Mr Dan Hodgkinson

Departmental Lecturer in Development Studies

Dan uses ethnographic and archival methods to explore how people represent and reflect upon their past selves and actions during periods of dramatic political and social change. In doing this, he tries to understand the formal and informal rules that govern the institutions which regulate people’s lives, as well as the moments of discursive innovation or violent upheaval through which people reconfigure their place within institutions. His empirical approach is informed by new approaches to oral history and ethnographies of story-telling as well as a long-standing interest in phenomenology. He focuses on Southern Africa, specifically Zimbabwe, but has a wider interest in East and Central Africa. Currently, Dan is completing his DPhil which explores several generations of university student activists in Zimbabwe and Rhodesia who used their elite status to challenge the state and other political authorities.

Prior to this, Dan worked for several years as a strategy consultant with a private consulting firm for clients that included the UN-Global Compact, Save the Children, and the Council for Europe. He has also worked as a research officer for a private philanthropy organization on their Central Africa programs as well as for the Commonwealth Secretariat.   

Dan did the MSc in African Studies at Oxford and his undergraduate in History and War Studies at King’s College London, where he was a Jelf Medalist. He is the current ORISHA scholar and a Beit Finalist. He was born and raised in Manchester, where his footballing loyalties lie.

In the media
Marked out: histories of student protest in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, 1957 to now

Dan has taught on the Core Course (a year-long course) for the MPhil in International Development, a broad-ranging course which explores the key debates and issues in the field of International Development. Teaching duties included leading weekly seminar discussions (of around 13 students), setting readings across three terms, and supporting students with any additional concerns they had.

For the past three years, he has also run the mentoring programme for the MSc in African Studies, which involves supporting masters’ students in approaching their academic studies. He is also completing the HEA accredited DLT award with the Oxford Learning Institute and has experiences in secondary school teaching. 

In addition to teaching, Dan over the last year has convened two seminar series here at Oxford: the Southern African Discussion Group (covering Professor Alexander on sabbatical) and the ODID DPhil Seminar Series (co-convened with Felipe Roa-Clavijo).

Research Students supervised

Journal articles and special issues

Conference papers

Hodgkinson, Dan (2016) 'Rebellious Youth, Student Protests and the Rhodesian Sixties', Paper for the Revisiting 1968 and the Global Sixties Conference, NYU-Abu Dhabi, 19-21 September
Hodgkinson, Dan (2016) 'Cutting Ties That Bind: Stories and Memories of Black Student Activism in Southern Rhodesia, 1957-1965', Paper presented at the Student Activism Reconsidered Workshop, Oxford University, 28 July
Hodgkinson, Dan (2016) 'Cutting Ties That Bind: Decolonization and Late-Colonial Student Protest in Rhodesia, 1962-1973', Paper presented at the Decolonizing the Academy Conference, Edinburgh University, 21-22 April
Hodgkinson, Dan (2016) 'Politics Beyond the Frontier: Black Rhodesian students, the politics of ‘exile’, and the Commonwealth Special Programme, 1966-1980', Paper presented at the Workshop in African Intellectual History, Yale University, 31 March-2 April
Hodgkinson, Dan (2015) 'Bringing the Point Home: The Personal and Political Efficacy of Tamuka Chirimamboa’s Student Activism, 1999-2004', Paper for the 'Student Protesters and Social Change: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?' panel at the 6th European Conference on African Studies, Paris-Sorbonne, 8-10 July
Hodgkinson, Dan (2015) 'Awkward Awakenings: The 1989 University of Zimbabwe Student Protests as Post-Colonial Criticism', Filling Pails, Lighting Fires: Social Order in Africa Workshop, Oxford University, 22 June
28 June, 2017
Nine academics and students to present at ECAS7 in Basel
30 November, 2016
ODID Africa specialists to present at ASA 2016
29 June, 2015
Filling Pails, Lighting Fires: Social Order in Africa Workshop
07 Sep, 2016
'Why unemployed graduates will ignore Zimbabwe’s ban on protests'. DPhil Dan Hodgkinson writes for The Conversation
06 Nov, 2015
‘Five Lessons from Zimbabwe’s Game-Changing Student Protests’. Dan Hodgkinson writes for The Conversation
03 Apr, 2015
‘Double Take - How does education affect politics in Africa?’. Dan Hodgkinson writes for Democracy In Africa
Research interests:

Southern and Eastern Africa; Zimbabwe; protest and political order; race and nationalism; intellectual and social history; oral history.