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

Undergraduate Programme Convenor

Dr Chege Githiora (BA African Studies, BA African Studies and..., BA African Language and Culture, BA Swahili and...)

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Mr Mohamed Said

Postgraduate Programme Convenor

Dr Dana Healy (Term 1); Dr Martin Orwin (Terms 2-3)

(MA African Studies, MA African Studies Literature Pathway, MA Intensive Swahili plus another subject)

Postgraduate Research Tutor

Professor Michael J Hutt (Term 1); Professor Wen-chin Ouyang (Terms 2-3)

Academic Advisers

Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame (Year 1), Dr Chege Githiora (Years 2-4)

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

Academic Staff

Dr Ida Hadjivayanis
Lecturer in Swahili (Education)
Ida Hadjivayanis

Swahili Language

  • Tel: 44 (0)20 7898 4386
  • Email: ih11@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 411
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday 11-12pm and by appointment
Professor Chege Githiora
Professor 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.
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4395
  • Email: cg17@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 412
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-3pm

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: lm5@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 426
  • Academic Support Hours: On Research Leave in Term 1
Dr Martin Orwin
Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic
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: mo1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 405
  • Academic Support Hours: See office hours on door, or email

Dr 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.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4377
  • Email: ko9@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 402
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays 15:00 - 17:00
Dr Alena Rettová
Professor of African and Comparative Philosophy
Alena Rettova

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

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4372
  • Email: ar42@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 413
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 14.30-16.30

Senior Lectors


Teaching Fellows


Tom Jelpke
Senior Teaching Fellow in Swahili
Staff Silhouette
  • Email: tj7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 411
  • Academic Support Hours: TERM 1: Monday 3-5pm / TERM 2: Tuesday 11am-1pm




Research Fellows

Dr Sara Marzagora
Sara Marzagora

Global intellectual history, cultural and intellectual history of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopian history and political thought


Research Assistants

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)


Emeritus Professors