Our editors

Based in Germany, a team of Swahili scholars from Europe and Eastern Africa is working together in editing and publishing Swahili Forum. The editors are supported by an exquisite editorial board which consists of Swahili scholars and intellectuals of international renown.

Anthropology, University of Trier, Germany.

  • Post-doc Researcher
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2011.

Research Interests in Media Anthropology, Migration/Refugees and Social Media in East Africa, Swahili Film.

For further information:

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium / Leiden University

  • Linguist / Swahili lecturer.
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2008.

Research Interests: Bantu descriptive and comparative linguistics, grammaticalization, Mozambican Swahili dialects, Swahili linguistics.

For further information:

Department of African Studies, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.

  • Lecturer in Swahili Language and Literature
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2000

Research interests in contemporary Swahili literature, comparative East African literature, Swahili terminology, and East African colonial and post-colonial history.

For further information:

Department of "Asia, African and Mediterranean", University of Naples "L'Orientale", Italy.
Department "Literaturen in Afrikanischen Sprachen" (BIGSAS associated), University of Bayreuth, Germany.

  • PhD student.
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2015.

Research Interests: East-African Literatures, Comparative Literature, Theories and practices of Translation, Aesthetics of Literature, Hermeneutics, Philosophy.

For further information:

Department of Kiswahili, Institute of African Studies, Kenyatta University, Kenya

  • Lecturer in Kiswahili Literature since 1987
  • Editor for Swahili Forum since 2015

Research interests in: political discourse, Kiswahili literature (gender issues, oral literature, translated Kiswahili, novel and play, children's literature, Sheng, contemporary Kiswahili, literature and curriculum development and implementation in Kiswahili and African Languages.

For further information:

Asien-Afrika-Institut, Hamburg University, Germany

  • Lecturer of Swahili
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2003.

Research Interests: Swahili language and literature, Swahili popular culture (literature and music), African orature, youth language in Tansania, teaching of Swahili as a foreign language.

For further information

Department of Literature, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

  • Lecturer of Literature since 2004.
  • Editor for Swahili Forum since 2015

Research Interests: Swahilophone and Anglophone Literature, Gender and Literary Criticism, Educational Studies.

Fur further information:

Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth, Germany.

  • Research Fellow.
  • Lecturer for Swahili Language since 2015.
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2015.

Research Interests: Swahili Language and Literature, Translation History, Postcolonial Translation Theories, Sociology of Translation, Cognitive Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics.

For further information:

Afrikanistik I, Bayreuth University, Germany.

  • Professor of African Languages.
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2005.

Research Interests in pragmatic and poetic aspects of African languages as well as historical perspectives of language contact and change in Eastern Africa and lusophone Africa.

For further information:

Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, Austria

  • Senior Lecturer Swahili
  • Post doc researcher
  • Editor of Swahili Forum since 2017

Research Interests: Non-Standard Varieties of Swahili, Swahili and Societies, Swahili Second Language Acquisition and Discourse Analysis, Sociolinguistics, Plurilingualism/ transnational language use, Language and power, Language and history, Employment-tied housing in (post)-colonial Africa: Lubumbashi (DR Congo)

For further information:

  • Rose Marie Beck (1993-2015)
  • Natascha Bing (2012-2018)
  • Irene Brunotti (2012-2017)
  • Thomas Geider (1993-2010 †)
  • Werner Gräbner (1993-2002)
  • Ingo Heine (1997)
  • Jean-de-Dieu Karangwa  (2015-2017 †)
  • Manuela Kirberg (2012-2015)
  • Angelus Mnenuka (2015-2019)
  • Nico Nassenstein (2017-2020)

Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of Swahili Forum provides advice about the content and the policy of the journal as and when needed, and comprises esteemed professionals from all major fields within the Swahili Studies to guarantee representation across all fields.

