Dr Reuben Loffman

Lecturer in African History

Location Arts Two 3.32

Email: r.loffman@qmul.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8346

I joined Queen Mary in 2013. Having taught English for eight months in Tanzania, I studied for my BA in History at Lancaster University. This was followed by two MAs, at SOAS and Durham University respectively.

Afterwards, I completed a PhD at Keele University. Before joining Queen Mary, I taught at Keele University, the University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol.


My work highlights the agency of local people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and their responses to imperialism, war, and international development following formal decolonisation in 1960. My research explores relations between local intermediaries, state cadres, and international actors. In particular, I am interested in the spaces that Congolese people carved out over and above authoritarian rule and how these spaces affected patterns of development, governance, and violence.

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate supervision 

I  welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research  on any aspect of sub-Saharan African history from 1850s, including:  

  • political authority and trade in the late pre-colonial period;
  • the negotiation of power relations under indirect rule;
  • the politics of decolonisation;
  • the history of local, national, and international development;
  • violence and warfare in Central Africa from 1870s to the present



  • (2016) 'On the Fringes of a Christian Kingdom: The White Fathers, Colonial Rule and the Báhêmbá in Sola, Northern Katanga, 1909-1960.' Journal of Religion in Africa, 45, 3-4, pp.279-306.
  • (2014) 'An Obscured Revolution? USAID, the North Shaba Project, and the Zaïrian Administration, 1976–1986.' Canadian Journal of African Studies, 48: 3, pp.425-444.
  • (2012) ‘Men and Women of the Water: The Lokele of Stanleyville and Yakusu under Belgian Rule, 1885-1960.’ African Studies, 71: 1, pp.52-70.
  • (2011) ‘In the Shadow of the Tree Sultans: African Elites and the Shaping of Early Colonial Politics on the Katangan Frontier.’ Journal of Eastern African Studies, 5: 3, pp.535-552.

Review Article

(2008) ‘A History of Violence: The State, Youth, and Memory in Contemporary Africa.’ African Affairs, 108: 430, pp.125-133.

I have also reviewed books for African Affairs and the Journal of Modern African Studies and the Journal of South African Studies 

Membership of professional associations or societies


In 2012, I was runner-up for the B. W. Vilakazi Prize for early career contributions to the journal African Studies

Appearances in the media

 Power FM From Mobutu to Kabila, The DRC is paying a heavy price for autocrats at its helm

I have written for pieces for The Conversation:


 I tweet from @ReubenLoffman