces deux catégories de corpus pour en tirer les conclusions qui s’imposent.

Notre démarche méthodologique se décompose en quatre étapes : la collecte des données (corpus), la transcription, l’analyse et l’interprétation. La première (déjà effectuée) a consisté à recueillir sur supports numériques les 20 premiers épisodes du téléfilm. Chaque téléfilm dure 25 minutes. Soit au total 8 heures 33 minutes de données. La seconde étape a démarré et se poursuit avec la transcription du cinquième épisode grâce au logiciel SIL ‘’toolbox’. Cette phase devrait prendre fin avant le début de la bourse. Quant aux deux dernières étapes, elles seront réalisées à Bayreuth si nous parvenons à acquérir la bourse.

Dr Ahmed Omer El-HassabHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Ahmed Omar El-Hassab

Completed Project:

Corporate Social Responsibility Conduct/Disclosure In the Experience of Sudanese Islamic Banks, 2008-2010

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2013 under the same title.

Islamisation of the banking system means that banks operate under the Islamic banking system should subscribe to the principles of Islamic Sharia in their business transactions. The essential point is the prohibition of charging interest, which should be replaced by the arrangement of profit/loss sharing.

Beside the traditional banking services, Islamic banks are supposed to provide their customers with financial products that do not violate Sharia. Moreover, Islamic banks are expected to subscribe to a policy of CSR among the societies they operate. CSR is very important for Islamic banks and because of that, it is mentioned in many banks` constitutions. The insistance on CSR has led some researchers to describe Islamic banks as “banks having a social face”.

The existence of such religious banks which operate in an Islamic dominated society like Sudan provides us with an opportunity to explore the SR and CSR of such banks.

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Dr Moulay Driss El MaaroufHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Moulay Driss El Maarouf

Completed Project:

The Local and Global Dynamics of Moroccan Music Festivals

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Music Festivals in Morocco have grown to become the country’s Meta-artistic flagships. Scattered in geography and time, festivals punctuate the life calendar of cities and citizens, craft cross-cultural situations, produce trans-border encounters and economic opportunities. Music festivals define cities in the same dexterity that cities define festivals. My reading of the three Moroccan music spectacles, namely the Mawazine festival (Rabat), the Gnawa festival (Essouira), the Fez festival of world sacred music ( Fez) is an effort to put to task the question of festivalization in Morocco. It is difficult to draw a wedge between modern festivals and discourse. These festivals, above all, are a site of struggle between not only the local and the global, the traditional and the modern, the national and the trans-national, but also between the margin and the center, the urban and the rural, the authentic and the phony, the sacred and profane. Between the tide and ebb, Moroccan music festival grows, if I might borrow from Deleuze, into a “becoming something else”. Today, Moroccan festivals have shifted from being typically local celebrations (moussems) to becoming global manifestations, flinging urban spaces, natives, tourists, localities, identities into a confusing and ambiguous vortex. Such are no longer discrete and isolated events, now rationally produced and managed by bureaucratic organizations for instrumental purposes. Accordingly, I will empirically engage within and aesthetically probe into the aporitical contradictions entertained by such cultural ephemera.

Dr Maroua El NaggareHide
BIGSAS Alumna Maroua El Naggare

Completed Project:

Enfances. De quelques recueils francophones de récits d'enfance

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Traces d’enfance : Analyse littéraire de trois recueils francophones de récits d’enfance".

Le recueil de récits d’enfance tire son intérêt et son originalité de son caractère collectif en rupture avec la conception classique du récit d’enfance comme entreprise individuelle et autonome. L’impact de la forme brève imposée par le recueil sur le récit d’enfance pose avec acuité la question du renouvellement (ou non) des modalités d’écriture de l’enfance : sélection des souvenirs, reconduite ou subversion des motifs liés à l’enfance. Tirant profit des théories stipulant le dynamisme du recueil, cet ouvrage prône une lecture hypertextuelle de trois collectifs rassemblant des écrivains francophones d’horizons divers qui, à partir d’un fragment d’enfance, relatent leurs rapports complexes à la grande Histoire et à la petite histoire mais aussi au pays d’origine et au pays de l’exil, à la langue maternelle et à la langue d’écriture. Au-delà de la problématique postcoloniale, la poétique des textes transversale pratiquée cherche à tracer des liens transculturels entre des enfances issues de mondes très différents.

Dr Meron Zeleke EressoHide

Completed Project:

Religious Syncretism and Dispute Settlement: A Study of Sufi Shrine in North Eastern Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Faith at the Crossroads: Religious Syncretism and dispute settlement in Northern Ethiopia".

Based on Meron Zeleke Eresso’s doctoral project carried out from 2008 until 2010 at an Islamic Sufi shrine of Teru Sina in northern Ethiopia, this volume presents the syncretic elements of religious practices at the contemporary Islamic shrine, where elements from Christianity, Islam and Traditional Religion are brought together. It discusses the changing nature of religiosity in the first and second generations of the shrine by examining the different factors that have accounted for the formation of syncretic religious elements. Furthermore, it analyzes how these elements are reflected in the dispute settlement process of a faith-based court, yäšeykoc celot, held regularly at the shrine.

Against the backdrop of the complex blending of various religious traditions, the first part of the book examines the formation of syncretic religious practice. The second part presents how these practices are reflected or mirrored in the dispute settlement process of yäšeykoc celot.

The book is a useful complement to the existing academic analyses in the fields of anthropology, religious studies and sociology of religion. It is also an addition to the theoretical discussion in legal anthropology and to discussions pertaining to legal pluralism.

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Angiachi Demetris Esene AgwaraHide
BIGSAS Alumna Angiachi Demetris Esene Agwara

Completed Project:

Language ideologies in contexts of small-scale multilingualism: Repertoires, attitudes, and language use in Lower Fungom (Cameroon)

Project Summary:

It is a fact that both societal and individual multilingualism are normality in Africa. This research will be geared towards answering three main questions: 1) what does it mean to know a language in a rural context? 2) What research methods and methodology should we utilize when assessing oral multilingual competence in a rural setting, 3) to what extent are the Lower Bafut people multilingual?

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Dr Setargew FantawHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Setargew Fantaw

Completed Project:

Technology-Culture Dialogue: Cultural and Sociotechnical Appropriation of Mobile Phones in Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

This study explores the dialogical relation between technologies and societies with a focus on cultural and socio-technical appropriation of mobile phone use in Ethiopia. It dovetails mobile technology related issues; how and why mobile phones are shared among users; how relations are mediated between married couples; what opportunities the mobile technology offers for repair men and women in the country. Informed by the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach, the study represents mobile phone users as "relevant social groups." It compares the meanings that come out of these groups and makes a critical examination of the notion of "co-construction" in SCOT.

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Dr Katharina FinkHide
BIGSAS Alumna Katharina Fink

Completed Project:

[Un/doing Sophiatown] Contemporary reverberations of a myth and in a suburb

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Un/doing Sophiatown: Contemporary Reverberations of a Myth and in a Suburb".

Sophiatown, the iconic suburb in Johannesburg, is at the heart of many narratives around identity and belonging. Sceptical of both concepts mentioned; the author investigates the multiple ways in which people 'un/do' Sophiatown - both as a a myth and a suburb - in the present. The focus on heritage, image politics and on people's ways of making futures by creating references to a myth in everyday practices.

Based on the author's dissertation, the book sheds light on cultural projects and exhibitions. And shares lessons about museology and artistic interventions learned in and with Sophiatown.

Dr Henrike FirschingHide
BIGSAS Alumna Henrike Firsching

Completed Project:

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver is a Word Spoken at the Right Time. The Translation of Biblical Metaphors in Hausa and Swahili

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

This comparison of metaphor translations in four Hausa and six Swahili bibles identifies different methods of metaphor translation. In the focus are metaphors containing entities, which are part of the biblical cultures, but not of Hausa or Swahili speaking areas versus metaphors involving terms that Hausa and Swahili speakers are familiar with. A look at metaphors from different semantic fields (human body, animals, botany, inorganic nature, material culture, social culture) investigates if certain translation methods dominate in a particular semantic field.

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Dr Johannes FlosbachHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Johannes Flosbach

Completed Project:

Financial Performance of Microfinance Institutions in Ghana and Uganda: Development and Application of the Achievement Stages Model

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

This study examines the determinants of financial performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) against the backdrop of the public and academic debate over the financial and social implications of microfinance. In the absence of a conceptual model, this study chooses an inductive research approach with the objective of defining and developing a conceptual model with the capacity to explain, quantify and compare the performance of MFIs. The research is particularly relevant in the African context where microloan interest rates regularly exceed 100 percent per annum and where the microfinance industry is lacking behind its global peers in regard to financial and social performance.

Dr Raymond FrempongHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Raymond Frempong

Completed Project:

Three Essays in Development Economics

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the title "Child Labour in Sub-Saharan Africa: Empirical Evidence and New Perspectives".

Dr Claudia GebauerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Claudia Gebauer

Completed Project:

"Recently there were a lot of changes" - Translations of the "Adaptation to Climate Change Paradigm" in Rwanda

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Changing Climates: Translating Adaptation in/to Rwanda".

This study examines how the idea of having to adapt to a changing climate influences recent Rwandan environmental politics and the relations with international organizations and NGOs. By conceptualizing adaptation as matter of translation, processes of resignification and network building are highlighted, taking broader social developments, historical trajectories and the makeup of Rwandan international relations into consideration. Based on analyses of a variety of primary and secondary data, the main findings add to a more detailed understanding of rationalizing, planning, and implementing climate change adaptation.

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Dr Gemechu Jemal GedaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Gemechu Geda

Completed Project:

Pilgrimages and Syncretism: Religious Transformation Among The Arsi Oromo of Ethiopia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

Indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices in Ethiopia in general and among the Arsi Oromo in particular are more or less still neglected topics and our knowledge is still at its infancy. The Indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices of the Oromo such as Waaqeffannaa, Atete, Fachasa, Jaarii, Raaguu and Mooruu, which had been there long before the spread of Islam in Arsi suffer from a greater lack of attention.

This project therefore specifically aims to explore:

  • The above mentioned and other important Indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices of the Arsi Oromo
  • Syncretism between the indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices of the Arsi Oromo and other religions, mainly Islam as the dominant religion in the area.

Virtually, there is no groundbreaking work focusing on indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices of the Arsi Oromo and the syncretism that existed. Indigenous religio-cultural beliefs and practices of the Oromo were so far mentioned in the study of the Oromo as people or/and in the study of the other popular religions.The project will draw on and contribute to the current literature in Anthropology, History, Ethnology, Cultural Studies, Religion and Oromo studies.

Evam Glover M. Phil.Hide
BIGSAS Alumnus Evam Glover

Completed Project:

Polygyny Among the Middleclass in Ghana: An Anthropological Study of Urban Family Life

Project Summary:

The study focuses on power issues at play in polygynous families in the Tamale Metropolis (the Regional capital of the Northern region of Ghana). It explores the choices that both men and women make in such families; how these choices differ between both women and men, between different life stages and the implications for meeting both their practical and the strategic needs for safeguarding their reproductive health and rights in this social context. This study will demonstrate the divergence of interests and the agency of individual actors within polygynous domestic groups. It seeks to demonstrate the need for innovative sexual/reproductive health interventions that take cognizance of the cultural position of women and men in polygynous unions.

Triangulation of methods will be crucial in this study. Data will be gathered through focus group discussions, participant observation, biographical narratives and a survey questionnaire using the interview approach.

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Katharina GrevenHide
BIGSAS Alumna Katharina Greven

Completed Project:

Das Archiv als Heimat - Die ‚Fantasie Afrika’ des Kunstpatrons Ulli Beier und der Künstlerin Georgina Beier

Project Summary:

Images in a wider sense are visual material ranging from paintings to photographs and can include entire collections and archives. They are valuable historical, emotional and social documents and much more than a descriptive or additional illustration of society. Rather, they manifest visions, dreams, fantasy, ideas, political views and propaganda in the same way as literature. A careful analysis extracting the form and content of an image allows us to understand the author’s process of creation and (self-) presentation. The case presented here considers art patrons in times of Modernism.

My dissertation deals with images (including collections, private estates, publications and art) produced by art patrons who collected and promoted art in several African countries between 1950 and 1970. Most had an artistic background and came to Africa to find a place to live and to self-actualise. Living in an alien environment, they created a ‘home’ for themselves, which combined several aspects of their former and present life (own background, new influences, new materials, etc.). They promoted a very specific view of themselves as well as a very specific view of Africa and its arts. They became collectors and preservers of traditional (factually or putatively endangered) cultures, but also promoted modern artists. These artists dealt with global influences and, due to changes in the society, material and aesthetic views in a visual way. By combining the influences they were exposed to (traditional African art, modern art, European background, self-manifestation, view of Africa, etc.), they created a sort of a syncretism, a mix or even a new perspective on themselves and Africa.

Dr Tabea HäberleinHide
BIGSAS Alumna Tabea Haeberlein

Completed Project:

Generationen-Bande. Ordnung, Praxis und Geschichte der Generationenbeziehungen bei den Lama (Kabiye) im nördlichen Togo

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Die Beziehungen zwischen Generationen sind in einer Gesellschaft allgegenwärtig. Sie strukturieren gesellschaftliche Ordnung, sind die Basis verwandtschaftlicher Fürsorge, werden von historischen Einflüssen geprägt und verändern sie - so auch bei den Lama (Kabiyé) im Nordosten Togos. Diese Monographie beschreibt Bindungen und Reibungen zwischen den Generationen im Dorf Ass'er'e angesichts gesellschaftlichen Wandels. Sie hebt die Stabilität und Belastbarkeit dieser Beziehungsachse hervor und leistet damit einen Beitrag zur aktuellen ethnologischen Generationenforschung.

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Dr Valerie HänschHide

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Der Versuch zu bleiben. Dammbau und Krise im sudanesischen Niltal".

Dr Aychegrew HailuHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Aychegrew Hailu

Completed Project:

Towards a History of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Ethiopia since the 1960s

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Despite its enormous human and natural resource potential, Ethiopia is a textbook example of structural poverty that has left the majority of the people in abject misery, hunger and backwardness. This was particularly true following the mid-twentieth century, as the country repeatedly experienced severe droughts and famines. Since the 1960s, successive governments have made attempts to tackle the problem; unfortunately these attempts did not lead to any substantial breakthroughs. The effort of the government to ameliorate the conditions of Ethiopians was supported by non-state development actors in which Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are currently a more visible part. This research intends to examine the role national and international development-oriented NGOs have played in the fight against poverty since the 1960s and the circumstances in which they operated. More specifically, it explores how NGOs managed to deal with the difficult relationships with state and non-state actors with a view to achieving their objectives. Thus, this study explores the logical contradictions and collaborations NGOs have had with international funding agencies, beneficiaries, civic organisations, community elders, local institutions, scholars and activists. In doing so, the study will examine how the varying interest of each and every party affects the discourse of NGOs’ involvement in development activities and its outcomes. Such aspects will be studied in a manner that clearly identifies the broad spectrum of interests and parties involved in local and national development and that enables the state and other stakeholders to competently handle the management of NGOs for a better result.

