Dr Dan Hodgkinson

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Dan is an oral historian who 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 and intellectual history. He focuses on Southern Africa, specifically Zimbabwe, but has a wider interest in East and Central Africa.

Dan recently completed his doctorate that explored several generations of university student activists in Zimbabwe and Rhodesia who used their elite status to challenge the state and other political authorities. This project is now being converted into a book. Prior to this, Dan worked for several years as a strategy consultant on Central Africa programmes with a private philanthropy organisation and a private consulting firm for clients that included the UN-Global Compact, Save the Children, and the Council for Europe.

He was born and raised in Manchester, where his footballing loyalties lie.

Please note Dr Hodgkinson is not available to supervise doctoral students.

In the media
Visions of Life: The Creation of Postcolonial Screen Cultures in Africa
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


Hodgkinson, Dan (2018) 'Subversive Communities and the "Rhodesian Sixties": An Exploration of Transnational Protests, 1965–1973'. In Chen Jian, Martin Klimke, Masha Kirasirova, Mary Nolan, Marilyn Young and Joanna Waley-Cohen (eds) The Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties , Routledge

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
26 May, 2023
Twelve ODID academics and DPhils to present at ECAS 2023
15 June, 2021
New article by Dan Hodgkinson explores refugee student activists and Zimbabwe's liberation struggle
03 July, 2020
ODID awarded two Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships
24 September, 2019
New article by Dan Hodgkinson explores political change in Zimbabwe
11 June, 2019
ODID academics and students presenting at ECAS2019
22 May, 2019
Dan Hodgkinson wins Teaching Excellence Award
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
10 Mar, 2021
'The age of agitation: African politics and the question of youth'. Dan Hodgkinson and co-authors introduce the first in a new blog series for African Arguments, which takes a generational perspective on social movements across Africa and asks, how are young people mobilising for political change?
17 Jan, 2019
'#ZimbabweShutdown and ZANU(PF)’s neo-liberal turn (… again)'. Dan Hodgkinson writes for Africa is a Country
30 Oct, 2018
'I don't think that we can shy away from the legacies of the slave trade and how they're still with us'. Dan Hodgkinson joins debate on university slave trade reparations on BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback
20 Feb, 2018
'A man of the people: Morgan Tsvangirai'. Obituary of Zimbabwe opposition leader by Dan Hodgkinson published on Africa is a Country
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.