Dr Benedetta Rossi //
University of Birmingham, UK
Benedetta trained as an anthropologist, completing her PhD in 2002 at the Department of Social Anthropology of the London School of Economics, with a thesis on the social impacts of planned development in the mixed Hausa and Tuareg region of Ader (southern Niger). Research suggested that development discourses misrepresent Ader society; rather than understanding Ader from the perspective of aid she decided to look at aid from the viewpoint of Ader’s longer social and political history.
In 2005 she was awarded a three-year ESRC research grant located at SOAS, researching transformations of Ader social hierarchies from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. In 2007 she took up an RCUK Fellowship at the History Department of the University of Liverpool, during which she conducted 5 months of research in Niger, within an international research consortium coordinated by the Institut de Recherche pour le Dévelopement (Paris); focusing research on how different groups (e.g. nomadic herders, free Hausa traders, slave descendants) changed their ways of moving throughout the twentieth century.
Benedetta has designed and directed an MA in International Slavery Studies at University of Liverpool, co-directed the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, and taught specialist modules on West African history and historiography. In 2012 she joined the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.