I am a researcher/lecturer in African History, currently at the University of Trier. I am working on a history of urban transport in Africa, using four case studies (Bamako, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Nairobi). Before embarking on this Post-Doc research, I completed a Ph.D. on the history of radio in Namibia and Zambia, with a focus on decolonisation periods, anticolonial resistance and post-colonial nation-building.

I am interested in exploring infrastructures in (post-)colonial societies through a lens of historical materialism, analysing them both as material technologies and in their interactions with political economies and urban societies.


2012 Ph.D. (“Radio in Decolonisation: Namibia and Zambia”), University of Konstanz

2005 M.A. in History, Univ. of Konstanz

Other Publications

Journal Articles

2019 Fighting over Urban Space: Matatu Infrastructure and Bus Stations in Nairobi, in: Africa Today 65:2, 3-21.

2014 “Men Between”: The Role of Zambian Broadcasters in Decolonisation, in: JSAS 40:3, 623-40.

2014 “It Recharged Our Batteries”: Writing the History of the Voice of Namibia, in: Journal of Namibian Studies 15, 25-62.

2009 The Voice of Namibia. Zu Geschichte und Programm des namibischen Radios im Exil, BAB Working Paper 2 (2009), Basel 2009.

2008 Decolonising the Mind: Nationalismus im Rundfunk in Namibia und Zambia, in: AfS 48 (2008), 295-316.

Book Chapters

2020 A History of the Future: Colonial Transport Systems in Africa and their Heritage, in: Appelhans, Nadine/Baumgart, Sabine und Wolfgang Scholz (ed.): Futures of Mobility in Urban Development ‐ Transport Provision in East African Cities (forthcoming)

2018 “Taxi Pirates”: a Comparative History of Informal Transport in Nairobi and Kinshasa, 1960s -2000s, in: Agbiboa, Daniel (ed.): Informal Transport in Africa: Organisation, Politics and Contestations, London: Routledge, 19-41.

2016 “The African Listener”: State-controlled Radio, Subjectivity, and Agency in Colonial and Post-colonial Zambia, in: Mano, Winston/Wendy Willems (ed.): From Audiences to Users: Everyday Media Culture in Africa, London: Routledge, 47-70.

Online Articles

“Die Rezipient*in, das Alien. Rezo, die CDU und die Geschichte der Medi­en­angst”, Geschichte der Gegenwart, 05.06.2019

“A Nairobi, comment les ‘matatus’ ont pris le contrôle de la rue”, Le Monde Afrique, 30.04.2019

“A technocratic reformulation of colonialism”, Africa Is A Country, 21.01.2019

‘It recharged our Batteries’: Medien in der Dekolonisierung Afrikas“, zeitgeschichte-online, June 2010

Blog Posts


    Urban Transport and the Spatial Regulation of African Cities



    CRG African History

    Robert Heinze

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