David Drengk is a Africanist with a focus on African History who currently works at the History Department at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany. As a doctoral research fellow, he is part of the wider interdisciplinary research group “A Global History of Technology, 1850-2000” (funded by the European Research Council). In his current PhD project, he focuses on West African History and aims at building the bridge between African History, Anthropology and History of Technology to write a West African History of Technology that is informed by methodological pluralism. He concentrates on two case studies in colonial Côte d’Ivoire and colonial Ghana where he draws the picture of a technological landscape of resistance and unconventional warfare. In this regard, he pays special attention to the local meaning and cultural significance of guns, repair and maintenance as well as local production of firearms. David has graduated from the Humboldt University in Berlin and Leiden University/the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASC). He holds a diploma in area studies Asia/Africa, Agricultural Sciences (B.A.) as well as African Studies (M.A. Research). His special interests are social and oral history in a Southern and Western African context. Previous research projects have led the young researcher to Malawi and South Africa where he conducted fieldwork in several local villages on historic social structures and social interactions. He wrote his bachelor thesis about the impact of a local Malawian NGO on local social structures and organization in two villages in Southern Malawi entitled “Social Order and Hierarchy in Che Mboma and Likotima village: Of the Transformation from Deprived Children to Knowledgeable Leading Lights – The Social Positioning of Jacaranda Children in Their Respective Communities”. His MA thesis is entitled “Pushing Social Boundaries: Social history of Surfing and People between 1960 and 1990 at South Africa’s Wild Coast”. It illustrates interracial contact between young white surfers and local black community members in rural Transkeian settings along the Wild Coast and presents people’s perception of each other against the historic background of apartheid.
Since November 2017: Doctoral Research Fellow in the project “A Global History of Technology, 1850-2000”, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany (funded by the European Research Council)
2015-2017: Public Relations and Communication Officer, AMBERO Consulting, Kronberg i.Ts., Germany
2016 (July-October): Scientific assistant COMIFAC Summer School, GIZ/Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies/Goethe University Frankfurt
2013-2015: MA, African Studies Research (RESMAS), African Studies Centre Leiden (ASC)/Leiden University, the Netherlands
2014-2015: MA research project in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa (scholarship by the Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude, LUSTRA+ and the Leiden University Fund, LUF)
2010-2013: BA, Area Studies Asia/Africa + Agricultural Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany (scholarship by the foundation Marga and Kurt Möllgaard)
2011-2012: BA, African Languages and Cultures, Leiden University, the Netherlands (ERASMUS exchange program)
Academic Country experience:
Malawi (oral history research)
South Africa (oral history research)
Togo (archival research)
Ghana (archival research)
Côte d’Ivoire (archival research)
France (archival research)
2014-2015 (September-February): Leiden University Funds (LUF), the Netherlands
2014-2015 (September-February): Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude, the Netherlands
2014-2015 (September-February): LUSTRA+ Scholarship, the Netherlands
2010-2012 Academic Foundation Marga und Kurt Möllgaard, Germany
- David Drengk, “Beyond South Africa’s Draconian Racial Segregation: Transkeian Surfing Narratives, 1966 – 1994”, accepted for publication in: Tood Cleveland, Tarminder Kaur, and Gerard A. Akindes, eds, Sports in Africa, Past and Present. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, forthcoming 2020.
- David Drengk. 2018. “Mysterious Wild Coast.” Waves & Woods 2 (3): 118–23.
- David Drengk, Stephan Dohm. 2017. “Lima- Peru: Anpassung der städtischen Wasserwirtschaft an den Klimawandel.” Beratende Ingenieure – Fachmagazin für Planen und Bauen (11/12): 34–37.
- David Drengk, Jürgen Charzinski. 2015. “Unterstützung beim Aufbau der maritimen Industrie: Timor-Leste – maritimer Sektor.” Beratende Ingenieure – Fachmagazin für Planen und Bauen (11/12): 34–37.
- David Drengk, Maik Hamjediers, Lisa Reiber, Stefanie Reuter, Hannes Storm, Paula Zöhl. 2013. Entwicklungshilflos? Entwicklungshilflos? (documentary), Berlin.
- David Drengk. 2015. “Pushing Social Boundaries: Social history of Surfing and People between 1960 and 1990 at South Africa’s Wild Coast.” MA, African Studies Centre Leiden (ASC), Leiden University/African Studies Centre Leiden (ASC). https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/37812.
- David Drengk. 2013. “Social Order and Hierarchy in Che Mboma and Likotima village: Of the Transformation from Deprived Children to Knowledgeable Leading Lights – The Social Positioning of Jacaranda Children in Their Respective Communities.” BA, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
- David Drengk. 2019. “Meeting in the Technological Landscape of the Ivorian Forest: Global and Local Perceptions of Space and Technology”. Workshop “Writing Global History of Technology from a Local Perspective: Stories from the South”, Darmstadt, Germany, 07-2019.
- David Drengk. 2019. “Hunting the Iron Horse: Disruption of French infrastructure and social organisation in colonial Côte d'Ivoire”. 8th European Conference on African Studies 2019 (ECAS) “Africa: Connections and Disruptions”, Edinburgh, Scotland, 06-2019.
- David Drengk. 2018. “Mehr als nur Importwaren: Eine transnationale Technikgeschichte von Schusswaffen in Westafrika.” Afrika-Kolloquium, Vortragsreihe des Instituts für Afrikawissenschaften, Vienna, 12-2018.
- David Drengk. 2018. “(Transnational) West African history of weapon technology, 1850-2000.” ICOHTEC Summer School 2018, St. Étienne, France, 07-2018.
- David Drengk. 2018. “From Fragmentation to Comprehensiveness: Towards a Profound and well-balanced African History of Technology.” The 45th ICOHTEC Symposium “Technological drive from past to future? 50 Years of ICOHTEC”, St. Étienne, France, 07-2018.
- David Drengk. 2017. “Searching for Waves and Peace: Transkeian Surfing under Apartheid Rule.” Sports Africa Conference – Sporting Subalternities and Social Justice, Bloemfontaine, South Africa, 04-2017.
- David Drengk. 2016. “Narratives From a Deserted Transkeian Beach.” Dutch Association of African Studies (NVAS), Africa Day Conference, Sport in Africa, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 10/2016.
- David Drengk. 2016. “Afrikawissenschaften und Afrikanische Geschichte.” Tellerrand Alumni-Vortragsreihe, Geisenheim, Germany, 07-2016.