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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.