Farouk Topan

Associate Professor

Dr Topan is the Director of the Swahili Centre, part of the Faculty for Arts and Scence. He is also a visiting lecturer at ISMC.

Telephone: 44 207 3803840


Dr Farouk Topan received his PhD from SOAS, University of London, where he held the position of Senior Lecturer until 2006. He was a Research Scholar and Head of the Teacher Training Programme at the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London from 1977 - 1993.

Research interests

Swahili literature; Islam in African literature; African poetry; identity in East Africa.


Dr Topan has published widely on various aspects of Swahili literature, religion, spirit possession and identity in East Africa.

He is the editor, with Pat Caplan, of the volume Swahili Modernities. Culture, Politics and Identity on the East Coast of Africa (Africa World Press, 2004). Dr Topan has previously edited the Journal of African Languages and Cultures (JALC), published by Oxford University Press (Volume 10, 1997, Issues 1 and 2 with M. Mann and M. Orwin; Volume 11, 1998, Issue 1) and its successor, the Journal of African Cultural Studies, published by Carfax (Volume 11, 1998, Issue 2; Volume 12, 1999, Issue 1). He edited, with Martin Orwin, a special issue of the Journal of African Cultural Studies on 'Islamic Religious Poetry in Africa' (Volume 14, No.1, June 2001).

Created on:04/26/2016 Last modified:05/15/2019