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Dr Mohammad HanifHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Mohammad Hanif

Completed Project:

Debating Sufism: The Tijāniyya and its Opponents

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Because of some rather controversial tenets Tijaniyya, a sufi order established in late eighteenth century in North Africa, has become the preferred target of criticism from other Muslims. Thus a huge polemical body of literature has been produced by both Tijanis and their opponents over time. I therefore in this research project aim to study the polemical debates involving Tijanis and their denigrators with particular consideration paid to both texts and the contexts the respective literature stems from. Polemical exchanges will be subjected to scrutiny by applying a multidisciplinary approach, a meticulous philological approach will taken to get to the core of intellectual and doctrinal dimensions of the controversies, while a historical approach will be applied to locate the right stones in the right corners by exploring the historical, political, socio-economical background of the debates. On the basis of selected case studies representing different time periods and different geographical settings, the project will analyze the form, content, and most importantly the context of the polemical confrantations between the proponents and critics of the Tijaniyya. My methodology will therefore be comparative, that will allow me to find parallels and differences and identify specific elements of the debates as either old or new. This research project seeks to offer new insights into the history of the Tijaniyya and the polemical tradition, as well as to show how leaders of the Tijaniyya order, known shaykhs, have constructed and grounded their status in the spiritual and material realms, thus contributing to the larger theme of the resilience of Sufism in the modern world.

Rogers Justo Mateus HansineHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Rogers Hansine

Completed Project:

The intraurban dimension of reproductive choices variation in Maputo, Mozambique – a qualitative study

Project Summary:

Available data suggests that, in Mozambique, over the last 30 years or so, there have been small decline in the Total Fertility Rate at national level. This decline seems to comprise robust declines in the major urban areas and weak elsewhere. Mostly, research has sought to shed light on the proximate determinants of fertility changes at country level, often disregarding fundamental differences between rural and urban areas. Therefore, the understanding about driving factors of fertility decline in urban areas in Mozambique remains at large elusive. Fertility dynamics are one of the key dimensions about Population and Development issues in the sub-Saharan countries such as Mozambique. Nonetheless, seldom the studies about donor-driven intrusion impacting the wider urban population with regard ongoing fertility dynamics have been conducted. The main objective of hereafter research is to analyze to what extent donor-driven interventions have, actually impacting the wider urban population in Mozambique regarding fertility and among whom, specifically, the impact is high. To reach this goal, qualitative methodologies will be employed, rather than quantitative methodologies that seems to dominate fertility studies in Mozambique.

Dr Carolin HerzogHide
BIGSAS Alumna Carolin Herzog

Completed Project:

Zeitgenössische französischsprachige Roman- und Erzählliteratur Burundis: Zwischen einer nationalen, regionalen und globalen Literatur

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

While the study of francophone literature in Ruanda has become established in literary studies, little attention has been paid to the francophone literature produced in the neighbouring East African country of Burundi. Although it is less distinctive, there is no denying that francophone literature is being produced by Burundian authors, and that it is increasing. While in the 1970s very little literature was being written in French, mainly poetry, this changed from the year 2000 onwards. The most noticeable change is the increased production of novels. The publication of an anthology entitled La littérature de langue française au Burundi, and the novels published recently by Archives&Musée de la littérature in the series Papier blanc Encre noir, provide us with an opportunity to become aware of francophone Burundian literature, and to treat the literature produced in the region of the Great Lakes more discerningly. Does Burundian literature show characteristics that are specific for the region or only for their country? The question arises to what extent can francophone literature in Burundi be regarded as a national literature.

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Dr Musa IbrahimHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Musa Ibrahim

Completed Project:

Sharia implementation, filmmaking, and Muslim discourses: Analysis of contestations and negotiations between culamāɔ and Kannywood filmmakers in northern Nigeria

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

The research investigates censorship and local film production within the northern Nigeria’s sharia context. Islam has been part of northern Nigerian culture for centuries, but the recent reintroduction of sharia in the region and the proliferation of new media technologies in the country seem to give the system a new outlook. The thriving local home-video industry which started in the 1990s, overlapped with the reintroduction of sharia reforms in the year 2000 in twelve northern states. Part of these reforms was the establishment of state religious institutions to ensure sharia compliance regimes in these states. Hisba boards were established to ‘police’ people’s behaviour in line with sharia regulations. In Kano state, the nerve centre of Hausa home-video, a censorship board was established in addition to the Hisba. These developments subjected the activities of the Hausa filmmakers to extreme scrutiny by the sharia backed censor institutions. Consequently, disputes often ensued between the censorship agencies and people in the home video industry. This study examines the contestations which characterize the filmmakers-sharia censor relationship. It seeks to answer the broader question of how Islamic idioms are appropriated in the activities of sharia agencies and film practitioners in northern Nigeria.

Abdellah IdhssaineHide

Completed Project:

Moroccan Language Policy and the Amazigh Language Revitalization: Implications for Amazigh Ethnolinguistic Vitality

Dr Leo IgweHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Leo Igwe

Completed Project:

The Witch is not a Witch: The Dynamics and Contestations of Witchcraft Accusations in Northern Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

The growing visibility of witchcraft accusation in post-colonial Africa has led to a renewed interest in African witchcraft and magic. Extant studies have assumed that accusations are one-directional processes that are mainly determined by the actions and reactions of accusers. These studies have portrayed accusing parties as active ascribers of the witchcraft label and accused persons as victims and passive recipients. Witchcraft accusation is postulated as a phenomenon that elicits resignation and compliance from alleged witches.

However, this does not always happen. Accused persons are actively involved in processing allegations of witchcraft because they react to such designations and exert influence on the process. Accused persons reject, protest, contest and challenge imputations of causing occult harm. Alleged witches take several measures and mobilize resources to overturn the witchcraft label. Using the ethnographic research methodology and the concepts of legal pluralism, forum shopping, and desire, belief and opportunities, this study will investigate if and how the accused become active agents in the process, paying critical attention to the social, political and economic contexts where alleged witches actively resist and contest allegations.

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Dr Fulera Issaka-ToureHide
BIGSAS Alumna Fulera Issaka-Toure

Completed Project:

Islamic Construction of Gender in Accra: The Role of Islamic Religious Authorities in Mediating Marital Conflicts

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Despite the changes brought about in human societies through modernity, religion continues to be a major force in the experience and the organisation of human life. This project singles out one of the areas of the continuing relevance of religion, thus marriage and marital conflicts among Muslims of Accra, Ghana, West Africa. Islamic Religious rules concerning marital relationships arouse passions because of their strong hold on gender roles, which have been the subject of protracted debates and conflicts. Islamic norms governing the rights and duties of women have been particularly controversial as they seem to be biased against women. The present project seeks to analyse the construction of gender roles from the perspective of Muslims as well as Muslim leaders involved in marital conflicts either as protagonists of the conflict (women/men) or as mediators of the conflict (religious leaders) because the mediators serve as bearers of the Islamic religious tradition in contemporary societies.

Contact

Dr Rosemary JajiHide
BIGSAS Alumna Rosemary Jaji

Completed Project:

Refugee women and the experiences of local integration in Nairobi, Kenya

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2010 under the same title.

It seems trendy for current studies to argue that the term refugee is no more than a policy category which does not reflect the circumstances of the people that it subsumes. Such studies further argue that the circumstances of refugees are not necessarily different from those of local populations. This study argues that theoretical positions emanating from such observations do not have a universal application as illustrated in Nairobi where the term refugee is not merely a policy category or legal label but also experiential. Understanding the concept refugee is very much an outcome of empirical enterprise which locates those who bear the refugee status in specific contexts.

The study draws attention to cases of targeted rape, raids, exclusionary discourses epitomised by negative stereotyping and xenophobia as well as refoulement which are specifically aimed at refugees in Nairobi. The refugee status is intertwined with other variables such as refugees´ ethnic, national and religious identities in ways that restrict inclusion of refugees into the host country. As a gendered experience, exile impacts on intra-household dynamics and transforms gender roles and relations within refugee households in ways that are simultaneously enabling and challenging for refugee women. Although local women also experience Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), for refugee women this intersects with the vulnerability that the refugee status entails resulting in refugee women being abused even by police officers and officials who are tasked to protect them thus leaving them with limited channels for recourse. SGBV thus becomes salient because of its targeted nature. Emphasised in the study is the fact that refugee women are heterogeneous such that it is more appropriate to refer to refugee women´s experiences rather than the refugee woman experience. Exile as occupation of marginal space is however not solely about constraints as it also creates opportunities and possibilities that may not have been available to the women prior to flight. Contradictory as it may seem, the refugee status is mediated by the same variables that lead to exclusion at a macro level in ways that facilitate inclusion at a micro, interpersonal level characterised by interaction between refugee women and locals as fellow congregants or as neighbours who share the same plight of poverty in Nairobi´s slums. This is coupled with refugee women´s agency by which they convert obstacles into resources and create space for themselves in a country which advocates encampment and expects refugees to reside in the designated areas. Through their own agency, refugee women are able to navigate structural barriers meant to deter integration in ways that demonstrate that the absence of an official integration policy does not necessarily deter integration; individual agency has a countervailing impact on measures instituted to deter integration.

Contact

Jaana Janssen, née SchützeHide
BIGSAS Alumna Jaana Janssen

Completed Project:

Schaffung von Gemeinsamkeiten im Kontext kultureller Differenz - Sozialgeographische Perspektiven auf Prozesse von Vernetzung und Relationaler Integration somalischer Postmigranten in Deutschland und Finnland

Project Summary:

Permanent crisis and conflicts have forced Somalis for more than two decades now to flee their country in very large numbers. Whereas the flow of newly arriving Somalis into „safer“ countries would not stop, many Somalis were able to settle down, create new, relatively stable home places all over the world (mostly in the USA, Great Britain and the Nordics). Others again continue moving, or try to move somewhere else in search for improved livelihoods. What is central in this dynamic intersection of mobility, immobility and the need for certainty and better life chances is their social networkings being translocal and – at the same time - differently (re-)produced in specific places. Consequently, they appear in different forms – either as formal or informal organisations – and with different resources. Most of them share the focus of self-support and cultural remembrance; however, they host all manners of activities such as weddings, parties, teaching lessons, outdoor and indoor games, travelling, collecting money and so forth.

In my PhD project I argue that these networkings serve as arenas for negotiating boundaries - between host and home country, now and then as well as 'them' and 'us' - in order to build up „integrated“ selves in situations of cultural difference (in the sense of incommensurability). Here, I use the term „integration“ to refer to the individual instead of the societal perspective pointing to a practice which can be most adequately described as self management (s. also „self actualisation“, GIDDENS 1991). For a translocal actor this would mean to create a self that is on the one hand stable enough to reassure a sense of a distinctive self and on the other hand flexible enough to cope with changing environments. During the process of integration actors therefore would try to make sense of their backgrounds in a way that both differentiate them from and allow for association with the Other.

In seeking to understand integration in contrast to prevalent perceptions (that more or less tend to reinforce „deficits“ on the migrants side) I make use of concepts dealing with identity, self and subjectivity. With HALL, BRUBAKER/COOPER and further post-colonial and post-structural thinkers I consider identity a process rather than something substantial. It is the relational paradigm that help us think of identity as an act of positioning towards the self and the Other referring either to the 'social' (attachments to single persons or collectives) or to places (s. topophilia, TUAN 1974). Thus, the way actors position themselves in their network activities/practices reveals how they experience and produce difference and 'sameness'.

It is these complex processes of differentiating and sharing, being emplaced in network practices, that help challenge dominant but rather reductionist assumptions of migrants „unwillingness“ to integrate „into“ host society. What became obvious in the past was that those debates were not helpful at all in a way that they were able to offer solutions for better understanding each other and living together; instead they carved out differences between 'a migrant culture' (-> Islam) and the 'culture of the majority' (Who is majority?). Having studied Somali network practices it seems that those cultural differences are rather fluid and contingent. However, there was also empirical evidence for cultural reproduction and defence of 'Somaliness'. These seemingly contradictorily findings indicate a strong need to explore how people manage to live together in situations of cultural difference. It is this matter of concern that I hope to contribute to in a fruitful manner.

I deploy 'Networks' both in a methodological and a conceptual sense. This means, they have served as entry points for ethnographic field work studies, allowing for access to Somalis living in both countries, directing contacts and shaping my own networks. Then I consider them as facilitators for self management since they offer the space for negotiating boundaries. Nonetheless, networkings are neither passive nor static entities; rather they are continiuosly constituted and reworked in translocal practices. In order to approach the network/space relation and yield insights into a broader variety of self organisation I chose multiple research sites in two different countries, the one being more inclusive (Finland) the other more exclusive (Germany) towards migrants self organisations. As a result, for instance, networkings in Finland tend to be more formal whereas those in Germany - where migrants get less support for establishing associations - remain more informal; often they are set up around internet and call shops.

Contact

Dr Jude KagoroHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Jude Kagoro

Completed Project:

Militarization in Post-1986 Uganda: Politics, Military and Society Interpretation

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

This book discusses the phenomenon of militarization in post-1986 Uganda. It takes a holistic approach to connect different facets of militarization: the social and political; the macro and micro levels; the disguised and explicit forms. On one hand, the author illustrates that the military remains a crucial factor of political processes while on the other showing how military ethos such as uniform and training are a source of symbolic capital in both politics and social spheres. Ultimately, the book shows that militarization is a bi-directional process - macro politics facilitating it from above, while social forces such as ordinary people, media, and musicians reproduce it from below.

Contact

Dr Eliane KamdemHide
BIGSAS Alumna Eliane Kamdem

Completed Project:

Tense-Aspect Categories and Standard Negation in Five Bamileke Languages of Cameroon: A Descriptive and Comparative Study

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

This study aims at describing the verbal system (TAM, verb root, verbal extension, negation) of a group of languages in Cameroon (the Bamileke cluster of Grassfields Bantu languages) from a comparative perspective in order to determine what might be the possible subgroupings of these languages and thereby, clearing controversy surrounding their classification. In this respect, the corpus used in this study is based on a questionnaire consisting of paradigmatic sentences which have the advantage of producing highly comparable data. Furthermore, previous studies on the languages will also be consulted. The analyses will mainly focus on the identification of the features that Bamileke languages have in common as well as the differences that exist between them as far as the verbal system is concerned. By suggesting subgroupings for Bamileke languages, this study will improve on the internal classification of this group of languages. Moreover, this study will contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge on Bamileke languages.

