Mirjam de Bruijn

Mirjam de Bruijn is Professor of Citizenship and Identities in Africa at the African Studies Centre Leiden as of 1 September 2017. She is an anthropologist whose work has a clearly interdisciplinary character, with a preference for contemporary history and cultural studies. She focuses on the interrelationship between agency, marginality, mobility, communication and technology.  She is an Africanist with a focus on West and Central Africa. She has done extensive (qualitative) fieldwork in Cameroon, Chad and Mali. Her specific fields of interest are: nomadism, youth and children, social (in)security, poverty, marginality/social and economic exclusion, violence, human rights, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

In Mali she has worked in the Mopti area with the Fulbe (Peul) and in Menaka with the Tamacheck (Tuareg). In Chad she has worked in N’Djamena (the capital) and in Central Chad with Hadjerai and Arab groups. In Cameroon she works in the Grassfields and the North. Her recent research focuses on urban youth and artists and their role in political movements.

From 2008 to 2013 Mirjam coordinated the research programme ‘Mobile Africa Revisited’, a comparative study of the interrelationship between Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), agency, marginality and mobility patterns in Africa. In 2012 Mirjam was awarded a Vici grant (NWO) for the research programme ‘Connecting in times of duress: understanding communication and conflict in Middle Africa’s mobile margins’. Since 2013 she has developed the project ‘Voice4Thought’ (V4T), which is an example of valorization of research. Recently she received funding from the World Bank for a project on Mobile Money (2015-2016) in Africa and from UNICEF (2016-2018) to develop a project on child soldiers in the Central African Republic.

Mirjam de Bruijn was appointed Professor of Contemporary History and Anthropology of Africa at the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University on 15 June 2007. She gave her inaugural lecture on 5 September 2008.

Fellow member
African Studies Centre Leiden
ASCL staff profile: