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Christina Woolner (2014)

Christina Woolner (2014)

Research Title: ‘It’s about love, of course! We don’t sing about war anymore': Love songs, persons and publics in post-war Somaliland

Supervisor: Profesor Harri Englund


Christina Woolner recently completed her PhD dissertation on the lives of love songs in Hargeysa, which explores the entanglement of love songs' in the mediation and making of intimacy and the contestation of post-war public space in Somaliland. Her current work builds on a long-held research interest in the role of storytelling and narrativity in war and peacebuilding processes. Christina has worked as a lecturer in peace and conflict studies at universities in Canada and Somaliland, as well as a researcher at Project Ploughshares, a Canadian NGO that monitors armed conflict and the armaments industry. She holds a BA in Global Studies and Religion & Culture (Wilfrid Laurier University), an MA in International Peace Studies (University of Notre Dame), and an MPhil in Social Anthropology (Cambridge).

To hear about Christina’s on-going research, listen to her episode of Camthropod – Hiddo Dhawr: Singing Love in(to) Somaliland – the Division’s podcast series.

Research Interests

Anthropology of popular culture; poetry, music and ethnomusicology; anthropology of war, violence and peacebuilding; storytelling, narrativity and ‘voice’; peace and conflict studies.

Key Publications

2018.  Woolner, C. Singing love in(to) Somaliland: love songs, 'heritage preservation' and the shaping of post-war publics. In Music and dance research in Eastern Africa: current research in humanities and social sciences, eds. K. Kiiru and M. Mutonya. Nairobi: IFRA and Twaweza Communications, 76-90.
2019 (in press).  Woolner, C.  Hees [Somali popular song] In The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of popular music of the world, volume XII: genres - Sub-Saharan Africa, eds. H. Feldman, D. Horn, J. Shepherd and G. Keilich. Bloomsbury Publishers
2016.  Woolner, Education and extraversion: naming, valuing and contesting 'modern' and 'indigenous' knowledge in post-war Somaliland. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 10 (3), 413-433.
2012.  Sharify-Funk, M & C. Woolner. Women, religion and peace. In Ashgate research companion on religion and conflict resolution, ed. L. Marsden. Ashgate Publishing.
Howland, C. & C. Woolner. 2016 (19 July). Universities must protect PhDs doing risky fieldwork: Here's how. The Guardian. Available online at:

“Women, Religion and Peace.” In Lee Marsden (ed.), Ashgate Research Companion on Religion and Conflict Resolution. Ashgate Publishing, 2012. (Co-authored with Meena Sharify-Funk)

“Religion and Peace and Conflict Studies.” In Tom Matyok, Jessica Senehi and Sean Byrne (eds.), Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies: Theory, Practice and Pedagogy. Toronto: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011. (Co-authored with Nathan Funk)