Hector Fonkoua KamdemHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Hector Kamdem

Completed Project:

The Basic Narrative of National Unity and Peace in Cameroonian Political Speeches: A Discourse Analytical Perspective

Project Summary:

This study analyses the patterns of language use in the speeches of three Cameroonian politicians with the aim of determining what discourse strategies they use in times of socio-political and economic crises to impose their worldviews or specific readings of a given situation. The analysis follows two main paths viz. representation and argumentation. With regard to (political) representation, I am interested in pronouns, metaphors, agency and nominalisation as indexical elements. The research focuses on topoi or argumentative schemes, with a view to understanding the ideologies expressed by the different political actors. The recurrence of linguistic patterns at different times of Cameroon’s history, as well as in similar contexts, is considered here as evidence to the presence of a Basis Erzählung (basic narrative) set into motion in times of social unrest. Ultimately, the work will contribute to a description of discourse as an “instrument and effect of power” at the highest stratum of the Cameroonian political sphere. The discourses analysed include both written texts and audio-visual material of the above-mentioned political actors in specified moments of crisis. This work espouses a postcolonial comparative perspective and examines a variety of influences on political communication in Cameroon, ranging from local culture(s) to foreign western culture(s) and traditions.

Dr Kristin KastnerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Kristin Kastner

Completed Project:

Zwischen Suffering und Styling. Nigerianische Migrantinnen beiderseits des Estrecho

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "Zwischen Suffering und Styling: Die lange Reise nigerianischer Migrantinnen nach Europa".

Diese Studie widmet sich den Lebenswelten nigerianischer Migrantinnen im Grenzraum der Meerenge von Gibraltar. Aus einer körperethnologisch orientierten Perspektive nähert sie sich den Grenzerfahrungen der Frauen auf ihrer langen Reise nach Europa. Ihre Körper spielen dies- und jenseits der Meerenge eine zentrale Rolle: Oft Objekt von Leid und Gewalt, ist der Körper in einem flüchtigen Leben unter meist klandestinen Verhältnissen zugleich auch letzte Ressource und entscheidendes Kapital, anhand dessen das Navigieren der Frauen zwischen äußeren Zwängen und individuellem Handlungspotential deutlich wird.

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Dr Rose KimaniHide
BIGSAS Alumna Rose Kimani

Completed Project:

Kenyan Community Radio: Players, Production Processes and Participation

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Community media – small scale media run by local communities – have been started as tools to develop and empower communities, give ‘voiceless’ groups a voice, and provide an alternative to the available mainstream media. In Kenya, community radio is the most ubiquitous form of community media, and is the newest entrant in the broadcast landscape. It grapples with issues related to the regulatory framework, financial constraints, station ownership and management issues, competition from other media, and unclear parameters for community participation. There are also questions about community radio’s identity and integration into the communities it serves. This research project seeks to explore the various perceptions and practices by the people involved in community radio, including its target audiences, and how these contribute to community radio as it currently exists in Kenya. Three radio stations in diverse settings are the focus of the study. Genres of content offered, content production and consumption processes, and stakeholder participation in these stations are assessed to gain a clearer picture of what role community radio is playing.

Dr Paddy Banya KinyeraHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Paddy Kinyera

Completed Project:

The Making of a Petro-State. Governmentality and Development Practice in Uganda's Albertine Graben

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

This book illustrates the ways in which Uganda is transforming into an oil producing country, framed here as a ‘petro-state’. In contrast to the term’s traditional usage, here ‘petro-state’ highlights the deliberate attempt to reorient the political economy of Uganda towards its future production of oil. The expectation of ‘petro-dollars’ has compelled the state to structurally change its institutional infrastructure and attempt to reconfigure the socio-economic and spatial orientation of the population. This book presents the power relations and the dynamic struggles entangling the key actors in the process of making oil production possible in Uganda. It takes a Foucauldian approach to the question of government and power to express how the oil-related projects of development in Uganda are meant to multi-dimensionally improve the population.

Dr Serah Kiragu-WisslerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Serah Kiragu-Wissler

Completed Project:

Undeveloped Adaptation - Climate risks, vulnerability and household well-being in Mwingi / Kenya

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Undeveloped Adaptation. Climate Risks, Vulnerability and Household Well-Being in Mwingi/Kenya".

In the arid and semi arid regions of Kenya, which constitute 80% of the country, adaptation practices by local people address multiple daily stressors, among them poor health, hunger, unemployment and environmental degradation, with climate risks coming in as an addition. Many adaptation practices by external agents fail to recognise the complex environment within which the stressors occur and largely fail to reflect local needs and priorities, consequently leading to low adoption of external interventions. The purpose of this study is to analyse local perceptions, knowledge and adaptive capacity of the rural people of the semi arid Mwingi District of Kenya with a view to establishing their role in determining local adaptation practices. Specifically, the study aims to account for the way local people perceive and experience changing climatic conditions, particularly droughts, as well as their decision making processes for local coping strategies. The study will also look at the factor that support or constraint local adaptation practices. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected. Semi structured interviews, focus group discussions and a household survey will be used to collect primary data, while secondary data will be obtained from the available literature.

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Dr Grit KöppenHide
BIGSAS Alumna Grit Koeppen

Completed Project:

Performative Künste in Äthiopien. Internationale Kulturbeziehungen und postkoloniale Artikulationen

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Dynamik und stetige Transformationsprozesse prägen die aktuellen Kunstszenen von Addis Abeba. Aus strategischen Gründen gehen performative Künstler_innen Äthiopiens temporär auch Allianzen mit europäischen Kulturinstitutionen vor Ort ein. Durch eine Betrachtung der Geschichte und Ästhetik des äthiopischen Theaters und einer Analyse der strukturellen Bedingungen des Kunstfeldes macht Grit Köppen deutlich, dass der transkulturelle Austausch in der Kunst maßgeblich durch ein Gefüge politischer, ökonomischer, struktureller, materieller und diskursiver Machtrelationen gekennzeichnet ist. Gleichzeitig wird auf die ästhetischen Strategien performativer Künstler_innen verwiesen, in diesem Rahmen dennoch kritische, selbstreflexive und postkoloniale Artikulationen vorzunehmen.

Dr Yawo KotoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Yawo Koto

Completed Project:

L'environnementalisme en Afrique francophone. La représentation de l'environnement dans la littérature et le cinéma africains francophones au sud du Sahara.

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "L’environnementalisme en Afrique francophone. La representation de l’environnement".

L’évidence du réchauffement climatique fait de la problématique environnementale l’un des défis majeurs auxquels l’humanité tout entière est appelée à faire face. Si la question cruciale de la relation entre l’homme et son environnement gagne ainsi en ampleur, force est de constater qu’elle a toujours eu une place de choix parmi les sujets qui meuvent les réflexions dans les œuvres artistiques, singulièrement celles littéraires et cinématographiques. L’exemple qui revient souvent dans ce sens est celui de la littérature américaine qui dispose non seulement d’une longue tradition d’écriture environnementale, mais qui a également engendré l’écocritique qui se veut une discipline dont l’objectif est d’investiguer la relation entre la littérature et les questions d’environnement. Eu égard au caractère global du problème écologique dont l’Afrique est loin d’être exempte, la recherche entreprise dans ce travail s’attèle à explorer l’écho que trouve cette problématique chez les auteurs africains. Pour avoir une idée assez représentative des approches africaines de la question, les analyses ont pris en compte deux différents genres, à savoir le roman et le film, ainsi que deux différentes régions, notamment l’Afrique de l’ouest et l’Afrique centrale.

Dr Marie-Laure KoziHide
BIGSAS Alumna Marie-Laure Kozi

Completed Project:

Description comparative des langues du sous-groupe Bia Nord: agni, baule, anufo

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The project is a description and a comparison of the three Northern Bia languages: Baoulé, Agni and Anufo. The situation of this group is unique, because of the historically documented conditions of the migration of the Anufom. In fact, the Anufom people moved from the Ano area (today Prikro in Côte d’Ivoire) to settle in Northern Togo which is a Gurma area. With the establishment of Anufom in the Gangam area, there is a situation of language contact. This project aims also to show in which level this contact has affected the language system of anufo.

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Dr Lena KroekerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Lena Kroeker

Completed Project:

"In between Life and Death" - HIV-Positive Women in Lesotho and their Obstetric Choices

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "In between Life and Death: Decision-making of HIV+ Mothers in Lesotho".

This book recounts the stories of thirty expectant mothers with HIV in Lesotho and how they made decisions during an uncertain time. Besides social causes for uncertainty such as poverty, familial disruption, limited opportunities, and HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, birth and early infant care are a time "in between life and death". Medical and non-medical solutions are found to make this life-changing event a success. Familial care, medical counselling and ritual practices were combined, however, there were often conflicting demands. This is a book about the avoidance of conflicts.

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Dr Tobias KuhnHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Tobias Kuhn

Completed Project:

Die Ordnung hinter der Ordnung. Ethnographie einer islamischen Geheimwissenschaft (Senegal)

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Die Ordnung hinter der Ordnung. Ethnographie einer islamischen Geheimwissenschaft".

Basierend auf langjährigen ethnographischen Forschungen bekommt der Leser Einblicke in die Anwendung und Weitergabe einer islamisch geprägten Geheimwissenschaft, der sogenannten ilm al-asrar. Große Teile dieses Geheimwissens werden aus der Perspektive eines Lernenden beschrieben. Dieser auf einen lokal begrenzten Kontext bezogene, dezidiert subjektivistische Zugang, erlaubt zwar keine direkten Rückschlüsse auf größere historische Entwicklungen, dafür geht er auf beeindruckende Weise in die Tiefe und zeigt die individuellen, gesellschaftlichen und theologische-philosophischen Implikationen dieser Praxis auf.

Dr Daniel KyerekoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Daniel Kyereko

Completed Project:

Including the Marginalized: the Case of Children of Migrants and Education in Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

More than half of the thirty (30) million children who might never enrol in school can be found in sub-Saharan Africa (UNESCO, 2015). The 2010 Education For All (EFA) global monitoring report identified marginalization as a major factor that will prevent most countries from achieving the universal primary education target with children of migrants most affected (UNESCO, 2010). Despite the concerted efforts on the international scene to increase educational opportunities for migrants, a third of all international migrants above age fifteen (15) have limited education. The Incheon declaration that set the agenda for post-2015 educational goals identify migrants as a vulnerable and marginalized group that need to be given equal opportunities in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (UNESCO, 2015). That notwithstanding, in Afica, and Ghana, much of the work on education for marginalized groups pay little or no attention to children of migrants (Dyer 2006); Kratli & Dyer 2009 Bardley 2000; Strutt and Thembela 2010) This thesis centrally seeks to explore how included or marginalized children of economic migrants are in Ghana’s educational system.

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Dr Jimam Timchang LarHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Jimam Timchang Lar

Completed Project:

Vigilantism, State, and Society in Plateau State, Nigeria: A History of Plural Policing (1950 to the present)

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The main focus of this doctoral research is to account for the emergence and continued existence of a plural policing landscape in Plateau state, Nigeria. Consequently, the research seeks to answer three main questions: First, which groups have constituted and still constitute the main actors in a plural policing landscape? In other words what are their origins; how are they structured and internally organised? What are their relationships with the societies/communities they operate in? The second question the research focuses on is how these groups encounter the Nigerian state. Nonstate policing groups operate in different space scenarios, i.e. in areas where state policing is visible and dominant, visible but weak and areas where it is non-existent. The research examines the dynamics that characterise relationships and interactions within a space of plural policing. However, in our case plurality is not strictly defined by focusing on actors, i.e. state vs. non-state; there is a case for understanding how a landscape inhabited by a plurality of actors – who are guided by a plurality of legal codes – creates a plurality of practices. The third key question of this doctoral research seeks to deepen understanding of the effects and impacts of vigilantism and non-state policing: As a phenomenon, what does it create? How have these groups responded to a changing political and social context? Conceptual and analytical underpinnings of this research are derived from two key strands: First, I rely on existing literature on the post-colonial African state with particular focus on the Nigerian context and content, the legacies of its colonial past and the contradictions of its post-colonial history – particularly as it relates to the provision of security – and the maintenance of law and order. Second, I also use varied sources of primary data, mainly research interviews, archival material and observational notes.

Fabian LehmannHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Fabian Lehmann

Completed Project:

Postkoloniale Gegenbilder: Künstlerische Reflexionen des Erinnerns an den deutschen Kolonialismus in Namibia

Project Summary:

In my research, I analyze a selection of contemporary artworks that reflect on memory and oblivion concerning the German colonial past in Namibia, then German South West Africa (1884–1915). The selection includes primarily graphic, video and installation art by artists from Namibia and Germany. As I argue, the artworks do not address the colonial past as a period within Namibian history, but instead open up a space for the reflection of collective memory from the perspective of a post-colonial present.

For the interpretation, I am particularly interested in the artistic strategies and positionings presented in the artworks. According to my assumption, these artistic strategies are just as diverse as the forms of collective remembrance and oblivion when it comes to the shared German-Namibian colonial past.

I analyze and interpret artworks by the following artists: Petrus Amuthenu, Natasha Beukes, Nicola Brandt, Tim Huebschle, Inatu Indongo, Klaus Klinger, Philip Kojo Metz, Lok Kandjengo, Isabel Katjavivi, Hentie van der Merwe, Ndikung Moholi, Imke Rust, Christoph Schlingensief, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Andrew van Wyk.

Contact

Dr Arlena LigginsHide
BIGSAS Alumna Arlena Liggins

Completed Project:

Struggling for visibility. The politics of diabetes diagnostics in Uganda

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the title "Making Diabetes: The Politics of Diabetes Diagnostics in Uganda".

This book asks how the glucometer, the often only choice to diagnose diabetes in Uganda, contributes to the making of this disease in a setting with weak health infrastructure.

Fodé Abulai ManéHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Fodé Abulai Mané

Completed Project:

A Mediação na resolução de conflitos O caso de Bambadinca

Project Summary:

This PhD project is conducted within the framework of a collaborative research project denominated “Local Strategies of Conflict Management in Guinea-Bissau”, carried out in cooperation between INEP (Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa, Guinea-Bissau) and Bayreuth University and funded by Volkswagen Foundation.

My research has evolved on the basis of combined qualitative and quantitative methods of fieldwork. Countless interrogations where raised, particularly with regard to the data collected at the Sector’s district court. In the field of study there is evidence of a veritable legal pluralism legal pluralis, as considered in various theoretical perspectives. Furthermore, when compared to other regions of the country, noticeably few conflicts are brought before the district court in Bambadinca, even though the Mandinga as the area’s main ethnic group co-habit with other ethnic groups, particularly the Balanta, Fulbe and Beafada. Furthermore, when compared to other regions of the country, noticeably few conflicts are brought before the district court in Bambadinca, even though the Mandinga as the area’s main ethnic group co-habit with other ethnic groups, particularly the Balanta, Fulbe and Beafada.

