Inge Brinkman

Professor of African Studies at the Department of African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University 

Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
visiting address: Rozier 44, basement, room: C01.08.

tel: ++32/(0)9 / 264 41 65.


Office hours: on appointment


After having finished my studies in History and African Studies, I received a Ph.D. degree from Leiden University (The Netherlands) in 1996 with a thesis on oral and written literature, identity and gender in Central Kenya. I then worked at Cologne University (Germany) on a post-doctoral research project, studying violence and exile on the basis of fieldwork with refugees from South-East Angola. From 2001 to 2004 I was engaged in research at Ghent University on the relations between nationalism, religion and popular culture in Northern Angola.

In 2005-2006 I carried out a project on the socio-cultural history of forty years of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation at the African Studies Centre in Leiden.

Between 2007 and 2013 I was engaged in a programme on communication technologies, mobility and social relations in historical perspective, with as research focus south-east Angola, while at the same time co-ordinating the programme ( ).

As of 2014 I taught at Ghent University on a part-time basis and carried out historical research within the Kongo King project.

See also:
Programme website: Mobile Africa Revisited
Website African Studies Centre
African Languages and Cultures on Facebook

CV overview

  • 2011-present: teaching African History, Culture and Languages at Ghent University.
  • 2007-2013: research into communication technologies, mobility and social relations, focus on Angola.
  • 2005-2006: research into development practices, policies and theories, in the framework of a project on the socio-cultural history of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
  • 2001-2004: research on religion, popular culture and nationalism in Northern Angola. Religious notions and practices during the war for independence in North Angola, mobility and contact between Congo and Angola during the war. Based on interviews and archival material.
  • 1995-2001: research on violence, mobility, and political legitimacy in South-East Angola. Fieldwork with Angolan refugees in Namibia: their historical interpretations of exile, mobility, violence, the fluidity of identity categories.
  • 1991-1995: intellectual history, as represented in oral and written literary forms, of morality, gender and ethnicity in Central Kenya.

For a complete resumee, click here


  • Methodological orientation: Interdisciplinary: History, Anthropology and Literary Studies, History of Ideas, Mentality History, Socio-Cultural History, Micro-History, Life History, Oral History, Oral Tradition(s) and Popular Culture
  • Themes: Elite Cultures in the History of the Kongo Kingdom, Popular Art Forms in Africa, History of Communication Technologies in Africa, Landscape, Mobility and Social Relations in Africa, War, Violence and Exile in Africa, Identity Categories in Africa, History of Development Cooperation
  • Regions of interest: Sub-Sahara Africa, North Angola (Kongo Kingdom), Southeast Angola, Northern Namibia, Central Kenya



  • 2015/2016

    -       African Literatures I

    -       Language, Culture and Society in Africa I

    -       Language, Culture and Society in Africa II

    -       Fieldwork in Africa

    -       Linguistic Anthropology

    -       Research Seminar (with colleagues)

Main publications

  • Book: Bricks, mortar and capacity building. A socio-cultural history of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (Leiden, Boston: Brill, ASC 2010)
  • Book: „A war for people.’ Civilians, mobility, and legitimacy in south-east Angola during the MPLA’s war for independence (Rüdiger Köppe Verlag: Cologne 2005).

For a list of publications, click here