- Dr Barbara Bompani
- Director of the Centre of African Studies; Reader in Africa & International Development; Research Associate at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
- 4.04 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0)131 651 3891
- Research Interests
- African Christianity, Religion and Politics, Religion and Development, Faith-based organisations (FBOs), Religion and Sexuality, LGBTI rights in Africa, public morality, Ugandan Pentecostalism, South African politics.
Feedback and Guidance hours:
Wednesday between 12 and 2.00 pm during teaching term.
- Laurea in Scienze Politiche, University of Bologna
- Master of Science, Centre of African Studies, School of Social and Political Studies, The University of Edinburgh
- PhD, Centre of African Studies, The University of Edinburgh
I have been working in South Africa since 1999 undertaking research on Public Religion with a particular interest on the way religious organisations, religious ideas and religious leaders interact with public and political spheres. My early research focuses on the dialectic relationship between faith organisations, their activities and socio-political action; the production of knowledge around faith, development and the relationship between civil society, society and politics; and the broader scale dynamics of political transformation taking place in South Africa after the end of Apartheid. I have also been involved in a research project looking at the role of Christian churches in Kenya and their role in promoting biotechnology and development. Between 2009 and 2011 I worked on a research project that analysed the role of FBOs in South Africa to support non-citizens during the xenophobic attacks in Spring 2008 and the Churches' critical voice of State intervention. In 2012 I have been awarded a Leverhulme grant to investigate the role of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in framing the public and political discourse around morality, sexuality and nationhood in Uganda. This was a two-year project that has run between August 2012 and July 2014. I am now writing up a monograph and several articles on the topic of Religion, Sexuality and Morality in Africa. In November 2015 I have been a awarded, in collaboration wtih Dr. Sarah Jane Cooper Knock (Edinburgh University) and Dr. Jo Veary (Wits University) with a 3-year grant to investigate innovative methodologies to undertake reserach on urban marginalities in South Africa. The Security at the Margins project is funded by the ESRC and the NRF.
I am interested in supervising PhD theses that focus on: African Christianity, Religion and Politics, Religion and Development, Faith-based Organisations, South African politics; Ugandan politics; African Sexualities; LGBT rights and activism in Africa.
MasterCard Scholars Program
Between 2016 and 2023 I will serve as the Academic Director of the Mastercard Schoalars Program at the University of Edinburgh. Through the generous support of the Mastercard Foundation, over seven years 200 very talented African scholars will be supported in their studies at undergraduate as well as postgraduate level at the University of Edinburgh. I assist the Mastercard team in the provision of additional academic activities and I play a mentorship role to the group of scholars. For more information on the Mastercard scholar program here.
Bompani B. & Valois C. (eds.) (2018) ‘Christian Citizens' and the moral regeneration of the African State. Routlege: London.
Bompani B. & Frahm-Arp M. (eds.) (2010) Development and Politics from Below, Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State. Palgrave-MacMillan: London.
Articles and peer-reviewed chapters
Bompani B (2017) "‘Good Christians, Good Citizens'. Pentecostal-charismatic narratives of citizenship, public action and national belonging in contemporary Uganda" in Bompani B. & Valois C. (eds.) ‘Christian Citizens' and the moral regeneration of the African State. Routlege: London.
Bompani B (2018) 'Religious economies: Pentecostal-charismatic churches and the framing of a new moral order in the neo-liberal Ugandan State' in Wiegratz J., Martiniello G. & Greco E. (eds.) Uganda: The political economy of state and capital after 1986, Zed Books [forthcoming in 2018].
Spiegel, S., Gray, H., Bompani, B., Bardosh, K., & Smith, J. (2016). Decolonising online development studies? Emancipatory aspirations and critical reflections–a case study. Third World Quarterly, 1-21.
Bompani B & Valois C (2016) 'Sexualizing politics: the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, party-politics and the new political dispensation in Uganda' in Critical African Studies, Vol. 8, issue 2, pp. 1-19.
Bompani B (2016) 'South Africa' in Goodhew DJ (eds) Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, Routlege: London [chapter 7].
Bompani B (2016) ‘For God and For My Country’: Pentecostal-charismatic Churches and the Framing of a New Political Discourse in Uganda' in van Klinken A & Chitando E (eds) Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa, Surrey: Routledge [chapter 1].
Bompani B & Terreni Brown S (2015) 'A “religious revolution”? Print media, sexuality and religious discourse in Uganda' in Journal of Eastern African Studies, vol. 9, issue 1, pp. 110-126.
Bompani B (2015) 'Religion and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview' in Tomalin E. (eds) Handbook for Religions and Global Development, London: Routledge [chapter 7].
Bompani B (2014) ‘Beyond disciplinarity: reflections on the study of Religion in International Development' in Journal of Religion and Theology, vol. 21, pp. 309-333.
Bompani B & Smith J (2013) 'Bananas and the Bible: Biotechnology, the Catholic Church and rural development in Kenya' in International Journal of Religion and Society, vol. 4, n.1-2.
Bompani B. (2013) "Local religious organisations performing development: Refugees in the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg" in Journal of International Development [online version]. Print version: Bompani B. (2015) "Local religious organisations performing development: Refugees in the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg" in Journal of International Development, vol. 27, n. 2, pp. 197–212.
Bompani B. (2012) "South African Constitution and the making of a ‘new’ civil society" in Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo, vol. 1
Bompani B. (2012) ‘It is not a shelter, it is a church!’ Religious organisations, the public sphere and xenophobia in South Africa' (chapt. 8) in Hopkins P., Kong L. and Olson E. (eds) Religion and place: landscape, politics and piety, Springer, New York.
Bompani B. and Frahm-Arp M. (2010), "Development and Politics from Below: New Conceptual Interpretations" in Bompani and Frahm-Arp (eds), Development and Politics from Below, Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State, Palgrave-MacMillan, London
Bompani B. and Frahm-Arp M. (2010), "Reflection on Modernisation without Secularisation" in Bompani and Frahm-Arp (eds), Development and Politics from Below, Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State, Palgrave-MacMillan, London
Bompani B. (2010) Religion and Development from Below: Independent Christianity in South Africa in Journal of Religion in Africa, vol. 40, n.3
Bompani B. (2008) African Independent Churches in Post-Apartheid South Africa: New Political Interpretations, in Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 34, n.3
Bompani, B. (2006) Mandela Mania: Mainline Christianity in Post-Apartheid South Africa, in Third World Quarterly, vol. 27, No. 6.
Bompani B. (2002), Pluralismo religioso in Sudafrica: I diversi volti della minoranza musulmana in epoca post-colianale, in Afriche e Orienti. Rivista ai confini tra Africa Mediterraneo e Medio Oriente, vol 1. (Translation: Religious pluralism in South Africa: the different faces of the Muslim minority in the post-colonial era)
Bompani B. (2001), AIDS in Africa: il ruolo delle chiese nella lotta al virus, in Afriche e Orienti. Rivista ai confini tra Africa Mediterraneo e Medio Oriente, vol 1. Translation: AIDS in Africa: the role of churches in fighting the virus
Bompani B. (2000), Percorso Bibliografico. La CristianitÀ in Sudafrica, in Afriche e Orienti. Rivista ai confini tra Africa Mediterraneo e Medio Oriente, vol 4. Translation: Christianity in South Africa: a literature review.
Bompani B. (2019), “Christianity in Africa: Pentecostals and Charismatics” Global Encyclopaedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, Macmillan Reference USA [in print].