  • Abdilatif Abdalla (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • Sauda Ali Barwani (University of Hamburg, Germany)
  • Rose Marie Beck (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • Pat Caplan (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK)
  • Nelli Gromova (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Thomas Hinnebusch (University of California, USA)
  • Mark Horton (University of Bristol, UK)
  • Arvi Hurskainen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Said Ahmed Mohamed Khamis (University of Bayreuth, Germany)
  • Geoffrey Kitula King’ei (Kenyatta University, Kenya)
  • Kjersti Larsen (University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Françoise Le Guennec-Coppens (CNRS-LACITO, Paris, France)
  • Gudrun Miehe (University of Bayreuth, Germany)
  • Wilhelm J. G. Möhlig (University of Cologne, Germany)
  • Georges Mulumbwa (University of Lubumbashi, DR Congo)
  • Aldin K. Mutembei (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • David Parkin (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Ridder Samsom (University of Hamburg, Germany)
  • Peter Seitel (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington D.C., USA)
  • Thilo Schadeberg (Leiden University, Netherlands)
  • Walter Schicho (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Farouk Topan (The Aga Khan University, London, UK)
  • Saida Yahya-Othman (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • Elena Bertoncini Zúbková (University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Italy)
  • Euphrase Kezilahabi (University of Botswana, Botswana)
  • Alain Ricard (CNRS-LAM, Bordeaux, France)

Mungu awalaze mahali pema peponi!

Editorial Advisor and Technical Editor: Irene Brunotti.


beginnings and background

Swahili Forum was launched in 1993 by Rose Marie Beck, Thomas Geider and Werner Graebner in order to provide the international academic community of Swahili Studies with a consistent platform of scholarly articles. The first issue was published in 1994.

Two initiatives paved the way to the founding of the journal. Firstly, the establishment, in 1984, of the newsletter Swahili Language and Society: Notes and News (SLS: NN) providing information on researchers, projects, new publications and the teaching of Kiswahili worldwide along with short articles and reviews. The newsletter was edited by Joan Maw, Lourenco Noronha and (from 1989 onwards) Karl Thomanek at the Institute for African Language Studies, University of Vienna, Austria. Secondly, the monograph series Working Papers on Kiswahili (WPK), which included articles related to ongoing research in Swahili linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and literary studies. Initiated by Marcel van Spaandonck and Jan Blommaert, it was published, from 1987 onwards, by the Seminar of Swahili and the Language Problems of Developing Nations, at the University of Ghent, Belgium. By 1993, both WPK and SLS: NN had ceased to exist with the release of a final volume (No. 10) of the latter, edited by Jan Blommaert at the International Pragmatics Association, Antwerp, Belgium.

from Cologne via Mainz to Leipzig, and from print to online

Swahili Forum was established to provide a new platform for scholarly articles. The journal was published as an annual issue of the quarterly Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere (AAP) at the Institute for African Studies, University of Cologne, Germany. After publishing nine issues in print, the editors decided to transform the journal into an open-access online publication. At the same time, the editors decided to become independent of AAP — which was transformed into the Annual Publications in African Linguistics (APAL) — and moved their affiliation to the Institute of Social Anthropology and African Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz where it also received support by the Sulzmann Foundation

In 2003, the tenth issue was published as the first online volume, and also as the first special issue (a bibliography of Swahili Studies by Thomas Geider). After publishing eight issues with the affiliation in Mainz, the journal found a new home at the University of Leipzig in 2012, where it was provided with a new website. The current website has received a new structure and design in 2021.

ties with the Swahili Colloquium and scope of Swahili Forum

From the onset, one of the aims of Swahili Forum was to provide the participants of the Swahili Colloquium with a platform for submitting their papers. The ties with this international annual Swahili studies conference, founded by Gudrun Miehe in 1987 at Goethe University Frankfurt and then moved to the University of Bayreuth, have remained close ones ever since.

Since its foundation the Swahili Forum aims to attract authors working on all aspects of Swahili language, literature, culture, society, politics, history, religion and philosophy.

You may also like

Browse Journal

Read more

Special Issues

Read more

Submit paper

Read more

DOAJ since 2005
ISSN 1614-2373