Currently working on several research programmes in South Sudan, I have just completed my PhD thesis on the political activity of Southern Sudanese residents in Khartoum, 1969-2013, at Durham University, based on research conducted with returned ‘IDPs’ from Khartoum in rural Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Aweil, and Juba. Initial research was conducted in 2011-2012, with full-time research in 2013 to 2015.
The PhD thesis is a history of South Sudanese political thought, debate, resistance and rebel activity in Khartoum during the second civil war. The focus is on self-education and political discussion within Southern communities: the local self-taught educators and community organisers, running nationalist civic education programmes, youth work and cultural activities – without NGO intervention – in the face of Sudan state violence and community displacement. Themes include race, political education, subversive political activity and South Sudanese ethnic and black nationalism.
My wider research interests include migration, displacement and refugee political engagement; I have a background in legal representation in the UK Immigration and Asylum Tribunal system, representing international refugees in torture, rape and human rights cases. I also write on education, youth, and public participation in South Sudan, and South Sudanese citizenship and political cultures.
I am currently working with the Peace Research Institute Oslo on the closing stages of the major Dynamics of State Failure and Violence project, led by Øystein Rolandsen, and with the British Council South Sudan on qualitative research on informal legal systems in South Sudan, within the EU/DFID Access to Justice Project.
I have worked on the National Archives, Juba, in 2012-2013, as researcher and coordinator with the Rift Valley Institute and South Sudan Ministry of Culture. In my work with the Rift Valley Institute, I organised and ran a public lecture series on constitutionalism and political culture in Juba, South Sudan, 2012. The lectures involved many members of local civil society, political pressure groups, opposition parties, and government representatives, as well as Sudanese academics. The podcasts are available here, with a publication of the resulting debates.
With the University of Juba Centre for Peace and Development Studies Masters programme, I taught a semester course on research methods and ethics, September-November 2013. I have also taught African history in the History Department at Durham University.