Dr Reuben LoffmanSenior Lecturer in African HistoryEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTelephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8346Room Number: ArtsTwo 3.32ProfileTeachingResearchPublicationsSupervisionPublic EngagementProfile I joined Queen Mary in 2013. Having taught English for eight months in Tanzania, I studied for my BA in History at Lancaster University. This was followed by two MAs, at SOAS and Durham University respectively. Afterwards, I completed a PhD at Keele University. Before joining Queen Mary, I taught at Keele University, the University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol. TeachingHST5359 Freedom and Nation: The State in Post-Colonial Africa, 1956-2006 HST5610 Kingdoms, Empires, and Colonisation in African History HST4622 Global Encounters: Conquest and Culture in World History HST4621 History in PracticeUndergraduate TeachingHST6339 – The Atlantic Slave Trade: Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth CenturiesHST6737 – The 'Heart of Darkness'? Identity, Power and Politics in the Congo c.1870-2010ResearchResearch Interests:My research principally focuses on the work of foreign Christian missionaries in Central Africa. Although I am interested in all aspects of missionary history, my main research focus is on the intersection between Christianity and the construction of statehood; colonial and beyond. My first book, Church, State, and Colonialism in Southeastern Congo, 1890-1962, focused on Catholic missionaries in what is now the Tanganyika province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It argued that missionaries were not a seamless part of a colonial triumvirate in Congo but in fact had a competitively collaborative relationship with Belgian rulers that saw them disagree fervently with the latter on occasion. For more information, the book has been reviewed here, here, and here. This research speaks not only to debates within mission history but also to wider public concerns about the role of the Church in empires. As such, in 2022, I was called on to give a testimony before the Special Committee on the Colonial Past convened by the Belgian parliament on the historic role of the Church in Belgian colonial history. More recently, I have become interested in American Protestants and the ways in which they worked in the centre of the DRC. My work has benefitted from a Presbyterian Historical Fellowship and I explain more about this research here. I am also generally very enthusiastic about teaching the modern history of the DRC and convene a two-semester module in which we examine it in some detail. Aside from my work on mission history, I have a keen interest in the history of the political economy – broadly defined – of African states. I have published on the history of the rubber industry in Africa as well as on development projects, most notably the Nord Shaba Project. I have also published on contemporary Congolese politics in a number of articles in The Conversation as well as in various news outlets such as NBC. This strand of my research is correspondingly nourished by my teaching of the module ‘Freedom and Nation’ in which those who take the module and I discuss the history of the African state from the mid-twentieth century to the twenty-first. On this module, I encourage my fellow historians to write blogs about present-day topics informed by their understanding of the past. As part of my research into the political economy of African states, I have also developed an interest in the way in which architecture both reflects and determines political relationships in the various states that have occupied the Congo River Basin and have published a chapter on this topic that is freely available here. Publications Books Church, State and Colonialism in Southeastern Congo, 1890-1962 (Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2019) - Shortlisted for the Ecclesiastical History Society Book Prize 2020 Articles (2023) 'Rubber Production in Africa.' In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. Oxford University Press. (2022) 'De Hemptinne, the Benedictines and Catholic Assimilation on the Congolese Copperbelt, 1911-1960,' The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. (2020) ''My Training is Deeply Christian and I am against Violence': Jason Sendwe, the Balubakat, and the Katangese Secession, 1957-1964,' The Journal of African History. (2019) With Benoit Henriet, '‘We Are Left with Barely Anything’: Colonial Rule, Dependency, and the Lever Brothers in the Belgian Congo, 1911–1960,' The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. (2018) 'Same Memory, Different Memorials: The Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), Martyrdom, and the Kongolo Massacre,' Social Sciences and Missions, 31, 3-4, pp.217-250. (2017) ''An Interesting