Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 35, room 03.11 B-9000 Gent België tel.: +/32/9/331 02 83 fax: +/32/9/264 41 89 e-mail:
1st semester: Monday and Tuesday 16:00h-17:00h
2nd semester: Consultation by appointment
I hold a Master degree in African history from Leiden University and a Ph.D. in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam School for Social Science Research). I have specialised in the history of Africa and the Muslim World. I am fascinated by human, spatial and intellectual tensions of scale (singular case and generalization, individual and collective, space and boundary, micro history and global history), which come to play in politics, social connectivity and processes of identity formation (nationalism, ethnicity, religion, race), and their representations (poetry and song, media stories, oral histories and discourse, and, to a lesser extent photography and film). I try to analyse these through discourse analysis, translocality and, recently, structuration theory. My findings are usually presented as detailed micro histories, taking the connectivity between these histories and larger processes and structures as an integral part of those histories, rather than as their background. In my work, agency is central and it shapes structure, not the other way around (which, in my opinion, denies history to be human endeavour and would make me lose all hope for change).
So far my work has focussed on the contemporary histories of decolonisation and nation building in Francophone West Africa and the Sahara from the perspective of the Kel Tamasheq or Tuareg people, and on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca from West Africa and its various spatial, political, social, religious and economic dimensions. I also like to write long sentences. This could be an influence of my largely francophone topics and its accompanying literature, but it does not have to be.
Here you can find my bibliography
Main publication: Disputed Desert
Courses (in Dutch)