Recent fieldwork revealed that conflict prevention is a crucial factor, and both history and social structure play an important role in the resolution of legal disputes. The existing good social relations are also enhanced by the Mandinga’s internal forms of self-regulation, relating to cousin relations (sanakouya).In addition, an ethnolinguistic analysis shall provide for a better understanding of the Mandinga’s general juridical thinking.

Dr Ivan MarowaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Ivan Marowa

Completed Project:

Environment and Social Memories: Responses to Involuntary Resettlement in North-Western Zimbabwe, c. 1900-2000

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Forced Removal and Social Memories in North-western Zimbabwe, c1900-2000".

This research is premised on the colonial removal of the Dandawa Korekore from the Zambezi Valley in 1958 for resettlement in the Rengwe communal lands. This relocation was not unique as this was a widespread phenomenon in eastern and southern Africa beginning in the 1930s onwards. In fact D.A. Low and A. Smith describe this period as the ‘second colonial occupation’ of Africa where there was great intensification of colonial government activities towards development, human and economic investments and ‘detribalisation’ of the Africans (Low and Smith, 1976: 13). The Zambezi valley was considered not fit for human habitation and was eyed for possible economic opportunity through its abundant game. This research is therefore an examination into the production of social memories among the Dandawa Korekore of the period before the relocation and how they remember this in the present. The objective is to understand how the present has acted on the memories of the past and how the past is represented in the present. The research also examines contestations present in these memories. Memory is not static and as Stevenson puts it ‘the past is myself, my own history, the seed of my present thoughts, the mould of my present disposition’ (Tonkin, 1992: 1). In this analysis two aspects stand out significant, which are, the issue of place and the development of myths. The research examines how place (environment and landscape) is important to the people and how the environment is used as an instrument for the production of memory and myths and trying to deconstruct the myths. Secondly, the research is about the history of development as relocation occurred against a background of colonial development considering the perceptions involved.

Dr Georg MaternaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Georg Materna

Completed Project:

Straßenhandel mit Souvenirs im Senegal: Akteure, Arbeit und Organisation

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the title "Straßenhandel mit Souvenirs im Senegal".

Ethnografisch und theoretisch fundiert beleuchtet der Band den Straßenhandel mit Souvenirs aus Sicht der lokalen Händler. Die Untersuchung zeigt, wie sich endogame Handwerkergruppen der Wolof den Souvenirhandel aneigneten, welche Bedeutung die internationale Kulturpolitik auch für Straßenhändler spielen kann, wie der Arbeitsalltag verschiedener Straßenhändler verläuft und in welchem Spannungsverhältnis deren "Informalität" mit Staat und Tourismusindustrie steht. Auf Basis dieser Ausführungen entwickelt die Studie das Konzept des relationalen Markttauschs, das den wirtschaftsethnologischen Diskurs - nicht nur zum Straßenhandel - um einen wichtigen Aspekt ergänzt.

Sabrina MaurusHide

Completed Project:

Battles over State Making on a Frontier. Dilemmas of Schooling, Young People and Agro-Pastoralism in Hamar, Southwest Ethiopia

Project Summary:

Universal schooling campaigns try to implement compulsory schooling worldwide. However, a high number of school-educated youths struggle with unemployment in the global south. This dissertation analyses how the implementation of compulsory schooling constitutes a literal battlefield and creates violent conflicts and dilemmas.

From the perspective of first-generation students from agro-pastoral households in southwest Ethiopia, the dissertation analyses and conceptualizes the dilemmas of deciding for or against schooling and its corresponding life paths on the frontier of the state. Based on ethnographic fieldwork during a violent conflict in Hamar district in 2014/15, the dissertation shows how heterarchical political actors use children and education to fight over power. This is not only of relevance to scholars of anthropology, education, childhood and youth, but also of politics, since political actors compete in trying to shape the future of the wider society through children and their education.

The dissertation received the Price of the City of Bayreuth for outstanding dissertations in 2020 and the Prize for Excellence in Applied Development Research of the KfW Development Bank in 2021.

Further information

Dr Aminata Cécile MbayeHide
BIGSAS Alumna Aminata Cécile Mbaye

Completed Project:

Les discours sur l'homosexualité au Sénégal. L'analyse d'une lutte représentationnelle.

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

This research project aims to give a systematic, historical and anthropological account of the different representations of and discourses on homosexuality in Senegal.

In many African countries sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are increasingly under denial - denial that is legally underscored by the interdiction of homosexuality in thirty-nine states. In Senegal the legal repression of homosexuality predicates on Article 319 of the Criminal Code, which allows for the conviction of individuals in homosexual relationships with up to five years imprisonment. Meanwhile, the issue of homosexuality figures frequently within public speeches by religious leaders and authorities who see same-sex sexual practices as a sign of “depravity” and “vice” resulting from colonialism and the continuous contact with western civilisation. Recently this legal and religious condemnation has been accompanied by growing efforts of political and social mobilisation resulting from a novel increase of severity conveyed by public accusation.

In light of these recent developments, my study is an effort to understand the meaning of homosexuality and its contestations in the contemporary Senegalese society, as well as amongst those living within samesex relationships.

Contact

Larissa MbobdaHide
BIGSAS Alumna Larissa Mbobda

Completed Project:

Imagination der afrikanischen Migration in zeitgenössischen Filmen

Project Summary:

In the age of globalization, the discussion of the issue of migration is confronted with new paradigms such as transnationalism and transculturality, which questions essentialist conceptions of national and cultural identity. Identity doesn’t appear as something static, closed and uniform anymore, but more as something in the process. The migrant is thus no more seen as a simple immigrant, but more as a transmigrant who can negotiate a new subjectivity with the power of his imagination. Transnational migration in a globalized context is a reality marked by paradoxes and new configurations.

In line with the above background, this study specifically focuses on the analysis of the film as the most typical aesthetic tools for analysing the artistic imagination of migration. Of the various cinematographic productions it is drawn a space in which concepts such as (De) territoriality, border, space, affiliation and cultural identity are scrutinized and reconfigured. By analysing how filmmakers imagine the so controversial topic of African migration to Europe, the study involves reviewing diachronically which representations and dynamics arise from this migratory imaginations. A particular attention is thereby paid on the impact of the “transnational turn” on migration cinematic productions.

Contact

Dr Tebarek MegentoHide

Completed Project:

Inter-firm Relationships and Governance Structures: A study of the Ethiopian leather and leather products industry value chain

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2011 under the same title.

Interest in the topic of governance and interfirm relationships in the Ethiopian leather and leather products industry was developed after observing a gap in the literature on value chain research at the international level and finding only a few empirical studies on value chains at the local level. Most of the value chain research conducted throughout the world are either too general or are simply functionalistic and, thus, fail to address the socio-cultural context. This study contributes to the literature in several ways: firstly, the present research suggests that a central focus of value chain analysis should be the examination of social networks within local, but also global, value chains, as social relations might play an important and so far neglected role in the struggle to participate in the rapidly changing world economy. Secondly, as a clear departure from mainstream value chain research, this study makes use of a mixture of value chain and network approaches for exploring processes and micro-level interactions used by individuals to construct and maintain networks.

Dr Mulugeta Bezabih MekonnenHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Mulugeta Mekonnen

Completed Project:

Transnational Migration-Development Nexus. The Engagement of Ethiopian Diaspora Associations Based in Germany

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

With a tenfold increase in remittance flows over the last 25 years, the diaspora's role in the development efforts of the global South has gained broader interest. Besides financial remittances, flows of skills and social remittances have gained attention, particularly the relevance of diaspora associations as drivers of development. This book explores the engagement of Ethiopian diaspora associations in Germany for their home country's development. It investigates the policies of the Ethiopian and Germany governments, and the opportunities the policies generate for diaspora engagement efforts.

Contact

Dr Diderot Djiala MellieHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Diderot Djiala Mellie

Completed Project:

Sensibilisation contre le VIH/SIDA au Cameroun: Analyse sémiolinguistique des affiches

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Sensibilisation contre le VIH/SIDA au Cameroun".

The fight against HIV/AIDS in the world is no longer concentrated only on biomedical research since it includes nowadays the involvement of preventive strategies based on social communication. In Cameroon, this social communication against HIV/AIDS is jointly done by the governmental and nongovernmental organisations. Both make use of the same channel of communication in order to inform, to sensitise or to strengthen the population’s knowledge and safe reaction against this pandemic. This dissertation project entitled “Analyse sociolinguistique et communicative des sensibilisations médiatiques contre le VIH/SIDA au Cameroun" aims at analysing the messages of social communication spread by fix media in Cameroon. Our objective is to study and find out whether the media sensitisation messages in this specific milieu match with target groups’ perceptions and expectations to achieve the aim of creating awareness on HIV/AIDS. From this expectation, we assume that a clear and objective picture of the communication forms and situation on HIV/AIDS in this specific context relies on actors’ language and metalanguage/epilinguistic activities on this health phenomenon. To achieve our research goal, we are going to integrate content analysis approach to the qualitative method for empirical data collection with the aim of coming out with two types of data: in one hand, the fix images from their different locations and, in the other hand, the respondents’ perceptions on HIV/AIDS prevention discourse in their environment.

Contact

Dr Shilla Sintoyia MemusiHide
BIGSAS Alumna Shilla Sintoyia Memusi

Completed Project:

Gender Equality Legislation and Institutions at the Local Level in Kenya: Experiences of the Maasai

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the same title.

Globally, women are under-represented in governance structures, resulting not from conscious discrimination, but due to various forms of bias in civil society institutions and the political sphere. In Kenya, political structures and processes have been recognized as the main reason for reduced spaces for women to voice their knowledge, opinions and concerns, providing no room for alternative interpretations of needs and policy solutions. Despite being a voting majority, traditional customs and societal attitudes have limited women’s political space in Kenya. Gender stereotypes, male resistance to women’s participation, limited resources and political structures and processes have significantly contributed to the under-representation of women in decision making positions.

Among the Maasai, gendered separation has resulted in the women’s absence from the political spheres and a lack of involvement in politics, prolonging struggles over power and property in the community.

This research project seeks to explore how a new constitutional dispensation that enforces women’s public participation affects the position of women in the political economy. Informed by an assessment of the political realities of localised understanding and meanings of gender roles and poverty among the Maasai, it will investigate engagement mechanisms in designing, planning and executing development efforts within the new governance structure.

Paulina MendesHide
BIGSAS Alumna Paulina Mendes

Completed Project:

Entre os "saberes locais" e o "saber universal": A modernicação das comunidades Manjaco e MANDJIZAÇÃO do estado na Guiné-Bissau

Project Summary:

In my PhD project I analyse the entanglement of local and universal knowledge as they are reflected in the thought and behaviour of the Manjaco, mainly with regard to the problem of conflict resolution. I am particularly looking into the practice of mandji which not only Manjaco, but also members of other Bissau-Guinean ethnic groups (although in a different manner), resort to. It is also analysed how this practice finds its way into the state apparatus and how it wields influence there. I refer to this phenomenon as ‘mandjization’.

It should be highlighted that while the local knowledge plays an important role in the socio-cultural interaction of members of the Manjaco ethnic group, the universal knowledge is not absent – a situation that allows for the entanglement of the two forms of knowledge, sometimes causing situations of uncertainty.

For realising this research I selected two villages: Bachil in the Sector of Cacheu and Utia Côr in the Sector of Canchungo. The considerable dissimilarity of these villages helps to better elucidate the aims of my research; Bachil is characterized by a multi-ethnic social structure without the political institution of the chief (régulo), while Utia Côr is mono-ethnic and disposes of the political institution of the régulo.

Contact

Dr Abdallah MkumbukwaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Abdallah Mkumbukwa

Completed Project:

The History of Use and Conservation of Marine Resources in Zanzibar: Nineteenth Century to the Present

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

This study aims to examine the historical evolution and context of conservation of marine resources in Zanzibar, from the early colonial era up to the present period. More specifically, the study will examine the use and misuse of mangroves and coral reefs in Zanzibar. It will show how activities such as unregulated fishing and relatively massive constructions - using coral stones and mangrove poles as significant building materials - have affected marine environment in Zanzibar over the historical period. Also the study will analyze the way people perceived, adapted and cope with changes as well as the resulted effects of the environmental changes. Another part of the study will account for the indigenous conservation methods and practices as well as the interface between them and the modern methods, practices and policies of conservation of marine resources in Zanzibar.

The study will use both qualitative and quantitative techniques. It will employ stratified random sampling technique to select a population, basing on age, gender and occupations. Population will be selected from different selected areas, villages and houses/households. The study is expected to find out and analyze the available indigenous methods used to conserve marine resources in Zanzibar during and after the colonial period. It will further examine the way the indigenous people interacted with the different new social and economic environments from the early colonial period in Zanzibar up to the 2000s.

Contact

Ghousmane MohamedHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Ghousmane Mohamed

Completed Project:

La perception du milieu naturel à travers la littérature orale Touareg Kel Aïr du Niger

Project Summary:

The relationship between Kel Ewey Tuaregs with their environmental area will be analyzed in case of dichotomy between nature and culture in Aîr and Tenere National Natural Reserve, particularly in Local Park founded by legendary mystic Sheikh Sidi Mahmud el Baghdadi or Shurufa. Here many people among Twareg of north Niger think that numerous species are protected by divine malediction or habitats of jinns; some plants have a soul (e.g Olivier de Laperrine (Alaw) and can be used only by respecting certain rituals. Also, the notion of environment or the relationship between man and environment is based on the dichotomy between nature and culture. In Tchighozerine tin ennig (local park of north Niger), we meet one side, the occidental conception (Nature – Culture) categorized by P. Descola (2005) as naturalism in his topology of epistemologies, on another side the cultural conception of Shurufa inhabitants, specialists in geomancy intermediaries between the two worlds and offspring of the prophet that I propose to study: the domestic one and the wild one.

Contact

Dr Bakheit MohammedHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Bakheit Mohammed

Completed Project:

The Religious Men in Jebel Marra: The Process of Learning and the Performance of Islamic Rituals and Practices

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

This study examines the roles of religious men who are locally called Fuqqarâ in the Muslim Jebel Marra communities. It further investigates how they learn in the Qur’anic schools, where they usually spend many years memorising the Qur’an and obtaining other associated knowledge. Thus, the learning process involves a deepening of social participation in the communities of practice where Fuqqarâ learn how to perform different practices such as charms and techniques, e.g. amulets and mahâya. These rituals and techniques are employed for various purposes, for instance to bring about various desired ends, to protect people, animals and properties from misfortune and to heal illnesses. Secret knowledge is primarily discovered in a collaborative process in which every student has something to share with others. The exchange of ideas and secrets does not end with the completion of one’s apprenticeship but continues even after graduation, particularly among those who engage in performing rituals and techniques as a profession. The knowledge they gain during their academic careers allows them to become acknowledged Fuqqarâ and deal competently with the different types of local issues that fall into their realm.

