Biography

After travelling through West Africa, I decided to study African history. For my doctoral dissertation I conducted fieldwork in the southern region of Senegal, a part of the country claimed by an armed separatist movement. Researching masquerading, I found that the object of my research was defined as secret by my interlocutors. I became more interested in anthropological understandings of the practice of secrecy and how this practice enables people to produce locality in an increasingly globalising world. This is when my academic orientation shifted towards anthropology. My doctoral dissertation demonstrates how people engage modernity on their own terms through secretive performances. Since masquerading is a form of performance, I was happy to take up the opportunity to teach African art and performance at the School of Art History and World Art Studies. Here I developed new interests in art, performance and memory. I became interested in heritage, as one of the masquerades I had researched in Senegal was declared UNESCO World Heritage. At present, I am developing research and teaching in the archive and postcolonial futures.

Academic Background

M.A. in History, Erasmus University Rotterdam (1992)
Ph.D in Social Science, University of Amsterdam (2001)  

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