New Visiting Scholars

Tasew Tafese Tasew Gashaw, PAS visiting scholar, is a PhD candidate in the field of peace and security at Addis Ababa University’s Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS). His dissertation is entitled “Understanding the Nature of Cross-Border Intergroup Conflicts: A Study of Murle and their Neighbours along the Ethiopia-South Sudan Border.” He has a bachelor’s degree in Ethiopian language and literature and a master’s degree in multicultural and multilingual education from Addis Ababa University. His master’s thesis was focused on the Anyuaa Traditional Conflict Resolution. From 2003 to 2013, Gashaw was a lecturer at Gambella Teacher's Education and Health Science College, and from March 2013 to September 2014, he served as Special Secretary to the President of Gambella People's National Regional State.

Chiara Pagano Chiara Pagano, PAS visiting scholar January-March 2017, is a PhD candidate in African History at the University of Roma Tre doctoral program in European and International Studies. She has been an associate PhD student at the Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain of Tunis. Her research interests concern the historical construction of “identity” and “otherness” as instruments of political control, identification, and mobilization in colonial and post-colonial Libya. In order to better address these themes, she has been conducting her research in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, where she also studied Modern Standard Arabic.

Silvia CristoforiSilvia Cristofori, PAS visiting scholar October-November 2016, is assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Link Campus University (Rome) and Researcher at the Foundation of Religious Sciences (Fscire, Bologna, Italy), National Research Infrastructure for Historical Religious Studies. She has carried out field and archive research in Rwanda, Italy, and France on religious and political Christian movements in modern and contemporary Africa, which continues to be her main research subject. Her publications include a book on the Pentecostal movement in post-genocide Rwanda (L'Harmattan 2011).

Continuing Visiting Scholars

photo of kathleen klausKathleen Klaus, Buffett Postdoctoral Fellow, received her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA from Smith College. Her dissertation and book project, “Claiming Land: Institutions, Narratives, and Political Violence in Kenya,” examines the relationship between land rights and electoral violence. She received support for her research from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Strauss Center (UT-Austin), the United States Institute of Peace, the Social Science Research Council, and the NSF. Her broader research interests include political violence, African politics, elections, and field research methods. She has also conducted extensive fieldwork in Ghana and Malawi. 

photo of nermeen mouftahNermeen Mouftah, Buffett Postdoctoral Fellow, completed her doctoral work at the University of Toronto in 2014. Her ethnographic research explores how religion is defined, marshaled, and condoned in Egypt today by examining charitable and development interventions. She is currently developing her doctoral research into a monograph that examines a particular form of development—literacy development—in order to investigate how activism for, and techniques of, literacy are imbricated in religious reform that shape public religion in post-Mubarak Egypt. Her interaction with charitable organizations prompted her second major research project that explores how religion shapes the legal, biological, and affective negotiations involved in practices of orphan care.

photo of martha wilfahrtMartha Wilfahrt is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. She studies the political economy of development, with a focus on African politics and is affiliated with the Political Science department and the Program in African Studies. Martha's research interests focus on state-society relations in West Africa, with particular attention to how informal institutions and social structures mediate state action and shape development outcomes. Empirically, this involves studying the effect of state-society relations on social service provision, tax collection and regulatory policy. Martha is currently working on a book manuscript, based on her dissertation, that looks at the long-term impact of pre-colonial institutions on the local politics of public goods delivery in rural Senegal. Other on-going projects include a co-authored project on the role of traditional authorities and informal institutions in the 2014-15 Ebola response as well as a series of papers on central-local fiscal transfers in decentralized Senegal.

For more information about becoming a visiting scholar at PAS, please send the following to

  • A resume or CV
  • A detailed outline of your actual academic program while at NU, including your goals and what you intend to do while here. (e.g. conduct research, produce publications, audit classes, etc)
  • Names of faculty members at Northwestern with whom you are interested in interacting.
  • Sources of funding. Please note that the Program of African Studies does not provide funding for your visit.