Contact

Dr Nene MorishoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Nene Morisho

Completed Project:

A New Institutional Economics Approach to Cross Border Small Business: A Case Study of Goma/Gisenyi Border

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "A New Institutional Economics Approach to Smuggling".

The current book deals with the economic analysis of smuggling business at the Goma-Gisenyi border. The smuggling debate in economics focuses exclusively on the welfare impacts of this informal business. In this debate, there is unanimity among scholars on the fact that smuggling is welfare increasing when transaction costs are higher in formal cross border trade than in smuggling. However mechanisms whereby smugglers minimize these costs and overcome obstacles encountered at the border have received little attention. This constitutes a weakness in the debate given that the survival and thriving of smuggling activities, and there-fore their welfare impact, depend largely upon what is going on the border, how smugglers negotiate with institutions on the border, how they overcome obstacles established by these institutions and tools they resort on to reduce transaction costs incurred when taking goods across the border. This book is a contribution to the smuggling debate in economics in that it goes beyond the well known welfare analysis of smuggling and tries to explain, using the New Institutional Economics Framework, the economic success of smugglers. A particularly attention is paid on how smugglers minimize their transaction costs and solve problems of moral hazard and adverse selection encountered in their business.

Contact (1)

Contact (2)

Dr Charles MoyoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Charles Moyo

Completed Project:

Icons of Zimbabwe's Crisis and their Interpretation by European Union Officials

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the same title.

The power of the media in driving or influencing foreign policy or decisions of institutions is often overlooked, yet the media could play a significant role in influencing decision making of institutions ranging from private companies, governments, NGOs, and regional organisations, among others. This research aims at assessing the extent to which the media has influenced the EU foreign policy in Africa. The study makes a comparison between Zimbabwe and Kenya. Considering the history of electoral violence and human rights violations in Zimbabwe and Kenya, this research is particularly interested in the role that pictures (images) and videos play in influencing the EU foreign policy positions on Kenya and Zimbabwe. The media channels under investigation for the research are CNN, France 24, BBC and Aljazeera English. They have been chosen because of their international outlook and they also have specific desks on African news. The research utilises Iconology, Agenda Setting Theory and the Complex Interdependence Theory as analytical instruments. Additionally, the study utilises qualitative research and uses key informant interviews on EU officials, media experts, and media houses, among others, as sources of data collection.

Contact

Dr Kupakwashe MtataHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Kupakwashe Mtata

Completed Project:

Religion and Nature in Africa: The Case of Matobo National Park and its Vicinity

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

This study seeks to explore on-going encounters between European colonial and African autochthonous ontological designs of human-environment relations in contemporary Africa, with Matobo National Park of Zimbabwe as a case study. Notions such as nature, culture and religion came to southern Africa through the global processes of missionary activity and colonization. These ideas were not simply transmitted to Africa in their abstract form but as discourses embedded in social, cultural, economic, and political practices. The establishment of national parks is one set of such practices entailing an orientation to the environment which is such that nature is contrasted with culture. This ontological design encountered another, prevalent among southern Africans. Among other features, the different ontological designs assign different values and roles to religion and acquire diverse religious values and roles. The study particularly strives to assess the continuing interaction of different “nature” ontologies and their religious or anti-religious bases and effects and the associated visions of the future in and around the park. The history of the park from its inception to the end of the first two decades of the post-colonial era is well documented. However, there have been notable developments since then.

Contact

Sebastian MüllerHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Sebastian Müller

Completed Project:

Wohltätigkeit – Entwicklung – Unternehmertum im Namen des Islams. Strukturen und Prozesse islamischer glaubensbasierter Organisationen (FBOs) in Tansania

Project Summary:

Institutionalised forms of charity in Islam are nearly as old as Islam itself. Contemporary representations are the so called Islamic faith-based (FBOs). While generally relating to values and institutions grounded in Islam, specific forms of Islamic charity such as pious endowments or trusts (waqf/auqāf) and of alms-giving (zakāt and ṣadaqa) might be integrated into a broader provision of social welfare services and development aid activities by these organisations. Islamic FBOs, especially Islamic NGOs in East-Africa have so far attracted little research.

The project aims at contributing to close this gap by a) developing an overview of the diversity in organised Muslim charity in Tanzania b) examining the stakekolder's sources of motivation for their engagement in Islamic FBOs as well as c) analysing the organisations’ and stakeholders’ embeddedness in the (trans-)national historical as well as contemporary contexts of Tanzania. Secular as well as religious factors will be considered as well as negotiation-processes between organisations, donors and potential supporters in their surrounding community. Based on this contextualisation, the project d) clarifies the role of Islamic FBOs within Tanzania’s civil society. This allows e) to contribute to the analysis of Islamic FBOs between inner-Islamic debates, the globalized model of non-governmental organisations and the social and political role of Muslims in East-Africa. The project thereby transgresses the limitations of the NGO debate which generally focusses on Western or Christian organizations and their narratives of the future.

Further information

Dr Blaise MuhireHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Blaise Muhire

Completed Project:

Land, Power and Identity: The politics of scale and violent conflict in Masisi, “DR Congo”

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

Violent conflicts in North-Kivu province in Eastern Congo have been mainly associated with struggles about mineral resources. Issues of land and local power and the ways the two involve ethnicity in conflict dynamics are often overlooked. The aim of this research project is to better understand the role of ethnicity for both access to land and political power. Actors networks as well as the complex institutional landscape in which they operate will be analysed to identify key drivers of the ongoing tensions.

Contact

Dr Peter NarhHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Peter Narh

Completed Project:

Negotiating behavioural change: regime interaction in environmental governance in Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the title "Institutional interaction in environmental governance: A study on teak farming and sand winning in Dormaa, Ghana".

Challenges of contemporary environmental governance present significant implications for national and sub-national economies in Africa and occupy the core of development studies. Drawing from this, the doctoral thesis explores the dynamics of interplays between institutions at the community level and how these structure the preferences and behaviours of individual actors towards the natural environment. It attempts to explain ways in which the actions of institutionally structured actors influence aggregate environmental outcomes, and concurrently how such actions shape the ongoing evolution of these same institutions.

Primarily, it is a qualitative research with a cross-sectional design, and conducted in the Dormaa traditional area in Ghana. The research engages and contributes to debates in the social sciences about how various institutional domains shape micro-level environmental governance and management.

Dr Gilbert Shang NdiHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Gilbert Shang Ndi

Completed Project:

State/Society: Narrating Transformations in Selected African Novels

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

"In this remarkably meticulous work, Gilbert Shang Ndi succeeds in bringing together the aesthetic and political dimensions of the texts and in broadening interpretative perspectives in very convincing analyses. Each author is handled in his peculiarity and the theoretical ambitions of the project contribute to fruitful and innovative readings of major African literature texts by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ahmadou Kourouma, Ayi Kwei Armah and Sony Labou Tansi." Prof. Xavier Garnier, Université de Paris-Sorbonne III.

Dr Samuel NdogoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Samuel Ndogo

Completed Project:

Narrating the Self and Nation in Kenyan Autobiographical Writings

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The book offers an understanding of the autobiographical genre in contemporary Kenyan literature. It draws attention to life writing as a form of cultural re-imagination in post-colonial Africa. Taking into consideration contradictions and paradoxes of referentiality in life writing, the book examines the autobiographies of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wangari Maathai and Bethwell Ogot. The analysis dwells on self-representations in correlation with imaginations of the ‘Kenyan nation’ in these works. Thus the study gives a critical account into the modern memoir: the forms and styles it takes, the ways in which these authors tend to understand and present their lives.

Dr Louis NdongHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Louis Ndong

Completed Project:

Kulturtransfer in der Übersetzung von Literatur und Film am Beispiel von Semèbene Ousmanes Novelle Niiwam und deren Verfilmung Niiwam der lange Weg

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the title "Kulturtransfer in der Übersetzung von Literatur und Film. Sembène Ousmanes Novelle Niiwam und deren Verfilmung Niiwam. Der lange Weg".

Dieses Buch bietet Einblicke in die Diskussion um die Kulturtransferforschung aus übersetzungswissenschaftlicher Sicht. Im Mittelpunkt der Studie steht der Versuch, die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer interkulturellen Kommunikation zwischen Senegal und dem deutschsprachigen Raum anhand der Übersetzung von Literatur und Film mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Untertitelung zu untersuchen. Über die Übersetzung sprachästhetischer und kulturspezifischer Elemente hinaus werden kulturelle Inhalte, die sich in literarischen Texten, Filmdialogen, Filmbildern und Tonspuren niederschlagen, im interkulturellen Vergleich erforscht und näher erläutert.

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Dr Simon NgangaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Simon Nganga

Completed Project:

Funeral Performances in Kenya: A Contribution to Communicative Genre Analysis

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "The Funeral Performances among the Bukusu of Kenya: A Contribution to Communicative Genre Analysis".

This book is about interactions in the funeral context among the Bukusu people of Kenya that brings together many religions. The author describes and accounts for hybridity as it is revealed by communicative techniques used by the priest and the comforter in the two communicative genres - the sermon and the traditional public comforting - that belong to the Christian and the Traditional Bukusu religions respectively. By approaching the over-a-century-co-existence of the two religions from a linguistic perspective, the study aims at ascertaining the relationship between the two religions.

Dr Francis Ng'atigwaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Francis Ng'atigwa

Completed Project:

The Media in Society: Religious Radio Stations, Socio-Religious Discourse and National Cohesion in Tanzania

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the same title.

This study investigates on the one hand the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania (owned by a Christian organisation) and Radio Imaan (owned by a Muslim community) while on the other hand identifying the meanings which audiences construct in relation to national cohesion in Tanzania. Specifically, the study answers five theoretical and empirical questions: (1) What informs the packaging of the programmes of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (2) What are the contents of programmes broadcasted by the two radio stations? (3) How do the two radio stations deal with the socio-religious discourse prevailing in Tanzania? (4) What kinds of meanings do audiences construct from the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (5) What are the implications of the constructed meanings on national cohesion in Tanzania?

Data were generated through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis and participation in listening to programmes of the two radio stations. Five central conclusions have emerged. Firstly, the two radio stations serve their audiences in spiritual and material needs.This approach informs the packaging of programmes. Secondly, there is an exclusive element in the contents of the programmes of the two radio stations. Thirdly, the framing of issues in some programmes of the two radio stations provoke audiences and cause socio-religious tensions and mistrust among audiences in Tanzania. Fourthly, discourses on "mfumokristo"(Kiswahili: Christian hegemony), "kipindi cha mateso ya kimfumo kwa kanisa Tanzania" (Kiswahili: Systematic persecution of the Church in Tanzania) and "udini" (Kiswahili: religionism) have amplified and become interpretative and expressive tools in the public domain. Finally, while at an individual level Christians and Muslims maintain friendly relations however at a community level there are incidents which destabilize national cohesion.

Dr Carline Liliane Ngawa MbahoHide
BIGSAS Alumna Carline Liliane Ngawa Mbaho

Completed Project:

La vente des produits de santé dans les cars interurbains au Cameroun : une analyse interactionnelle

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "La vente de produits de santé dans les cars interurbains au Cameroun. Une analyse interactionelle".

Cet ouvrage porte sur la vente itinérante de médicaments dans les transports interurbains. Il y ressort que les interactions qui composent le corpus ont des filiations avec la consultation, la publicité et le commerce dont les spécificités sont décrites au travers d’analyses empiriques.

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Yvette NgumHide
BIGSAS Alumna Yvette Ngum

Completed Project:

Understanding Cultures and Identities in Cameroonian Cinema

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Dr Délia NicoueHide
BIGSAS Alumna Délia Nicoue

Completed Project:

Migration et Savoirs. Reconstruction ethnographique des itinéraires et périples de l'apprentissage sur le parcours migratoire de jeune Éthiopiennes entre l'Éthiopie et l'Allemagne

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Migrations et Savoirs. Stations, itinéraires et périples, de l’apprentissage sur le parcours migratoire entre l’Éthiopie et Allemagne".

D'où viennent les réfugiés qui arrivent jusqu'en Allemagne ? Quelles sont les particularités du parcours et du vécu quotidien des femmes dans ces mouvements migratoires ? La migration des servantes domestiques est analysée comme un processus dynamique d'apprentissage et de quête de soi qui mène des jeunes femmes éthiopiennenes jusqu'en Europe. Leur parcours apparaît plus comme un parcours expérimental d'apprentissage continuel et non comme un projet de migration reconçue au départ de l'Ethiopie.

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Dr Genevieve NrenzahHide
BIGSAS Alumna Genevieve Nrenzah

Completed Project:

Modernizing Indigenous Priesthood and Revitalizing Old Shrines: Current Developments on Ghana’s Religious Landscape

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

This project is about the contemporary resurgence of indigenous religions on Ghana’s religious landscape. It pays particular attention to the agents involved in the transformations, their activities, worshippers, their indigenous religious practices, the strategies they are adopting and the overall implications of the developments for an understanding of the contemporary indigenous religious fields of Africa in general. This study would employ ethnographic research methods in collecting information on the main agents of the resurgence (priests), their shrines/clients, workers/helpers, subscribers/adherents, non-worshippers, fans, consumers and natives of the locations of study. The geographical locations of the study are Akomadan-Afrancho and Obuasi in the Ashanti region, Azuleluanu in Western Region, Moree near Cape Coast in Central region and Atimpoku-Adome in the Eastern region of Ghana.

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Valerie NurHide
BIGSAS Alumna Valerie Nur

Completed Project:

Handwerkliche Arbeit als soziale Praxis: Eine ethnologische Studie über die handwerklichen Praktiken der endogamen Handwerker.innengruppe des inadas des Aïr in Niger

Project Summary:

My project investigates the social and material aspects of crafting performed by the Inadan Tuareg in Niger.

The aim is to approach the craftspeople's work not only as activity of crafting but also to understand that kind of work in the context of Tuareg culture within the Inadan are integrated as an endogamous professional group. Hence, three dimensions intersect: The craftspeople's work as dealing with materials, the craftspeople's work as organized in an endogamous professional group (i.e. in the family) and the craftspeople's work in Tuareg culture.

