Universiteit Leiden

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Catherina Wilson Janssens


Dr. M.C. Wilson Janssens
+31 71 527 6429

Catherina Wilson Janssens is a researcher at the Institute for History.

More information about Catherina Wilson Janssens

Fields of interest

  • Central Africa: DR Congo and Central African Republic
  • Mobility
  • Identity
  • Language
  • Urban popular culture


The conflict in CAR (Central African Republic) has forced many people to flee their country. Over ninety-thousand refugees have been officially registered in DR Congo alone. The majority of those who are assisted reside in refugee camps; a minority has opted to look for opportunities elsewhere. During my research I followed Central African refugees along the CAR-DRC border. The research focuses on how these refugees or conflict (im)mobiles make choices and take decisions that draw their life paths. The setting is ‘urban’, as it follows the (im)mobiles that are outside the camps, in small provincial towns as well as in the big metropole of Kinshasa.

Curriculum vitae

Catherina Wilson studied African Studies at the Leiden University, where she graduated in 2012. She carried out research in Kisangani, DRC, and wrote a thesis entitled "The Congolese Yankee: Language and Identity among Youth in Kisangani". In this work she deals with the ways youth in Kisangani creatively play with language in an attempt to overcome marginalization. The thesis touches upon the following topics: urban youth languages and culture, identity building and access to adulthood.


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Afrika studies

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.37



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