As of July, 2013, I am an Associate Professor in the Departments for the Study of Religion and Political Science at the University of Toronto. I joined the Departments as an Assistant Professor in 2008 – an interdisciplinary position created under the impetus of the University of Toronto’s Religion and the Public Sphere Initiative that complements the interdisciplinary nature of my research. I came to the University of Toronto from Nigeria, where I was Director of the French government-funded Institute for Research in Africa at the University of Ibadan for two years, preceded by three years in Senegal, and three in Ivory Coast; eight years in Africa during which my academic base was in Paris at the Centre d’Etudes des Mondes Africains, U. of Paris I – CNRS. I began field research on Pentecostalism in Nigeria in 1992 for my D.Phil in Politics at Oxford, and in 1996, I began a 4-year position as Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
I have spent the better part of my academic career living and working in Africa and African universities, much the time engaged in the study of Pentecostalism and religion in Africa, with a five year hiatus during my residence in Ivory Coast during the civil war, when I was drawn into researching the Ivorian crisis. During the crisis, I consulted for the International Crisis Group and the UN Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, and then received a H. F. Guggenheim Fellowship for my project The War of Who is Who: Youth, Belonging and the Crisis of Citizenship in the Ivory Coast, which examined the revitalization and radicalization of notions of autochthony through ethnographic research on southern youth organized into “patriotic” associations, militias and para-military groups. I have published several articles on the Ivorian crisis in books and journals.
I’m also involved with the Religion in the Public Sphere initiative at the Department for the Study of Religion, and was co-convenor of the Working Group on Religion, Culture and Politics sponsored by the Jackman Humanities Institute between 2009-2011.