My most recent research project
, funded by the European Research Council (2016-2021), focused on the social history of the mining towns of DR Congo and Zambia, the Central African Copperbelt. This project generated new understandings of this much-studied urban region, demonstrating the ways in which earlier foci on capital, colonial and nation-states and organised male labour, have neglected key aspects of social change as it affected and was shaped by, among other factors, women traders and agriculturalists, informal communities, cultural history and environmental change. In historicising decades of academic and policy research about the Copperbelt region, and bringing it into conversation with local understandings of its societies, the project enabled new understandings of the relationship between social history and knowledge production. The project, carried out with a team of post-doctoral research associates, generated seven journal articles, an edited book, Across the Copperbelt
(2021), and my own book Living for the City
, all of which are available fully Open Access.