Prof. Dr. Dmitri van den Bersselaar

DvdBwebI am a social and cultural historian with an interest in economic history. I specialise in coastal West Africa, specifically Ghana and Nigeria during the 19th and 20th centuries.

I work on African responses to - and involvement in - colonialism, missionary enterprise, trading and business. I have previously explored the impact of colonial interaction on issues of identity, community, and personhood. I have also looked at changing perceptions of status, culture, ethnicity and identity in colonial and postcolonial West Africa, and I have been especially interested in the ways in which Africans appropriate ideas and commodities from outside, and make them meaningful as emblems of local communities and identities. At the moment I am working on the impact of multinational business on local African cultures of work and labour.

I am keen to supervise research students working on projects relating to any of the above areas of interest, and am happy to discuss potential new projects on the basis of a short proposal.

Office Hours: Wednesdays 15:00-17:00
(Please note: shortened office hour on 17.10. only: 15:00-15:45)

E-mail: dmitri.van_den_bersselaar[at]