SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Africa Department Staff

Head of Department

Professor Irina Nikolaeva

Associate Head of Department

Dr Alena Rettová

Undergraduate Programme Convenor

Dr Chege Githiora (BA African Studies, BA African Language and Culture, BA Swahili plus another subject)

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Dr Martin Orwin

MA African Studies Convenor

Dr Akin Oyètádé

MA African Literature Convenor

Dr Kwadwo Osei Nyame

Postgraduate Research Tutor

Dr Kwadwo Osei Nyame

Please note that for Masters Students the Personal Tutor and Year Tutor is the MA Programme Convenor

Academic Staff

Lutz Marten
Professor of General and African Linguistics
Lutz Marten

Bantu languages and linguistics; syntax; semantics; pragmatics; historical linguistics; language and society in Eastern and Southern Africa

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4653
  • Email:
  • Room: 360
  • Office Hours: Please email for an appointment
Lindiwe Dovey
Senior Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts
Lindiwe Dovey

African film and video (particularly their intersection); filmic mediations of African performance arts (music, dance, theatre); literary adaptation in Africa; contemporary film theory and 'World Cinema'; exile/immigration and violence in relation to African screen media; structures of film production, distribution, and exhibition in Africa; use of African languages in film

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4388
  • Email:
  • Room: 404
  • Office Hours: Email for an appointment

Kai Easton
Senior Lecturer in English
Kai Easton

Colonial and postcolonial studies, especially South African literature (the Cape, Wicomb, Coetzee); gender and the culture of travel; Indian Ocean diasporas; theories of fiction and history.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4373
  • Email:
  • Room: 394
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment
Chege Githiora
Senior Lecturer in Swahili
Chege Githiora
Swahili and Gĩkũyũ Language and Linguistics. Translation and Literacy in African Languages. Culture and Society of East Africa, Latin America and the African Diaspora.

Friederike Lüpke
Professor of Language Documentation and Description
Friederike Lüpke

Language documentation and description, contact linguistics, anthropological linguistics, syntax-semantics interface, argument structure, Ajami writing in Africa, Niger-Congo languages, Mande languages, Atlantic languages, Jalonke (Fuuta Jalon, Guinea), Bainouk (Casamance, Senegal)

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4581
  • Email:
  • Room: T404
  • Office Hours: By pre-arranged appointment
Martin Orwin
Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic
Martin Orwin
Somali language and literature; metrics and use of language in poetry; the relationship between language and music; Amharic.

Kwadwo Osei-Nyame, Jnr
Lecturer in African Literature
Kwadwo Osei-Nyame, Jnr
Post-colonial writing with special reference to anglophone and francophone African writing and African American writing; comparative national literatures; African literature and nationalism; gender in literature; literature and society in Southern Africa; African cultural studies with reference to the Akan of Ghana and the Igbo of Nigeria; literature and human rights in Africa.
Alena Rettová
Reader in Swahili Literature and African Philosophy
Alena Rettova

Swahili literature; African philosophy; Afrophone philosophical discourses; literatures in African languages

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4372
  • Email:
  • Room: 413
  • Office Hours: Tuesday 3-5pm

Teaching Fellows

Research Fellows

Research Assistants

Dmitry Bondarev
Research Assistant
Dmitry Bondarev

African linguistics (structure of Saharan languages with a focus on Kanuri/Kanembu) and history of writing in Arabic based scripts (Ajami) in Africa

Research Associates

Emeritus Professors