Experiment': Kibangile and the Quest for Chiefly Legitimacy in Kongolo, Northern Katanga, 1923-1934.' International Journal of African Historical Studies, 50, 3, pp.461-477. (2017) 'Belgian Rule and its Afterlives: Colonialism, Developmentalism, and Mobutism in the Tanganyika District, Southeastern DR-Congo, 1885–1985.' International Labor and Working Class History, 92, pp.47-68. (2016) 'On the Fringes of a Christian Kingdom: The White Fathers, Colonial Rule and the Báhêmbá in Sola, Northern Katanga, 1909-1960.' Journal of Religion in Africa (link is external), 45, 3-4, pp.279-306. (2014) 'An Obscured Revolution? USAID, the North Shaba Project, and the Zaïrian Administration, 1976–1986.' Canadian Journal of African Studies (link is external), 48: 3, pp.425-444. (2012) ‘Men and Women of the Water: The Lokele of Stanleyville and Yakusu under Belgian Rule, 1885-1960.’ African Studies (link is external), 71: 1, pp.52-70. (2011) ‘In the Shadow of the Tree Sultans: African Elites and the Shaping of Early Colonial Politics on the Katangan Frontier.’ Journal of Eastern African Studies (link is external), 5: 3, pp.535-552. Chapters in Books (2024) 'Catholic Missionaries in Central Africa: Violence and the Creation of Religious Statehood in South Eastern Congo during the Partition Era, 1867-1914,' in Eveline Bouwers, (ed.), Catholics and Violence in the Nineteenth Century Global World (London: Routledge), pp.241-260. (2022) 'Living with Ruination: Rural Neglect and the Persistence of 'Grey' Colonial Architecture in Kongolo, Tanganyika, DRC,' in Pierre-Philippe Fraiture, (ed.), Unfinished Histories: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance in Central Africa and Belgium (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2022), pp.189-210. (2021) 'Le Régime du Caoutchouc: Esclavage et Travail Forcé: Le Congo de Léopold II, 1885-1908,' in Paulin Ismard, Benedetta Rossi, and Cécile Vidal, (eds), Les Mondes de L'Esclavage: Une Histoire Comparee (Paris, Seuil), pp.335-340. Review Article (2008) ‘A History of Violence: The State, Youth, and Memory in Contemporary Africa.’ African Affairs, 108: 430, pp.125-133. I have also reviewed books for African Affairs, The Journal of Modern African Studies, the Journal of Southern African Studies, Africa, The Times Literary Supplement and H-Net France. I have also contributed to The Conversation. Supervision I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research on any aspect of sub-Saharan African history from 1850s, including: political authority and trade in the late pre-colonial period; the negotiation of power relations under indirect rule; the politics of decolonisation; the history of local, national, and international development; violence and warfare in Central Africa from 1870s to the present Past PhD Students: Joe MacDonald - 'The Medicine Murder Panic: Colonial Weakness and the Emergence of Nationalism in Basutoland, 1945-1960.' Public EngagementMy public engagement follows three general strands, namely: explaining my research to external stakeholders, providing commentary on the politics of the DRC, and contributing to institutions whose mission(s) dovetail with my commitment to the study of history and/or Africa. In terms of the first strand of my public engagement, I typically explain my research on podcasts readily available to the general public, such as The Know Show Podcast, the Ecclesiastical History Society Podcast, the AskHistorians podcast, or the Mile End Institute Podcast. Sometimes my work is featured on ‘YouTube’ channels, such as The Conversation. I also use Twitter to discuss my research when I can. The second strand of my public engagement typically peaks when there are elections in the Congo. For example, I talked about the 2018 DRC elections with Actualite.cd, Al-Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, and The Conversation. Sometimes I am asked to comment on matters unrelated to elections, such as the return of the tooth of Patrice Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister, to his family. And, along with a number of other historians, I published an essay in Le Soir arguing that there is no lack of historical consensus on the heinous atrocities committed by the Belgian King Leopold II. Thirdly, I am currently on the Advisory Council of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and I was a project officer for African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (ASAUK). As part of my work with the IHR, I contributed to the promotion of the Paul and Adelaide Joseph Archive. And, as project officer for the ASAUK, I helped to facilitate a number of writing workshops in Africa. These were occasions in which scholars based on the continent could meet with editors of journals with international and continental reach to try to promote their work in such publications.