Professor David Maxwell
I studied for my BA in History at Manchester University. This was followed by 3 years teaching in a rural secondary school in Manicaland, Zimbabwe before returning to St Antony’s College, Oxford to take a D. Phil in African History. After a Fellowship in the Social Anthropology Department at Manchester University I was appointed Lecturer in International History at Keele University in 1994. I was made Professor of African History at Keele in 2007 before joining the History Faculty in Cambridge.
I have held Visiting Fellowships/Residencies at the University of Western Australia, Basel University, Switzerland and the Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy. I have also been Honorary Fellow at the University of Zimbabwe; Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and the Département des Sciences Historiques, University of Lubumbashi, DRC. I have been awarded major reseach grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (x2); the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and most recently a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2016-18).
I am an historian of African Christianity who has written on mission history in colonial and post-colonial settings; the religious encounter of Christianity with African traditional religion; indigenous African Christian movements; Pentecostalism, transnationalism and religious globalisation. My first monograph considered the religious encounter in Zimbabwe and my second book was the history of a Southern African transnational Pentecostal movement. I am currently researching the missionary and African contributions to the creation of so-called ‘colonial knowledge’ in Belgian Congo/DRC. I also have an interest in religion and the media, particularly religious print and photography.
I am particularly interested in supervising graduate work in any of the following areas:
The 19th and 20th century missionary movement;
Pentecostalism and religious transnationalism;
Religious movements and politics;
The history of colonial science;
The missionary encounter in southern and central Africa;
And more generally the social and cultural history of central and southern Africa
My main teaching contributions are:
History Part I: Paper 23 (World History Since 1914);
History Part II: Paper 29 (History of Africa since 1800);
History Part II: Special Subject O Missionary science, ethnic formation and the religious encounter in Belgian Congo, 1908-60
Divinity Part II, Paper C4 (Themes in World Christianity);
M.Phil. African Studies Options: Religious Movements and Politics in 19th and 20thCentury Africa &
‘Christianity, Identity and Social Change in Africa’
Member of the editorial boards of Critical African Studies; The Journal of Ecclesiastical History; The Journal of Southern African Studies; The Journal of Religion in Africa; Social Sciences and Missions; Studies in Christian Mission, (E.J. Brill).
President of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (ASAUK), 2014-16
Tags & Themes
St Andrew's Street
Cambridge CB2 3AP
Office Phone: 01223 334258