Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains
Avenue Jeanne, 44
Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 50 - CP 124
I am an anthropologist of education and development. I am passionate about understanding people’s own thoughts about development and well-being, particularly the knowledge and skills that they find valuable – and how these may conflict with dominant definitions of ‘quality’ education which circulate within international policy and practice. I pursued this line of interest throughout my doctoral research, which investigated how families and young people negotiated between Islamic and secular state schools in northern Senegal. My FNRS post-doc (2018-2021) at the LAMC follows this thread, by investigating the attitudes of Qur’anic school teachers to current reforms of the Islamic education sector in Senegal.
I consider myself to be an applied anthropologist and feel strongly that my academic work should contribute to shaping a more just world through informing policy and practice. I am currently on the board of l’Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement (APAD) and the editorial board of their journal Anthropologie et développement. I have served as the Secretary of the British Association of International and Comparative Education (BAICE) (2015-2018). I have worked for over a decade with research and education-related NGOs in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, providing an anthropological perspective to improve understanding of community dynamics and priorities. I currently work as research consultant with action-research NGO The Grandmother Project-Change Through Culture (GMP) in southern Senegal on adolescent pregnancy, forced marriage, FGM/C, and integrating cultural values and indigenous knowledge into primary school teaching.
Finally, I am an enthusiastic teacher at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. I currently teach the Masters course La religion dans le monde contemporain at the ULB, and give workshops on culture to primary school pupils as part of the ULB’s Université des Enfants initiative. I taught for four years full and part-time at the University of Sussex (2012-2017) and was extremely honoured to be awarded a prize for Outstanding and Innovative Undergraduate Teaching by my wonderful students in 2017. My teaching activities also extend to capacity building of professionals, for instance through the design of a training guide for teachers in Senegal and a toolkit for programmers developing community-based projects relating to FGM.
Prior to taking up this post-doc position, I completed my PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex (2016); an MSc in Cross-Cultural Research Methods at Sussex (2010); an MA in Gender and International Development at the Institute of Development Studies (2007); and a BA in Human Sciences at the University of Oxford (2006). I remain affiliated to the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex as a Postdoctoral Associate.