Madagascar – COI

Prof Rose Boswell


Rosabelle Boswell is an anthropologist, South African NRF Research Chair in Ocean Cultures and Heritage and a poet. She is author of several monographs on the southwest Indian Ocean Region, including: Le Malaise Creole: Ethnic Identity in Mauritius (Berghahn: Oxford). Prof Boswell has done field research in Mauritius since 1999. In 2010-11 she served as a Research Team leader for the Truth and Justice Commission investigating the legacies of slavery and racism in Mauritius. She has done field research in Madagascar, Zanzibar (Tanzania), Seychelles and South Africa for more than 20 years. Her latest outputs are a poetry book on climate change entitled: Between Worlds (2022) (RPCIG: Cameroon) and a co-edited book entitled: The Palgrave Handbook on Blue Heritage (2022).

Dr. Luke Freeman


As a social anthropologist and expert on Madagascar, Luke has lived in Madagascar for several years conducting research among isolated rice farmers, itinerant cattle drovers and top-ranking politicians.

Luke is currently responsible for the educational ethos and content of Africa’s first social forestry management training centre. Presently a lecturer in anthropology at University College London, Luke has previously taught at the University of Antananarivo Madagascar, University of California at Santa Barbara and the London School of Economics.

Dr Freeman’s current book project The Pen and the Spade: dilemmas of education in Highland Madagascar examines the role of schooling in an isolated rice-growing valley with an extraordinarily high level of engagement and success in formal education. The book examines the political economy of knowledge within a local cultural framework which sees foreign influence as both dangerous and necessary for productive life. Dilemma, ambivalence and ambiguity are therefore central themes of the book. Dr Freeman recently drove a herd of cattle on foot across Madagascar. Focusing on animal symbolism, exchange and human-animal relationships, a new research project will examine how the young drovers are themselves objects of exchange in the cattle trade.

Dr Denis Regnier


Denis Regnier is an anthropologist trained at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He specialises in the study of Madagascar, where he has conducted fieldwork since 2008, and has broader research interests in the Indian Ocean region and the Austronesian-speaking world. Dr Regnier has published on a wide range of issues such as social inequality, cognition, ritual, kinship, marriage, funerals, healing and naming. He is currently a Lecturer in Anthropology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and an Associate Researcher at the Centre de recherche et d’études sur les constructions identitaires (CRECI) of the University of Antananarivo.