Dr. Lotte Pelckmans


Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Heussallee 18-24
53111 Bonn


Dr. Lotte Pelckmans.jpg
© L. Pelckmans

Lotte Pelckmans is an anthropologist and the bulk of her work focuses on the intersections between slavery, inequality and mobility in French West Africa (Sahel). She graduated from Leiden University, the Netherlands and did a PhD at the African Studies Centre in Leiden from 2005 to 2009, researching family histories of mobility, emancipation and identity of people with slave descent in Mali. The resulting book ‘Travelling Hierarchies’, points to the reconfigurations of hierarchical relations inherited from the slave past among migrants of the Fulbe group.
Between 2010-2011 she has been teaching and supervising on ethnography, identity and mobility as assistant professor at Nijmegen University, the Netherlands. From there Lotte engaged in a postdoc at the Centre for African Studies in Paris (former CEAF, part of EHESS) analysing Anti-Slavery Movements in West Africa and in the West African diaspora. Between 2013-2014, she was postdoc and vice-coordinator in a project on visuals, African conflict and media (http://www.connecting-in-times-of-duress.nl/) and engaged with Malian migrants’ activism in times of conflict at the department of History, Leiden University. In 2015 she moved to Denmark to work on terrorism, security and radicalisation in the Sahel region, with special attention to social status dynamics, at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).

In 2016 Lotte Pelckmans co-edited the documentary movie ‘River Nomads’, which is about the transnational mobility of nomadic fishermen in West Africa (Nigeria, Niger, Mali). From 2017 she work at the Institute for Advanced Migration Studies (https://amis.ku.dk) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. From 2018 she combined this position with a one-year postdoc in the project readingslavery.au.dk at Literary studies, Aarhus University. From 2018, Lotte also started working as an editorial board member of the recently established journal ‘Slaveries and Post-Slaveries’, based at CIRESC in France. 

Trial and Error: Discursive Displacements and Fractal Authorship of ‘Slave Testimonies’ in African courts

This project focuses on the trajectories of (visually recorded) oral narratives of people with slave status into written testimonies for legal court cases, both in colonial and contemporary ‘post-slavery’ societies of French West Africa.

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