Profile: Katrien Pype, PhD, social and cultural anthropology (media in DR Congo)


KATRIEN PYPE earned her Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Anthropology (2008, K.U.Leuven, Belgium) with a dissertation on the production of evangelizing TV fiction in Kinshasa. She has published on the topic and on other aspects of Kinshasa’s popular culture, such as martial arts and dance.
Between February 2009 and February 2011, she was a Newton International Fellow at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham (UK), where she worked on a postdoctoral project that examined the interfaces of memory, media and politics in Kinshasa’s early democracy.
As from February 2011, Katrien is a MarieCurie IOF, postdoctoral fellow, at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Africa (K.U.Leuven) and Science, Technology and Society Program (MIT, Cambridge). As from March 2011, Katrien is in Cambridge, working on a project that studies the interfaces of sociality, ICT and the lifeworlds of old aged in contemporary Kinshasa.

Katrien has recently launched the ‘Congo Research Network’, a community that aims at grouping DR Congo researchers from any of the Humanities disciplines.


3. February 2011-January 2014: on technology, religion and sociality – “(Dis)Connected Elders? Interfaces of Cosmologies, Subjectivities and ICT in the Lifeworlds of Kinshasa’s Old Aged” (postdoctoral research, Marie Curie IOF), at MIT (Cambridge) and K.U.Leuven (Belgium)

2. 2009-2011: politics, visual media and memory – “Media, Memory and Charisma during DR Congo’s Festive year 2010” (postdoctoral research, Newton International Fellowship)

1. 2002-2008: ethnography of evangelising TV drama – “The Making of the Pentecostal Melodrama. Mimesis, Agency and Power in Post-Mobutu Kinshasa” (K.U.Leuven, dissertation)


2003-2006: 17 months (Feb-March 03, Oct 03-April 04, Oct 04-April 05, April-July 06) – dissertation research

2009-2010: 6 months (June-July 09, Jan-Feb 10, May-August 10) – postdoctoral research – Newton project

2011-present: 6 months (July-September 11, January-April 12) – postdoctoral research – MarieCurie project


Between February and May 2010, Katrien has been lecturing in the field of anthropology of arts and popular culture in the anthropology program at the Catholic University of Leuven.
Between September 2010 and February 2011, she has co-taught with Prof. Dr. Karin Barber an undergraduate course, “Perspectives on Africa”, at the University of Birmingham.

PUBLICATIONS – for PDFs of the publications click here


(2012) The Making of the Pentecostal Melodrama. Religion, Media, and Gender in Kinshasa. Berghahn Books, New York.

Articles and Book Chapters

(2013 Forthcoming). Risk and Reciprocity in the Work and Lives of Kinshasa’s Television Journalists. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 25 (1), special issue on Media Entrepreneurs in Africa, edited by Tilo Graetz.

(2013 Forthcoming). Religion, Migration and Media Aesthetics. Notes on the Circulation and Reception of Nigerian Films in Kinshasa. Book chapter in: Nollywood and Beyond: Transnational Dimensions of an African Video Industry, ed. M. Krings and O. Okoome, Indiana UP, Bloomington.

(Forthcoming). The Comings and Goings of Key Scenarios. TV Fiction, Culture, and Transnational Flows in Postcolonial Kinshasa. Book chapter in: Studies of Media Production, Ed. V. Mayer, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford.

(2012) Fathers, Patrons and Clients in Kinshasa’s Media World. Social and Economic Dynamics in the Production of Television Drama. Book chapter (2012) in: Working in the Global Film Industries: A. Dawson and S. Holmes (eds.), Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage. Malden: Bloomsbury Academic. Pp. 123-142.

(2012). Political Billboards as Contact Zones. Reflections on Public Space, the Visual and Political Affect in Kabila’s Kinshasa. Book chapter in: R. Vokes (ed.), Photography in Africa. Ethnographic Perspectives. Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. Pp. 187-204.

(2011). Visual Media and Political Communication: Reporting about Suffering in Kinshasa. Journal of Modern African Studies, 49 (4), 625-645.

(2011). Confession-cum-Deliverance. In/Dividuality of the Subject among Kinshasa’s Born-Again Christians. Journal of Religion in Africa, 41 (3), 280-310.

(2011). Dreaming the Apocalypse. Mimesis and the Pentecostal Imagination in Kinshasa. Paideuma, 57, 81-96.

(2011). Taboos and Rebels. Or, Transgression and Regulation in the Work and Lives of Kinshasa’s Television Journalists. Popular Communication, 9 (2), 114-125.

(2010). Exchange and Circulation. An Anthropological Perspective on the Video Store in Kinshasa. MediaFields Journal 1(1), online journal, special issue on video stores – http://www.mediafieldsjournal.org/exchange-circulation/

(2010). Of Fools and False Pastors: Tricksters in Kinshasa’s Television Fiction. Visual Anthropology, 23(2), 115-135.

(2009). Media Celebrity, Charisma and Morality in Post-Mobutu Kinshasa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 35(3), 541-555 (IF most recent : 0.71).

(2009). Historical Routes Towards Religious Television Fiction in Post-Mobutu Kinshasa. Studies in World Christianity, 15(2), 131-148.

(2009). The Noise of Still Images. Encounters in/with Sub-Saharan Africa. Visual Anthropology, 22(4), 247-251.

(2008). Comment on B. Straight’s article “Killing God: Exceptional Moments in the Colonial Missionary”. Current Anthropology: a World Journal of the Sciences of Man, 49(5), 837-860 (IF publication year : 2.03) (IF most recent : 2.03).

(2007). We need to open up the country: development and the Christian key scenario in the social space of Kinshasa’s teleserials. Journal of African Media Studies, 1(1), 101-116.

(2007). Audience Participation and Performance in the Production of Kinshasa’s Television Serials. Recherches en Communication, (28), 27-36.

(2007). Fighting boys, strong men and gorillas: notes on the imagination of masculinities in Kinshasa. Africa: Journal of the international African institute, 77(2), 250-271 (citations : 1) (IF publication year : 0.4) (IF most recent : 0.64).

(2006). From working citizen to praying christian. Or, converted visual politics in postcolonial Kinshasa. A-Prior, (x01), 88-96.

(2006). Dancing for God or the Devil: pentecostal discourse on popular dance in Kinshasa. Journal of Religion in Africa, 36(3-4), 296-318.(2004). Transgressiviteit in rituelen van Vlaamse wicca’s. Volkskunde [Transgressivity in the rituals of Flemish Wiccans], 105, 243-273.


Email: Katrien.Pype (at) soc.kuleuven.be or kpype (at) mit.edu


2 thoughts on “Profile: Katrien Pype, PhD, social and cultural anthropology (media in DR Congo)

  1. je ssuis flagorné du fait en voulant obtenir votre email, vous m’aviez orienté plutot sur votre site. cela m’a permi de lire et relire votre BIOGRAPHIE, et VOS PUBLICATIONS ET PROJETS DE RECHERCHE.

    Pour ma part, je suis ravi, très heureux de faire la connaissance de Katrien et suis Ouvert pour intensifier nos relations.
    avec votre permission je souhaiterais etre membre actif de votre RESEAU DE RECHERCHE.
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    Posted by ZRAN TOPI Lucien | February 22, 2012, 10:09 am


  1. Pingback: List of Profiles of Researchers on Congo « congo research network - November 22, 2011

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