SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section Staff

Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dr Nana Sato-Rossberg

Head of Section

Professor Lutz Marten and Dr Ida Hadjivayanis

BA Convenor 

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis (BA African Language and Culture, BA African Studies and..., BA Swahili and...)

ISP / Extended Essay Convenor

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis

MA Convenor

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis

UG Admissions Tutor

Mr Mohamed Said

Research Tutor and PhD Admissions Tutor

Professor Wen-chin Ouyang

UG Academic Adviser

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis

NB: Masters Students, your Academic Adviser is your MA Programme Convenor.

UG Exams Sub-board

Dr Mulaika Hijjas (Chair)

Academic Staff

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis
Lecturer in Swahili (Education)
Ida Hadjivayanis

Swahili Language

  • Tel: 44 (0)20 7898 4386
  • Email:
  • Room: 413
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesday 11am-1pm or by appointment

Professor 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: 426
  • Academic Support Hours: Please book an appointment (campus, online)

Senior Lectors

Teaching Fellows

Research Associates

Professor Friederike Lüpke
Professorial Research Associate
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)

Dr Martin Orwin
Research Associate
Martin Orwin
Somali language and literature; metrics and use of language in poetry; translation of poetry; the relationship between language and music.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4376
  • Email:
  • Room: 405
  • Academic Support Hours: See office hours on door, or email
Professor Alena Rettová
Professorial Research Associate
Alena Rettova

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

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4372
  • Email:
  • Room: 413
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 14.30-16.30

Emeritus Professors

Professor Chege Githiora
Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, African Languages and Literatures
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.

Professor of Practice

Global Fellows

Community Fellows