SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Languages, Literatures & Cultures


Dr Dmitry Bondarev


  • Early Kanuri dialects, comparative Saharan, Kanuri glosses n Arabic script, linguistics of literacy, phonology and morphosyntax, palaeography.
  • Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Kamerun (Cameroon)
Dr Lindiwe Dovey

Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts, SOAS,

  • 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.
Dr Kai Easton

Lecturer in African Literature and Diaspora Studies, SOAS,

  • 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.
  • South Africa; Southern Africa
Emeritus Professor Graham Furniss

Professor of African Language Literature, SOAS,

  • Hausa language, linguistics and literature; African literatures both oral and written; popular culture.
  • West Africa, Nigeria
Dr Chege Githiora

Senior Lecturer in Swahili, Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa, SOAS,

  • Swahili language, literature and linguistics;
  • Lexicography in general;
  • African Diaspora in Latin America.
  • Kenya,Tanzania, Mexico
Mr Yussuf Hamad

Senior Lector in Swahili,

Dr. Seraphin Kamdem

Teaching Fellow, SOAS, Department of Languages and Cultures, 

  • African Languages and Education
  • Multilingual adult literacy in the rural areas of Cameroon
Emeritus Professor Philip Jaggar

Professor of West African Linguistics, SOAS,

  • Linguistic description of Hausa; comparative (West) Chadic; social anthropology of Hausaland (blacksmithing in Kano).
  • Nigeria
Professor Friederike Luepke

Professor of Language Documentation and Description, SOAS,

  • Friederike Lüpke’s research interests include verbal argument structure, Atlantic and Mande linguistics, with a focus on syntactic and semantic typology, individual and societal multilingualism, the influence of cognition, culture and contact on language, and the use of non-Roman scripts for the writing of West African languages. 
Professor Lutz Marten

Lecturer in Southern African Languages, SOAS,

  • Comparative Bantu; theoretical and African linguistics; syntax; semantics; pragmatics
  • Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, SADEC
Dr Mpalive Msiska

Lecturer in English and Humanities, BC,

  • Representations of identity in African literature and philosophy; the problem of cultural authenticity in Wole Soyinka's work.
  • East and Central Africa, Malawi
Dr Martin Orwin

Lecturer in Somali and Amharic, SOAS,

  • Somali and Amharic language and literature; Somali poetry, particularly metrical and stylistic analysis.
  • Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia
Dr Godwin Kwadwo Osei-Nyame

Lecturer in African Literature, SOAS,

  • Main research interests are literature and nationalism, post-colonial theory and fiction, gender and national liberation, the politics of national identity and African-American writings.
Dr Akin Oyètádé

Lecturer in Yoruba, SOAS,

  • Yoruba language, oral and written literature, and culture; application of non-linear theories of phonology to Yoruba; Yoruba dialectology and the standardisation of Yoruba; Yoruba in the diaspora.
  • Nigeria
Dr Sarah Pett

Lecturer in Global English, SOAS,

  • Modern and contemporary Anglophone literature, the medical humanities, and South African studies.

Dr Alena Rettová

Lecturer in Swahili Literature and Culture, SOAS,

  • Swahili literature;
  • African philosophy; 
  • Afrophone philosophical discourses; 
  • Literatures in African languages
Dr Kirsty Rowan

Senior Teaching Fellow in Linguistics, SOAS,

  • Meroitic and Nubian phonology
  • Afro-Cuban ritual languages
Dr Farouk Topan

Senior Lecturer in Swahili, SOAS,

  • Religion and society on the Swahili coast; genres of Swahili oral literature; performance of Swahili oral arts especially the dance and songs of spirit-mediumship cults; child socialisation and Swahili didactic songs; relations between Swahili-speaking coastal peoples of East Africa.
  • Tanzania.