The work of crafting is related to the group of Inadan so extensively that a member of that group is considered as craftswoman/ craftsman, even if she/ he does not carry out „the Inadan's work“. Nevertheless, most Inadan learn to craft in childhood at home and from older family members – whether or not they live on craft eventually.

The phenomenological approach allows to grasp the full scope of action in physical, material as well as social and cultural spaces with its hub in the workshop. Artefacts (tools and outcome) emerge in social relations and are inevitably embedded in culture. As I consider artefacts as medium and materialised signs of common ideas, of successful (or failed) comprehension, fabricating things is examined in the context of relations to purchasers, the family and the wider group of Inadan. Thus, crafting is communicative and social action, although it seems to be a sole individual undertaking of dealing with material at a first glance.

The study of craftspeople's work as dealing with material focuses on the engagement of the body, the mode of practice (Arbeitsweise), i.e. the How of crafting, rather than on stocktaking of raw material, tools and outcome that are in the hands of the craftspeople anyway. Most investigations on West African crafting so far have focused on the material in process and treated work as production of things solely, instead of looking at what the artisan is actually doing. The PhD project thus turns around the angle beginning with the working man him/herself.

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Dr Germain NyadaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Germain Nyada

Completed Project:

Kindheit, Autobiografik und Interkulturalität. Eine vergleichende Studie zu Kindheitstexten von Laye Camara, Elias Canetti, Jean-Martin Tchaptchet und Yusuf Yeşilöz

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2010 under the title "Kindheit, Autobiografik und Interkulturalität. Ein Beitrag zur sprachüber-greifenden und (kon-) textorientierten Literaturtheorie".

In der Literaturtheorie wird oft versucht, die Kulturspezifik der Autobiografik zu erfassen. Dabei wird die Kulturkomponente jedoch nur auf das Herkunftsland des Autors reduziert. Vertreten wird diese These v. a. über autobiografische Texte von Autoren afrikanischer Herkunft, die kulturelle Elemente aus Afrika in sich tragen. Aus dieser Perspektive wird die Herkunft des Autors allein als Ferment der Autobiografik präsentiert. Solche Überlegungen rufen komparatistische Studien zwischen "afrikanischen" und "europäischen" Lebensgeschichten hervor. Deswegen werden deutsch- und französischsprachige Kindheitstexte einander gegenübergestellt, damit es deutlich wird, ob man zu Recht von einer typisch afrikanischen Autobiografik reden kann. Es geht um Canettis Die gerettete Zunge, Tchaptchets La Marseillaise de mon enfance, Camaras L'Enfant noir und Yesilöz' Steppenrutenpflanze.

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Dr Silke OldenburgHide
BIGSAS Alumna Silke Oldenburg

Completed Project:

À Goma on sait jamais...Jugend im ganz normalen Ausnahmezustand in Goma, DR Kongo

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "À Goma on sait jamais. Jugend im ganz normalen Ausnahmezustand in Goma, DR Kongo".

Der Band widmet sich den Lebenswelten junger Menschen in Goma, Nord-Kivu in der DR Kongo. Basierend auf 14-monatiger Feldforschung nähert sich die Studie aus sozialphänomenologischer Perspektive den Erfahrungen, Vorstellungen und sozialen Praktiken von Jugendlichen und verbindet ihre sozialen Positionen im Alltag mit ihren Perspektiven auf einen Kontext chronischer Ungewissheit. Die Routen und Routinen zwischen Jung-Sein und Erwachsen-Werden sind gepaart mit Dilemmata und Erwartungen - Wohlstand und Ruin, Solidarität und Misstrauen lauern hinter der nächsten Straßenecke ... Parce qu' a Goma, on sait jamais ...

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Dr Duncan Mainye OmangaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Duncan Mainye Omanga

Completed Project:

The Media and Terrorism. Editorial Cartoons, Framing and Legitimacy in the Kenyan Press, 1998-2008

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

The editorial cartoon, perhaps one the most enduring feature of the African newspaper, carries perception of a less cerebral form of journalism consigned to laughter and flippancy. However, editorial cartoons' effectiveness goes beyond laughter. Indeed, this book not only responds to the call for a broader debate on media and terrorism, but also examines how editorial cartoons in Kenya, majorly between 1998 and 2008, contributed to the discursive construction of terrorism and the so called war on terror. Drawing from events surrounding major terror attacks at the high noon of `al-Qaida terrorism', this book highlights how editorial cartoons in Kenya provided insights into the vicissitudes that characterized terrorism and its war.

Dr Billian OtundoHide
BIGSAS Alumna Billian Otundo

Completed Project:

Exploring Ethnically-Marked Varieties of Kenyan English: Intonation and Associated Attitudes

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "Exploring Ethnically-Marked Varieties of Kenyan English".

On a quest to satisfy the need for acoustic documentation of pronunciation norms of Standard Kenyan English, there were predominant deviations which identify users of Ethnically Marked Varieties of Kenyan English. The study documents findings on tenets of Ethnic Markedness by two groups that revealed maximally distinct pronunciation. Data collection and analysis encompassed systematic recording, annotation and acoustic scrutiny. Moreover, attitudes that other Kenyans hold toward the selected varieties are exposed. The study is a primary source in the genres of World Englishes, speech science, prosody and interlanguage pronunciation.

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Dr Robert OwinoHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Robert Owino

Completed Project:

International Environmental Law and Trans-boundary Resource Co-operation Frameworks in the Lake Victoria Basin: An Assessment of Effectiveness

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Trans-Boundary Resource Cooperation in the Lake Victoria Bay: An International Environmental Law Perspective".

Lake Victoria is a trans-boundary lake within the East African Community (EAC) shared by three riparian states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda as well as two basin states of Burundi and Rwanda. The lake currently exhibits an acute ecological decline that the study attributes to unilateral state action in the lake as opposed to the establishment of a common regime for management of the lake as a common resource. The need for cooperation is foregrounded by the fact that states affect each other whether consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or otherwise and the interdependent nature of the lake compels the different states to work together in finding solutions to their mutual resource challenges that cannot be resolved in isolation. While there is consensus that cooperation remains the hub around which all efforts for trans-boundary governance in the Lake Victoria should revolve, there is very little consensus on how this cooperation should be achieved or what its exact components are. Cooperation is particularly difficult to achieve in resource areas such as fisheries and water abstraction in which states have significant vested interests that continue to generate conflicts among the riparian states. This research therefore inquires how international environmental law responds to the collective action problem in Lake Victoria particularly through application of the principle of international cooperation that is proclaimed in all legal instruments that relate to the lake. The study aims to evaluate on-going legal and policy harmonisation efforts among the Lake Victoria partner states and how they contribute to achievement of sustainable management in the lake.

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Dr Uchenna Paul OyaliHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Uchenna Paul Oyali

Completed Project:

Bible Translation and Language Elaboration: The Igbo Experience

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

This study posits that the translation of the Bible into the Igbo language engendered the elaboration of the language to enable it express the ideas and concepts borne in the Christian religion. Language elaboration, as used in this work, refers to the expansion of the functions of a language, i.e. use of the language in new domains, introduction of new lexical and semantic elements to the repertoire of the language. Four research questions guided the analysis carried out in the work: What lexical processes were adopted in creating new terms in Bible translation into Igbo? What strategies were employed in representing Christian concepts in the Bible translations? How have these lexical and conceptual innovations evolved across the different translations? How have the lexical and conceptual innovations spread among Igbo speakers? To answer these questions, two types of analysis are carried out: a textual analysis of a corpus of terms created and introduced into Igbo through eight Igbo Bible translations, and an analysis of a questionnaire survey on the spread of some of these new terms and concepts in contemporary Igbo usage. Findings show that the Bible translations enriched the Igbo lexicon mainly through the processes of compounding, descriptive phrases and lexical borrowing. Secondly, the translations introduced Christian concepts into Igbo mainly by appropriating existing terms for Igbo concepts and giving them new significations in the Igbo Bible. Thirdly, later translations lexically and semantically differentiated Christian concepts from traditional Igbo concepts. They also differentiated two Christian concepts by representing them with distinct terms where the earlier translations represented the concepts with the same term, thereby facilitating the emergence of an Igbo Christian register. Fourthly, some of the Biblical innovations are restricted to use within Christian religious contexts, thereby suggesting the emergence of an Igbo Christian register. However, many others have spread into Igbo beyond their use in the Bible and some have acquired new meanings in the language and also got entries in Igbo dictionaries.

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Laure PeemHide
BIGSAS Alumna Laure Peem

Completed Project:

Traduire des textes sur le VIH et le sida en basaa : cas des affiches et des dépliants

Project Summary:

This study focuses on the use of translation as an effective means of communication in HIV/AIDS sensitization campaigns in particular, and in health communication in general. The choice of this pandemic was motivated by its social relevance. The group whose language is being investigated in this project is known as Basaa. The Basaa-speaking area is basically located in the southern part of Cameroon, Central Africa.

The main objective of this project is to explore the way HIV/AIDS-related texts could be better translated from French into Basaa. Considering that very little translation activities have been carried out in this area in the Basaa language, the analysis in this project shall be based primarily on texts translated by myself, taking account not only of my personal knowledge and competence, but also of data collected in the field. This study also aims at contributing to a better understanding of HIV/AIDS within the Basaa community by producing a series of translations and glossary on HIV/AIDS and related issues. Lastly, this project is a contribution to research on the Basaa language.

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Dr Annachiara RaiaHide
BIGSAS Alumna Annachiara Raia

Completed Project:

The Utendi wa Yusufu. A Critical Edition of the Swahili Poem of Yusuf and a Study of its Adaptation at the Swahili Coast

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the title "Rewriting Yusuf: A Philological and Intertextual Study of a Swahili Islamic Manuscript Poem".

The story and figure of Yusuf (or Joseph in Christian tradition), has been travelling across time and space. Its popularity in the lands of Islam gave birth to many ‘native’ versions in Berber, Swahili, Persian, Urdu, Malay and Javanese. Adapted and re-adapted several times through the 19th 20th and 21st century, the Utendi wa Yusuf has been an important and popular text at the East African Coast. The oldest existing witnesses on the story in Swahili poetry are manuscripts in Arabic script dating back the first half of the 20th century and ascribed to a famous artist, musician and poet from Lamu on the so called northern Swahili coast. A complete critical edition of the Utendi wa Yusuf has never been published until now. The transliteration and translation of the poem consisting of 729 stanzas, are the departure points framing the first section of my PhD research project focused on the common theme of the ‘linguistic adaptation’. From this perspective, I will look at poem’s versions considering the manuscripts layout and the stanzas arrangement of the narrative, the Swahili orthography conventions in Arabic script, the linguistic register and style.

A second section of my PhD research project will investigate the intertextuality cross-references with which the story is interlinked and shaped by. Considering that any encounter with a text is an act of appropriation, how the story is re-presented at the Swahili coast, across geographical, temporal and cultural borders? Although the author clearly attested to have used both the Qur’an (Sura twelfth) and the Old Testament (Genesis 37-43) as his ‘sources’, the imitation of exemplars and role models drew beyond the religious texts, including Arabic literary prose texts and Persian motifs. The cultural encounter of foreigner stable texts with the Swahili re-reading opens up to a number of questions about the story inter-reading and dialogue: which ‘stories’ the Swahili narrative poem stem from? Which role do quotations and allusions to previous-texts play within the new narrative? Relying on imitatio as the creative practice aiming at transformation rather than reproduction, how the Swahili utendi genre shapes the new narrative and which meaning did the poet make out?

The research is aimed at filling an important gap and making the Swahili version of the text available to comparative studies with other adaptations from the Indian Ocean area and beyond. Following this path, the project may contribute to consider the ‘adaptation’ as an important means of mediating new concepts, given that no one has hitherto considered ‘adaptation’ as a transcultural process in Swahili intellectual history.

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Hanna Lena ReichHide
BIGSAS Alumna Hanna Lena Reich

Completed Project:

Nairobi Nights - eine Ethnographie nächtlicher Atmosphären

Project Summary:

Whereas the night is examined variously in popular media, literature, art and music the (African) night has been almost neglected within social sciences. Therefore, this project aims to make a conceptual, empirical and methodological contribution to the young field of the Anthropology of the Night.

The eternal shift from night to day and from day to night has nothing to do with human agency or social construction; it is nothing but the result of the intrinsic rotation of the earth. Though the night has been perceived as a natural phenomenon within all societies it clearly contains socio-cultural dimensions. How people experience the night, how they use it, how they think and talk about it is by all means culture-specific. This is the starting point of my PhD project about nocturnal lifeworlds in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.The central hypothesis of my research is that the night cannot be understood as a mere prolongation of the day, but rather as a specific time and space. Furthermore, I assume that people conceive night and day as different realms of experience and this is due to the fact that they are not only diverse natural phenomena, but night and day are also culturally perceived as counter poles.

Following Schnepel’s concepts of a) "hyper nights" and b) "hypo nights" (SCHNEPEL 2005: 10) this research project will examine different lifeworlds which represent these two. In hyper nights we find that actors are seeking to turn the phenomena, things, beings and actions of the nocturnal into something which is more intensive and vibrant and which represents an alternative or even counterpoint to the day. Hyper nights are nights which offer spaces for rebellious and even revolutionary forms of behaviour, spaces in which the normal, diurnal form of life, with all its behavioural patterns, norms and moral values, is questioned, mocked and even transgressed. They are characterized by the fact that in them, human beings tend to achieve, experience and feel more than is possible during the day. Contrary to this, hypo nights are the result of the human desire to tame the night, to “colonize” it and control its dangers. It is a more conservative approach to the night. Within hypo nights, the otherness and the particularity of the night shall be minimized and diminished to make it closer to the day.

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Dr Idris RiahiHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Idris Riahi

Completed Project:

The Modernity of Witchcraft in the Ghanaian Online Setting

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the same title.

This project suggests an investigation of witchcraft in West African context. Both the level of cognitive conceptualisation, and the discursive dimensions emerging from there will be analysed. Furthering interdisciplinary research, this project combines social scientific, cognitive linguistic and cognitive theories and methods in the scientific study of religion to cover social representations that target communities refer to as witchcraft. Consequently, our work addresses the following questions: What can we learn about human religious thinking exemplified by the salience and prevalence of the witch as a counterintuitive agent? How can we understand the social function of witchcraft in context of other religions? And what new light will cognitive theories of religions shed on the discussion of witchcraft? To tackle these problems we suggest a study composed of three broad steps: a) empirical field research based upon cognitive linguistic methodology in communities in West Africa, b) widening the scope of data collection to discourse analysis in which the findings of step a can be grounded, c) delivering an evaluative and conclusive discussion of steps a and b with special regard to religious thinking. In this way we hope to contribute to an understanding of the versatility of the conceptualisations of witchcraft and their relation to religions in West Africa.

