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Dr Nicki Kindersley

Harry F Guggenheim Research Fellow, Pembroke College


Nicki is the Harry F Guggenheim Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and a member of the World History group. She received her PhD in history from Durham University, based on research in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan over 2012-2015. Before joining Cambridge, she was a research associate with the School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University; consulting researcher with the Peace Research Institute Oslo; and visiting lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Development Studies, Juba University, South Sudan.

Research Interests

Nicki's work focuses on popular political organisation and resistance. She is currently pursuing two academic projects. Her book project focuses on the political activity of Southern Sudanese residents in Khartoum, 1969-2013, as a history of South Sudanese political thought, debate, resistance and rebel activity during the second civil war, based on personal histories and private archives of refugee and displaced persons' political writings. Nicki is also the European fellow on a Volkswagen Stiftung and University of Khartoum project 'Identity, Nationality and Citizenship for South Sudanese communities', with Dr. Mohamed A. G. Bakhit: her sub-project focuses on ideas of good governance, borders and civic rights on the South Sudan-Uganda borderlands over the long twentieth century to present.


Nicki is co-convenor of 'The Bandung Moment' Themes & Sources paper for 2018-19.

Other Professional Activities

Over 2012-2013, Nicki was the co-ordinator of the South Sudan National Archives project for the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) and South Sudan Ministry of Culture. She led emergency reclamation and the establishment of on-going digitization work with government staff, on a rotting and termite-ridden repository of unique material from 1901 to 1985.

Nicki works on several applied research projects for government and donor bodies, including with the Rift Valley Institute and the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Nicki is co-Director of Studies with Dr Magdi el-Gizouli on the Rift Valley Institute Sudan and South Sudan Field Course. The course provides critical grounding for newly-posted diplomatic and humanitarian heads of mission in the Sudans.

Key Publications

‘Politics, power and chiefship in famine and war: A study of the former Northern Bahr el Ghazal State', Rift Valley Institute Customary Authorities Project for the Swiss Embassy South Sudan (April 2018).

'The role of transnational networks and mobile citizens in South Sudan's global community: A pilot study focused on Melbourne and Juba', Rift Valley Institute for the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa (March 2018).

*Kindersley, N., & Ø. H. Rolandsen. ‘Civil war on a shoestring: how legacies of violence shape rebellion in South Sudan’s Equatoria region.’ Civil Wars 19:3 (2017).

‘New Histories of New Nations: South Sudan and Sudanese history’. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 18:3 (2017).

‘Subject(s) to control: post-war return migration and state-building in 1970s South Sudan.’ Journal of Eastern African Studies 11:2 (2017).

*Kindersley, N., and Ø. H. Rolandsen. ‘Briefing: Prospects for peace and the UN Regional Protection Force in South Sudan.’ African Affairs (2016), Online Issue: South Sudan.

‘Southern Sudanese autobiographical accounts of displacement, migration, and return “home”.’ History in Africa 42 (June 2015) pp. 203-237.