Monthly Archives: November 2017

T. Jack Thompson

JackThompsonHistory of Christianity in Africa

Born in Belfast in 1943, T. Jack Thompson read modern history at Queen’s University before going to Edinburgh for postgraduate studies and a Ph.D. He worked as a missionary in Malawi for 13 years, after which he went to work as a lecturer at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham. In 1993 he became a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where he taught African Christianity and eventually became the director of the Center for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World.

An superb historian, Thompson wrote 3 books on Christianity in Malawi (Christianity in Northern Malawi: Donald Fraser’s Missionary Methods and Ngoni Culture, 1995; Touching the heart: Xhosa Missionaries to Malawi, 1876-1888, 2000; and Ngoni, Xhosa and Scot: Religious and Cultural Interactions in Malawi, 2007). His last volume was a particularly well-received volume entitled Light on Darkness: Missionary Photography in Africa in the 19th C and early 20th C (2012).

Thompson passed away in August 2017. Two years before, he contacted me to see whether he could apply for a Queen’s Higher Doctorate.  This was possible and we discussed procedure. Somehow Jack did not follow it up. I presume his health got in the way. It was a great pity for this would have been a perfect closing act for a unique student from Queen’s who went on to have a distinguished academic career “across the water” in the history of Africa.

Workshop: “Sounding Violence in West Africa”

Dr Mohomodou Houssouba
Dr Mohomodou Houssouba

“Sounding violence. Music, Ritual &  Poetry in Contemporary West Africa”

Workshop organised by Dr Theodore Konkouris & Dr Eric Morier-Genoud, Queen’s University Belfast, 27 October 2017


Session I. Ambiguity, Aggression and Presentation in Hunters’ Brotherhoods
(Chair: Dr Eric Morier-Genoud)
10:00-11:00 Dr. Theodore Konkouris (QUB)
“I am sorry that we made you bleed”: Locality and Apprenticeship among the Mande Hunters in Mali’

11:00-12:00 Dr. Lorenzo Ferrarini (Manchester)
‘Re-sounding hierarchies: music, visual display and aggression at donso hunter gatherings in Burkina Faso’

Session II: Poetry and Conflict
(Chair: Dr. Theodore Konkouris)
13:00-14:00 Dr. Mohomodou Houssouba (University of Basel)
‘Conflict in writing: the poetics of lyrics in Songhoy Blues’

14:00-16:30 FILM projection: ‘They will have to kill us first’ (2015, 1h 45m)
Introduction by Dr Alexander Fisher


Joshua A. Alokan

btyFirst African student in History at QUB

Born in Ekiti state in 1921, Nigerian student Joshua Adeware Alokan arrived at Queen’s University in 1957. He was the first African student in the departement of History, coming with a Nigerian Federal Scholarship. He graduated in 1961 and chose not to continue with graduate studies. Instead he chose (in spite of available funding) to return to Nigeria to work for his church. He developped thereafter a most successful carreer as a pastor for the Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria and as a lecturer in several Teacher Colleges – becoming the principal of the Divisional Teachers’ College in Oye Ekiti and Erifun for 22 years. He passed away in 2015. Attached is the cover of the celebration book for his funeral (courtesy of his son, Dr Olusegun P.  Alokan, senior lecturer at Joseph Ayo Babaloal University, Nigeria). Joshua Alokan wrote several books, among which Idasile ati Idagba soke Ijo CAC Nilu Efon (1975); The Christ Apostolic Church, 1928-88 (1991), Church Worship (1996); The Origin, Growth and Development of Efon-Alaaye Kingdom (2004); Christ Apostolic Church at 90 (2010); and Medaiyese: A Patriarch and Promoter of Pentecostalism in Nigeria (2014). He also wrote his own memoirs entitled Cradle and Beyond: an autobiography (2000). For more on his life, see his obituary on Queen’s website:—all/obits—joshua-adeware