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Dr Johanna RiessHide
BIGSAS Alumna Johanna Riess

Completed Project:

Zwischen wirklichen Räumen und digitalen Aneignungsmodi: Nutzerkonstruktionen des Internets in Nairobi/Kenia

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the title "Internet in Nairobi, Kenia. Medienaneignung als Konstruktion".

Die »Erfindung« des Internets und die damit verbundene Digitalisierung galt als ein modernes Phänomen des globalen Nordens. Doch wie steht es um die weniger reichen Länder des Südens? Johanna Rieß untersucht, wie sich Nutzer_innen aus drei verschiedenen Internetcafés in Nairobi/Kenia das Internet aneignen und welche Einsichten sich über dieses Medium ergeben. Erzählt wird außerdem eine ausführliche Digitalisierungsgeschichte Kenias. Dabei zeigt sich, dass gängige Annahmen bezüglich einer digitalen Kluft zwischen Ländern des globalen Nordens und des globalen Südens längst nicht mehr zutreffen. Die interdisziplinäre Herangehensweise ermöglicht einen differenzierten Blick auf Mediennutzung in einer anderen Weltregion und steht für eine Internationalisierung der Medienwissenschaft.

Dr Taylor RileyHide
BIGSAS Alumna Taylor Riley

Completed Project:

That is not who I am’: Knowledge production and female same-sexuality in KwaZulu-Natal

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

My research aims to examine the production of knowledge about female homosexuality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I aim to show where female non-heteronormative behavior is constructed as permissible, or even reverent, and where it is constructed as the opposite, or even punishable, and why in the contemporary. If we are to understand the cultural within the context of exchanges of meaning, it stands that knowledge is not only inseparable from power but also mediated by image and language. My project is therefore broadly focused on the analytical categories of sexuality and knowledge, and more specifically focused on representations of both sexual subjectivities and the complexities and ambiguities of the sexual life-world. These themes are seldom discussed even though they are at the heart of current debates on homosexuality in South African and international media. I ultimately hope to address how local knowledges are produced, by whom, and to what end through analysis of in-depth interviews that focus on the participants’ visual narratives, alongside an analysis of representations of homosexuality in local and international media practices.

Dr Christiane Rudic, née KryckHide
BIGSAS Alumna Christiane Rudic

Completed Project:

Housing finance strategies of informal settlement dwellers. Factors of influence and the impacts of planned interventions in Dar es Salaam

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Housing Finance Strategies of Informal Settlement Dwellers. Factors of Influence and Impacts of Planned Interventions in Dar es Salaam".

Access to housing and to housing finance remains a challenge in African cities. This study examines the housing finance strategies of informal settlement dwellers in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and identifies a range of factors that enable or constrain actors to make investments in housing. Based on ethnographic, qualitative and quantitative research, this study provides detailed insights into individual housing biographies, and explains why some actors invest in housing, while others do not. It finally challenges widely accepted development concepts like the provision of housing microfinance, land regularisation, infrastructure upgrading and eviction and argues for a deeper understanding of everyday lives in order to improve housing conditions.

Dr Matthew SabbiHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Matthew Sabbi

Completed Project:

Local State Institution-Building and the Unfulfilled Promise of Participatory Development: The case of Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Local State Institutional Reforms in Ghana. Actors, Legitimacy and the Unfulfilled Promise of Participatory Development".

Die lokale Politik in Ghana ist sehr kritisch gegenüber den Debatten über den Globalen Süden, wobei es wenige Studien über Interessen und Einstellungen von politischen Entscheidungsträgern vor Ort gibt. Der Autor untersucht die tägliche Arbeit von lokalen Akteuren und Institutionen in der Gestaltung ihrer Entwicklungsarbeit.

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Dr Emmanuel SackeyHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Emmanuel Sackey

Completed Project:

Dynamic Tensions, Civil Society and Development of the Disability Rights Movement

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

This book contributes to the civil society and development debate by adapting a convergent analytic framework that synthesizes neo-institutional and social identity perspectives, to interrogate the competing interests among civil society organizations (CSOs). Within the scope of this objective, It analyses three sub-themes; the internal governance structures of Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs); the dynamics of competition for resources; and the relationship between civil and political society; and how these factors impact on the internal cohesion of the disability movement. The central argument is that the necessity to respond to the institutional pressures from the organizational field interacts with identity based interest articulation of actors, to shape the degree of internal cohesion among CSOs.

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Joh SarreHide
BIGSAS Alumna Joh Sarre

Completed Project:

‚Some call it slum, we call it home!‘ Aushandlungen von Zugehörigkeit unter den nubischen Einwohner*innen Kib(e)ras, Kenia

Project Summary:

At the heart of the proposed research undertaking is the question how (particularly ethnic and spatial) forms of belonging are lived, experienced and expressed in the multi-ethnic settlement of Kibera, Kenya. The target group at hand is the Nubi community, who claim to be descendants of African mercenaries in the colonial troops and the rightful owners of the former military settlement now turned slum. After discarding the imperial obsession with homelands and native reserves, the relation between individuals and territory has been astonishingly under-theorized in anthropology. These notions, however, continue to influence public discourses in Kenia. The aim of the proposed research is to empirically examine spatial belonging for the advancement of our theoretical understanding of belonging as such, furthermore shedding light on ethnic identity as well.

The contributions of the project to scholarly debate are threefold: On a methodological level, I intend to further the operationalisation of fuzzy concepts such as ethnicity, belonging, and human-space/place-relation. As a contribution to theory, I propose to further the theory building of the concepts mentioned above on the basis of thick empirical research, by studying belonging (especially ethnic and spatial belongings) as ‘practice’ rather than limiting my research to ‘construction’ or ‘discourse’. Empirically, I aim to contribute to the understanding of the particular situation of Kenyan Nubians.

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Dr Marta ScaglioniHide
BIGSAS Alumna Marta Scaglioni

Completed Project:

PEOPLE WITHOUT AN ORIGIN: The 'Abid Ghbonton. A Historical Anthropology

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2020 under the title "Becoming the 'Abid. Lives and Social Origins in Southern Tunisia".

My research proposal focuses on the study of slavery and post-slavery in Libya and through its borders. It consists of a comparative and longitudinal analysis both on the history of slavery in Libya and the neighboring states as on the post-slavery trajectories. In this frame, my primary objective is to inquire whether there are deep historical links between the legacy of slavery on the one hand, and contemporary phenomena like human trafficking and migration, which are influencing the nation-states in Africa as well as in Europe, in their transnational form on the other one.Starting from the analysis of some data I collected during a preliminary field research in the archives in Rome and Tunis, I intend to open a window on the trajectories of Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican slaves during the period between 1880 and 1911, when the Italian army landed on the Mediterranean coast and initiated the first colonization of Libya. On the other side of the border, being the first North African country to abolish slavery in 1846, Tunisia attracted slaves in seek for freedom. Studying slaves and their migration during those years opens roomy spaces for a broader discussion on slavery, colonialism, gender, race, and stereotypes in today’s Tunisia and Libya.

Dr Jennifer SchefflerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Jennifer Scheffler

Completed Project:

Ethnotourismus in der Kalahari

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the same title.

Kultureller Tourismus zu indigenen Gruppen hat sich neben Natur- und Safaritourismus als ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Reisebranche im südlichen Afrika etabliert. Dieses Buch bietet einen Überblick über die aktuelle Situation des Phänomens Ethnotourismus zu sansprachigen Gruppen in der Region, beschreibt und vergleicht deren Angebote und Strukturen. Dabei wird auch auf die Tourismus- und der Minderheitenpolitiken der einzelnen Länder Bezug genommen. Anhand eines Fallbeispiels in Botswana werden die Praktiken vor Ort analysiert und diese mit dem Bild der "Buschmänner", das in tourismusspezifischen Medien diskursiv erzeugt wird, in Verbindung gebracht.

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Dr Nadine SiegertHide
BIGSAS Alumna Nadine Siegert

Completed Project:

(Re)mapping Luanda. Nostalgie & Utopie in der ästhetischen Praxis

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "(Re)Mapping Luanda. Utopische und nostalgische Zugänge zu einem kollektiven Bildarchiv".

Die angolanische Geschichte wird geprägt von antikolonialem Befreiungskampf und Bürgerkrieg. Seit 2002 erlebt das Land einen wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung bei gleichzeitiger politischer Stagnation. Vor diesem Hintergrund hat sich eine Kunstszene entwickelt, die einen Höhepunkt in der erstmals 2006 stattfindenden Luanda Triennale hatte. Zugleich ist diese neue Kunstwelt mit den älteren Künstlergenerationen in Bezug zu setzen. Diese Studie basiert auf einer sowohl ethnographischen als auch kunstwissenschaftlichen Untersuchung der Kunstwelt Luandas und spürt der Beziehung der Künstlergenerationen zu einem kollektiven Bildarchiv nach. Nostalgie und Utopie bilden dabei die konzeptuellen Zugänge und die drei Künstlergenerationen seit 1975 den zentralen Gegenstand.

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Dr Essoham SolitokeHide

Completed Project:

L'usage des mémoires et discours dans les pratiques de légitimation : "Le cas de l'autorité locale chez les Lokpa du Nord-Bénin et chez les Lokpa et Lama du Nord-Togo, 1898-2010"

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the title "L’usage des mémoires et discours dans les pratiques de légitimation : Le cas de l’autorité locale chez les Lokpa du Nord‐Bénin et chez les Lokpa et Lama du Nord‐Togo (1898‐2010)".

This project aims at analysing the use of memory by the Lokpa chiefs. The reconstruction of history has the inherent problem of being incomplete, especially with respect to errors and possible distortions. History is a representation of the past while the memory is still a current phenomenon, a living link to the eternal present. Living memory remains a crucial tool for documenting the history of events, people and their way of life. The Lokpa belong to the people of oral memory. They occupy the boundary area of northern Benin and northern Togo. The chiefs sustain their legitimacy of authority through recourse to oral history that interprets the cultural heritage and their position as authority figures. However, historical accounts are increasingly becoming contentious because of their relationship to the legitimacy of power in the present. Collective memory is therefore manipulated by local actors in order to serve interests of today. This is done partly by interpretations of historical facts and their representations by actors through subjective and selective remembrance. In this sense, the inherent challenge of reconstruction of the past is affected by forgetfulness and memory. The question remains; how can we deal with the resulting errors, distortions and selective conservation? The main objective of this research is to determine through a microhistorical perspective the interpretation of the facts, the subjective and selective nature of memory and the process of their utilisation by chiefs for the social construction of their authority and its legitimacy.

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Dr Michael StasikHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Michael Stasik

Completed Project:

Station Ventures: Road Transport, Roadside Economies and Urban Hustle in Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

In contemporary West Africa, the bus station represents an epitome of social life. Being both a hub for travel and transport and a nerve centre for commerce and trade, on the station’s grounds a great many people interact with each other in a great many ways. It is in the bus station that the flows, transactions and connections of the wider social, material and immaterial structures it is integrated into are being regulated, sustained and at times also disrupted.

Framed within the DFG-funded research project ‘Roadside and travel communities’, my research sets out to explore the Neoplan Station, Ghana’s busiest interregional travel hub. It proposes an ethnographic approach towards the station’s uniquely dense space and the confusing plethora of relations it accommodates – aspiring, on the one hand, to tackle the desideratum that the description and the analysis of the plurality of lifeworlds concurring at West African travel hubs still represents to academia; and, on the other hand, to advance an anthropologically-founded epistemology of the elusive line of demarcation between complex orders and states of disorder.

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Manfred StoppokHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Manfred Stoppok

Completed Project:

Household energy consumption in Mumias, Western Kenya – global and local perspectives

Project Summary:

The sufficient and environmentally friendly supply of energy to the population is undoubtedly one of the pressing socio-political challenges of the 21st century. Even though the per capita consumption of energy is known for the countries of the global South and North, we know little about local processes of dealing with energy. Therefore my project explores local conceptions and perceptions of energy in the western Kenyan town Mumias. Particularly I look at current energy consumption in households, people’s preferences in daily energy use and their wishes and expectations of future energy supply.

By using Mumias as an ethnographic example I will describe how commonly used statistical values on energy consumption translate into real life situations. A special focus is on ‘middle class’ people as I assume that their consumption patterns and often their future visions in general might serve as a model for the whole society. Technically my project is managed by an interdisciplinary team with members of the Department of Social Anthropology, the Institute of Chemical Engineering and the Institute of Biochemical Engineering.

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Alžběta ŠváblováHide
BIGSAS Alumna Alžběta Šváblová

Completed Project:

A tortuous way forward: Peacebuilding process and actor interaction in postwar Liberia

Project Summary:

After the official ending of the violent conflict in 2003, Liberia is still confronted with the task of multi-faceted reconstruction and rebuilding of its institutions. To achieve the goal, the state works in a close cooperation with other players, such as foreign governments, international organizations, civil society etc.

The research explores the patterns of interaction between three groups of actors involved in the peacebuilding process in Liberia - civil society, government institutions and external actors. The objective is to find out to what extent is the interaction an important variable and impacts on the post-conflict reconstruction, and what are the roles of particular actors in the process. The study will also explore the institutional framework of the interaction and its changes in time.

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Dr Serena TalentoHide
BIGSAS Alumna Serena Talento

Completed Project:

Framing texts/Framing social spaces: the conceptualisation of literary translation and its discourses in three centuries of Swahili literature

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the title "Framing Texts – Framing Social Spaces. Conceptualising Literary Translation in three Centuries of Swahili Literature".

My PhD research project focuses on the construction of a discourse on literary translations into Swahili in three different historical settings with the aim to explore the ways literary translation has been conceptualised and used as a symbolic resource. In the centre of this PhD project are the questions: How is the discourse of and about translation expressed? Which concepts apply to translation as an activity and a process within Swahili culture? How is the notion of the translator constructed and popularised? To what extent translations were used as resources to foster or subvert private or institutional agendas within the Swahili literary and social spaces?

A periodisation approach is designed to compare the development of discourses on and about translation within three macro-periods: pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial. The analysis proceeds by tracking translation flows and subsequently focuses on the paratexts of selected translations falling within each of the above-mentioned periods. Paratextual analysis has the scope to to tackle continuities and ruptures in the discourse surrounding the translation products within the three temporal frameworks and, therefore, to understand how a text has been conceptualised and institutionalised.A further step aims at locating texts in contexts by means of biographical research on selected translators and the analysis of the historical and cultural background in which they were embedded.

The research pursues a history of translation which will shed light on the utilisation of translation both for cultural formation and conditioning by the agents having an interest in a specific transfer and re-production of knowledge within the Swahili context.The results of the analysis will contribute to open new perspectives in the understanding of the development of Swahili literature.

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Dr Rémi TchokotheHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Rémi Tchokothe

Completed Project:

Transgression in Swahili Narrative Fiction and its Reception

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the same title.

