Dmitri van den Bersselaar

I am a social and cultural historian with an interest in economic history. I specialise in coastal West Africa, specifically Ghana and Nigeria during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Leiden University: MA in History (1992)
Leiden University: PhD in Social Science (1998)

University of Leipzig: Professor in African History (since 2017)
University of Liverpool: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in History (1999-2012) Reader (2012-2017)
Leiden University: Lecturer; Study Advisor (1996-1999)

I work on African responses to - and involvement in - colonialism, missionary enterprise, trading and business. I have previously explored the impact of colonial interaction on issues of identity, community, and personhood. I have also looked at changing perceptions of status, culture, ethnicity and identity in colonial and postcolonial West Africa, and I have been especially interested in the ways in which Africans appropriate ideas and commodities from outside, and make them meaningful as emblems of local communities and identities. At the moment I am working on the impact of multinational business on local African cultures of work and labour.