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. I also have an interest in religion and the media, particularly religious print and photography. My first monograph considered the religious encounter in Zimbabwe and my second book was the history of a Southern African transnational Pentecostal movement. The third book, Religious Entanglements, examined missionary and African contributions to the creation of so-called ‘colonial knowledge’ in Belgian Congo/DRC. I am currently working on a broad-based study of Church, State and Society in post-colonial Zimbabwe.
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