The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
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.