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



  • “Cutting pice and running away: Discipline, education and choice at the  UMCA Boys' Industrial     House, Zanzibar, 1901-1905,” Southern African Review of Education, Vol. 19, No. 2 (December       2013): 9-24.
  • “La Belle Époque from Eastern Africa: An Individual Experience of the ‘Globalizing’ World, 1898-1918,” Journal of Eastern African Studies 13, no.4 (November 2019): 584-600.
  • “The Idea of the Upelekwa: Constructing a Transcontinental Community in Eastern Africa, 1888-1896,” Journal of the History of Ideas 81, no.1 (January 2020): 85-106.
  • “Binding Words: Student Biographical Narratives and Religious Conversion,” in Klaas van Walraven (ed.), The Individual in African History: The Importance of Biography in African Historical Studies (Brill: Leiden and Boston, 2020).
  • “History of the Standard Swahili Language,” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History (Forthcoming).
  • Standard Swahili: Expressions of Belonging and Exclusion in Eastern Africa
    (Book manuscript currently under review).
  • “‘Every person has his own’: Language Standardization and the Universalization of Scientific Knowledge” (Article manuscript currently under review).



  • Sheng: Rise of a Kenyan Swahili Vernacular, by Chege Githiora (Suffolk and Rochester, James Currey, 2018). Published in the Canadian Journal of African Studies (January 2020).



  • African Studies Association, [Virtual] November 2020
    Chair, “Language Policy in Kenya: Multilingualism as Both Problem and    Solution”
  • History of Science Society, [Postponed to November 2021]Moderator and Presenter, “The Creativity of Clerkship”
  • African Studies Association, Boston, MA, November 2019
    Chair and Presenter: “Synchronicity and Divergence: The Multiple Timelines of Standard Swahili”
  • History of Science Society, Utrecht, Netherlands, July 2019
    Moderator and Presenter: “Participation and Demand: Swahili and the Work of the Inter-Territorial Language Committee”
  • 19th Annual Africa Conference at the University of Texas at Austin, March 2019 Presenter on Panel: “Personal Narratives and Questions of Identity in Africa and its Diaspora”
  • “History and Politics of Belonging in African Indian Ocean Societies,” Martin-Luther University, Halle, Germany, June 2018
  • “Belonging Nowhere and Everywhere at Once: Agnes Sapuli and the       Cosmopolitanism of the Universities' Mission”
  • African Studies Association, Chicago, IL, November 2017
    Chair and Presenter: “The Story of Agnes Sapuli: Biography and African Intellectual History”
  • African Literature Association, Yale University, June 2017
    “In the Pages of Msimulizi: Tracing a Swahili Literary Magazine and Network of the Late-Nineteenth Century”
  • African Studies Association, Washington, D.C., December 2016
    “Enthusiasm Among Bibis: Gender, Religion, and Race in Nineteenth Century Zanzibar”
  • African Studies Centre, Leiden University, September 2016
    “Binding Words: Student Biographical Narratives and Religious Conversion”
  • Yale University InterAsia Initiative, Yale University, February 2016
    “Binding Words: Student Conversion Narratives and the Establishment of the Zanzibar Protectorate”
  • African Studies Association, San Diego, CA, November 2015
    “Msimulizi and the Everyday Narration of Community in Eastern Africa, 1888-1896”
  • African Studies Association, Indianapolis, IN, November 2014“'Am I Not Baptised?': Violence, Re-naming and the Students of the Universities' Mission in Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar”