SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Hannah Gibson

Hannah is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Linguistics. Her research examines language contact and language change with a focus on the Bantu languages of East Africa. The project examines to what extent this feature (and others) can be considered to be the result of contact-induced language change, or whether they are more appropriately thought of as reflecting language-internal processes of grammaticalisation. The project explores what types of grammatical change are - and are not - possible with a view to better understanding the universal phenomenon of language change.


Rozenn Guérois

Rozenn is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Morphosyntactic variation in Bantu: Typology, contact and change’, directed by Professor Lutz Marten. Her doctoral research, conducted at the Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage (CNRS/Université Lyon 2), consisted in providing a grammatical description of Cuwabo, a Bantu language spoken in the north-eastern part of Mozambique, and classified P34 by Guthrie. Based on first-hand data collected on the field, the thesis covers in detail Cuwabo phonology and morphosyntax, and proposes an appendix containing seven Cuwabo texts glossed and translated into English.


Matt Kandel

Matt is a British Academy Newton International Fellow in Development Studies.  He holds a PhD (completed 2014) in cultural anthropology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York; and a BA (2007) in African/African American Studies and Philosophy from Fordham University.  Broadly, his research interests lie in land tenure, agrarian political economy, state formation, and political and communal conflict in Africa, with an area concentration of Africa. He has carried out fieldwork in northeastern Uganda since 2012.  He has six years of teaching experience in Anthropology, and Sociology and Anthropology departments in the US. His current research is on state territorial conflict/restructuring in Uganda, and how this is altering agrarian and pastoral political economies.  He is interested in conducting more research on tenure insecurity in peri-urban Uganda and elsewhere in Africa.


Idil Osman

Idil has worked for over 12 years as a national and international journalist for the BBC, the Guardian and the Voice of America, spending the majority of her career covering stories from the Horn of Africa. Through her work, she has developed a vast network of media contacts including those based in the region and the diaspora. She has authored publications that focus on media, migration, development, conflicts in the Horn of Africa and diaspora communities in Europe. She completed her PhD in Journalism and is an expert on diasporic media and development communications.
She is currently working on the Research and Evidence Facility on Migration and Conflict in the Horn of Africa. She is also a Research Associate of the Development Studies department. 


Helena Pérez Niño

Helena  is a Research Fellow in Political Economy in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She holds a BA in History from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development and a PhD in Political Economy from SOAS. She received her PhD in 2015 with a dissertation on the social relations of production in export agriculture in the Mozambique-Malawi borderland. After graduating she joined the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Western Cape in South Africa as a Research Fellow.

Helena’s research focuses on the political economy of development in Southern Africa, and on the articulation of agricultural producers and workers with global production networks. She has published on migrant labour, natural resources and foreign aid in Southern Africa. Her work has been funded by the Bloomsbury Colleges, the London International Development Centre and the ESRC.