Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Alina Oswald

Alina Oswald
Doctoral candidate

Humboldt-Universität → Präsidium → Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät → Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften → Geschichte Afrikas II
Visiting address
Hausvogteiplatz 5-7 , Room 304b
Phone number
(303) 66113
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

After completing my undergraduate program in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin, I started the M.A. African Studies program at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University (HU) with a focus on history and Kiswahili. In 2014-2015, I studied for a semester at the University of Dar es Salaam where I took history and sociology courses and extended my Kiswahili knowledge. Having conducted research in Nairobi, I received my M.A. in 2017 with a thesis on a labour history of matatu (minibus) workers in the Kenyan capital. My Ph.D. project focuses on automobility in twentieth-century Kenya and zooms in on the coast and western region. I take a longue durée view of how the transport system developed but also address everyday practices and intersectional issues in the "automobile" societies. Prof. Baz Lecocq supervises my doctoral project for which I receive a completion scholarship from the Stiftung Bildung und Wissenschaft (2023-2024). Prior to that I held an Elsa-Neumann stipend (2019-2022) and received Erasmus+ grants via EAGER Trans-Net (2019, 2022-2023).

In the winter semester of 2017/18, I was an assistant lecturer (Lehrbeauftragte) at the IAAW for the organisation and teaching in a study project on land-use and transport changes in Dar es Salaam. The joint course for B.A. and M.A. students from HU and University of Dar es Salaam was an activity of EAGER Trans-Net.



Scientific discipline and sub-fields:

20th century

History of (East) Africa

History of mobility, transport, and infrastructure


Gender, race and class