"This book remarkably analyses the development of recent Swahili prose narrative. The main thesis is that since the 90s, Swahili literature has developed to go beyond aspects that had hitherto conditioned literature in African languages (local, popular and didactic) and has opened itself to global, sophisticated and subversive perspectives. Rémi Tchokothe uses the leitmotif of transgression as the unifying thread to render an account of this evolution of the Swahili narrative fiction towards the disruption of narrative linearity, an increase in intertextual references, an awareness of globalisation in political analysis and a shift to magical realism. The finishing touch to the analysis is a meticulously conducted reception survey which highlights editorial ambiguities that go with the transgressive turn." (Xavier Garnier, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3)

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Dr Afonso TecaHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Afonso Teca

Completed Project:

Estudo da voz verbal em Kizómbò (H.16k)

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2019 under the same title.

Kizombo is a dialect of the Kikongo-Cluster spoken in the Northern part of Angola. In most theoretical approaches of the syntactic properties of voice, correspondences between the morphological changes of the verbal form and the modification of the syntactic argument scheme are stated, such as upgrading or downgrading, addition or suppression of arguments. Thus, the original subject (Agent) may be expressed by an optional phrase (such as a by-phrase in English), the verb form of the passive is changed in some way (like be+participle in English).

As for Kizombo, the following questions are asked: What are the morphological and syntactical manifestations of voice? How do valence and voice work interact? These are some of the main questions addressed in this project. As an example, we would like to understand how Kizombo uses the opposition between the active and the passive voice from a morpho-syntactic, semantic and discourse oriented point of view. In the same logic, we will also discuss functions of the middle, causative, applicative, reflexive and reciprocal voice in Kizombo. Although there is an extensive literature on Kikongo, mostly on phonology, morphology, or lexicon, we did not identify any linguistic work that discusses the verbal voice from a semantic and discourse oriented perspective in this language cluster. Thus, this project adds new aspects to the knowledge of Kizombo in particular and to Kikongo in general.

Dr Daouda TraoreHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Daouda Traoré

Completed Project:

Le senar (lange senufo du Burkina Faso): éléments de description et d’influence du jula véhiculaire dans un contexte de contact de langues

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2015 under the same title.

The objective of this study is to examine the influences of the lingua franca Dyula on Senar language in lexical, phonological and grammatical respects, in the rural area of Kankalaba (south-western Burkina Faso). For such a study it is necessary to have a good linguistic knowledge of both languages in contact in order to reach a good result. But, in contrast to Dyula, Senar is not yet satisfactorily described. In this regard the first part of this study, which will be divided into two parts, will describe the Senar language through its phonology and aspects of grammar, to revise and supplement the three previous works on the language. In the second part, I will attempt to identify the lexical, phonological and grammatical features of Dyula in the speeches of individual Senar speakers through recorded oral texts. This part will also present the results of a sociolinguistic survey conducted with the same interviewed persons. The linguistic interest of this thesis lies in its expected output to not only add to the scientific knowledge on this Senufo language, but also to contribute to enhancing knowledge on the situation of contact between Dyula and Senufo languages. Thus, it can contribute to improve the internal classification of the Senufo group.

Dr Irina TurnerHide
BIGSAS Alumna Irina Turner

Completed Project:

Businified Political Discourse on the State of the South African Nation: A Dialogue between Presidential Speeches and Newspaper Reports

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "The State of the nation. “Businification” of Political Rhetoric in Post-Apartheid South Africa".

Via the idea of businification - a neologism describing the infiltration of business ideology into political and media texts -, this book traces the shift towards neo-liberalism in post-apartheid South Africa through the rhetorical gestures of the country's political narrators. In an application of Critical Discourse and Content Analysis, it examines linguistic changes within the corpus of the annually recurring State-of-the-Nation-Address from 1994 to 2012. This analysis is a contribution to research on business language from a non-Western perspective. Its interdisciplinary approach is of interest to researchers of South African political history, African Studies, Media Studies, and Sociolinguistics.

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Dr René UmlaufHide

Completed Project:

MOBILE TESTS - EINFACHES WISSEN: Zur Laboratorisierung und Projektifizierung der Malariadiagnose im ländlichen Uganda

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Mobile Labore. Zur Diagnose und Organisation von Malaria in Uganda".

Globale Gesundheitsprogramme bauen in zunehmendem Maße auf dem Einsatz von Test- und Prüfverfahren auf. Zentrales Ziel dabei ist es, globale ebenso wie regionale Verbreitungen von Infektionskrankheiten wie z.B. Malaria nicht nur abzubilden, sondern auch als Grundlage für weitere Interventionen zu nutzen.

René Umlaufs Technikethnografie zeigt, dass evidenz-basierte Gesundheitstechnologien auf spezifischen Vorannahmen bezüglich der Feststellbarkeit von Krankheiten als auch der Veränderbarkeit von Behandlungsroutinen aufbauen. Am Beispiel der medizinischen Grundversorgung Ugandas analysiert er die Konsequenzen und organisationalen Effekte von Malariaschnelltests.

Dr Christian UngruheHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Christian Ungruhe

Completed Project:

Lasten tragen, Moderne befördern. Wanderarbeit, Jugend, Erwachsenwerden und ihre geschlechtsspezifischen Differenzierungen in Ghana

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2018 under the same title.

Every year hundreds of youths from all over northern Ghana leave their hometowns to go to Accra or Kumasi, Ghana’s biggest cities, to work there for a couple of months or years before going back home. They look for labour in order to pay their school fees, dowries, to buy clothes, mobile phones or to support their families. Most of the youngsters move independently from their parents and do not have relatives in the cities. Load carrying at markets and bus stations is attractive since hometown fellows have been working as kayayei (female head porters) and truckpushers (boys and young men transporting load on wooden pushcarts) for years and may introduce the newcomers to the work and provide shelter and ethnic identity in the alien south. On the one hand, enjoying youth (buying modern goods and appearing urban among peers) is a strong motive for going. On the other hand, appearing mature and caring for the family’s needs would increase the return migrant’s status and lead into the respected sphere of adulthood. Thus, the youths face a constant dilemma and how to act is a matter of consideration and shifting identities in practice. The research project focuses on young migrants in the load carrying business and it is aiming at exploring this balancing act and differentiating between male and female experiences.

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Prof. Dr Clarissa VierkeHide
Member of BIGSAS Clarissa Vierke

Completed Project:

The Poem of the Palanquin. A Text Edition of the "Utendi wa Haudaji" together with a Textual Analysis. Approaching the Style of the Nineteenth-Century Swahili Utendi

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2011 under the title "On the Poetics of the Utendi: A Critical Edition of the Nineteenth-Century Swahili Poem “Utendi wa Haudaji” together with a Stylistic Analysis".

"On the Poetics of the Utendi" is centred on a 19th-century Swahili Islamic epic from Kenya depicting the flight of the Prophet’s family to Madina. The study consists of a critical text edition of the poem handed down in manuscripts and an analysis of its stylistic devices, focussing on prosodic and narrative aspects as well as the linguistic-thematic repertoire. The analysis informed by discussions with eminent Swahili poets does not exhaust itself in a list of stylistic features, but considers the interplay of different linguistic and thematic levels as well as their connection with questions of representation and the emic and genre-specific conceptualisation of verbal art and composition.

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Dr Maike VoigtHide
BIGSAS Alumna Maike Voigt

Completed Project:

The Rise and Fall of Kenyan Entrepreneurs: Social Mobility in Kisumu

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2021 under the same title.

The aim of my PhD is to link two current debates in anthropology, those about entrepreneurship and the middle classes in Africa. African entrepreneurship has mainly been addressed under the heading of the informal sector, paying little attention to the successful business people that chose self-employment over employment. The debate on the African middle classes has focused mostly on income and expenditure levels, consumption styles and investment. Middle class jobs have been described as steady and well-paying, but apart from governmental employees fitting this category few occupations have so far received attention.

This study, therefore, focuses on entrepreneurs whose lifestyle and consumption patterns place them in the middle class and seeks to establish why these people chose self-employment over employment and how their businesses have evolved to a certain level of success allowing for such a lifestyle. However, the focus of this project will also include the involvement of the entrepreneur’s family in his business and the relation between the business person and the state, both factors which can either support or hinder business development.

This project is conducted in Kisumu, Kenya, where small-scale entrepreneurs have first received recognition by the government in the late 1980s, and where the debate on the middle class has already taken hold. Using anthropological methods of participant observation, life course interviews and network analysis, a complete picture of the successes and challenges facing entrepreneurs shall be achieved.

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Dr Magdaline WafulaHide
BIGSAS Alumna Magdaline Wafula

Completed Project:

Narrative Voice and Focalization in the Narration of Generational Conflicts in Selected Kiswahili Novels

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the same title.

The study examines the representation of generational conflicts in four Swahili novels from Kenya and Tanzania – specifically Kufa Kuzikana (Walibora, 2003), Tumaini (Momanyi, 2006), Kipimo cha Mizani (Burhani, 2004) and Msimu wa Vipepeo (Wamitila, 2006). Generational conflicts in this study refer to the collision of interests or ideals between people of different age groups concerning various social-cultural, political and economic issues.

Its main interest is to analyze how different writers deploy narrative voice as a narrative technique in the portrayal of generational conflicts. It will specifically address questions bordering on how narrative voice has been utilized in the representation of generational conflicts in selected Swahili novels, the particular conflicts depicted in the novels, how these conflicts reflect the socio-cultural and historical backgrounds of the authors and how the narrative techniques employed influence the meaning of the conflicts to the audience.

The study is significant in that it reveals the fact that literature and the Swahili novel in particular is one of the key spaces through which social changes in the society are being communicated to the public. The selection of novels written by both male and female authors can give insights into how the aspect of gender is capable of influencing the depiction of generational conflicts in literary works and in the Swahili novel in particular.

Eudes Narcisse Wandji NgassaHide

Completed Project:

Cinéma et réinvention de l'imaginaire des cineastes Camerounais

Dr Halkano WarioHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Halkano Wario

Completed Project:

Networking the Nomads: A Study of Tablīghī Jamāʿat among the Borana of Northern Kenya

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2014 under the same title.

Tablīghī Jamāʿat is a transnational lay Islamic movement started by Māwlanā Muhammad Ilyās in 1920s in the British India. It came to Kenya in mid 1950s and found transnational partnership with the Kenya’s Sunni Muslims of Asian descent. Despite its early establishment the Tablīghī Jamāʿat remains one of the least researched religious phenomena in Kenya. The movement bring together diverse ethnic groups, maintains a low profile focusing on re-spiritualisation of everyday life of individual Muslims and shuns politics and modern means of publicity opting for face to face preaching and voluntary travels for proselytisation. This study attempts to describe, document and analyse the localisation of the Tablīghī Jamāʿat in Kenya in general and among the Borana of northern part of Kenya particular. The Borana are a nomadic community that straddles the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

The study asks what happens when religious ideas travel across different forms of boundaries to establish itself in new grounds far away from its point of origin. Based on this general guiding question, it explores the growth, establishment and consolidation of Tablīghī Jamāʿat in northern Kenya. It examines the Tablīghī innovative religious practices, pragmatic strategies for membership increase and maintenance, dynamic approaches to deal with the larger society, working faith bureaucracy, politics of space use and place making and engaged interpersonal and inter-regional networks that link local, zonally, national and international adherents in a bond of solidarity and purpose. It investigates the relations between the Tablīghīs and existing Islamic traditions as it navigates an already competitive religious landscape and seek recognition as an equally authentic religious movement based on the core teachings of the faith. It particularly concerns with how the Borana Tablīghīs fit within their own region in the north and also within the national movement. Hence it explores how they preach among their own kin through contextualised outreaches, what motivates them, where they mainly travel to and the implication of movement on religious and ethnic identities and relations with the established religious leadership.

The study employed interdisciplinary approach that incorporated diverse but related disciplines to give the subject of study a holistic perspective. The approaches used in the research were historical, analytical, ethnographic and comparative. The thesis, a seminal one on the Tablīghī Jamāʿat in Eastern Africa, is a timely contribution to the growing literature on the Indian-borne transnational Islamic movement currently on the rise in Africa and it is a notable addition to interdisciplinary studies that focus on the theme of mobility, transnationalisation and religious revivalism in a globalising world.

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Dr Vanessa WijngaardenHide
BIGSAS Alumna Vanessa Wijngaarden

Completed Project:

Persistent images of "the other" in cultural tourism. The interplay between Maasai's and tourists' imaginations and their face-to-face interactions

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2016 under the title "Dynamics behind Persistent Images if “the Other”: The Interplay between Imaginations and Interactions in Maasau Cultural Tourism".

In tourism, strangers meet face to face. What do Tanzanian Maasai and Western tourists think when they meet? Using a combination of methods that has never been tried before, either in anthropology in general or in the field of tourism studies, this work provides novel theoretical insights into the images hosts and guests have of each other, and how their views relate to the interactions they experience. This compelling reflexive study uses video and Q method to contribute to the epistemology of anthropological research in tourism settings and the construction of a new, more symmetrical anthropology.

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Dr Emnet Tadesse WoldegiorgisHide
BIGSAS Alumnus Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis

Completed Project:

Regionalization of Higher Education in Africa and the Operationalization of the African Union Higher Education Harmonization Strategy

Publication:

The dissertation was published in 2017 under the title "Regionalization of Higher Education in Africa. The Operationalization of the African Union Higher Education Harmonization Strategy".

There is increasing realisation globally of the importance of close cooperation between countries through sharing of resources and technologies, addressing common problems, and facilitating the free movement of people for effective and efficient development endeavours. With the force of globalisation propelling higher education, the main priority of higher education at this juncture is to strive towards quality and excellence in research and academic programmes. Focus on higher education in Africa has waned since the 1980s and the last two decades have seen a rapid rise in student enrolments, continued brain drain, less interconnectedness in terms of intellectual orientation, limited autonomy of higher educational institutions, a shortage of experienced academic staff, declining educational quality, financial weaknesses, and low levels of research output. The result is that most higher education institutions experience difficulty competing in the global market for knowledge creation and production. Various forums have acknowledged that Africa should utilise the Bologna Process as a model to harmonise higher education in the continent, thereby bringing together issues such as quality assurance, student mobility and recognition of degrees, diplomas and certificates. This dissertation will put into perspective how harmonisation efforts through the African Union can address the current challenges of the higher education sector in Africa. Moreover, it will focus on providing a context for understanding the harmonisation of higher education systems in Africa through a comparative analysis of the European Union. It will also expand on issues such as the critical “adoption dilemma” as well as key “success factors” of the Bologna process, which may contribute to “bridging the gap” between plans and implementation efforts in Africa.

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