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Edward Ademolu joined King’s in Jan 2022 in the newly established position of Lecturer in Cultural Competency, having previously completed a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in Qualitative Research Methodology at the London School of Economics (LSE). He received his PhD in Development Policy and Management (International Development) in 2018 from the Global Development Institute (GDI) at The University of Manchester, under the supervision of professors Dan Brockington and Uma Kothari. Edward is an award-winning teacher and in 2021 was appointed a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests and PhD supervision

Edward is a qualitative social scientist with cross-disciplinary interest in International Development, Media Communications, Visual Representations and the African Diaspora. He uses a range of qualitative and visual methodologies including interviews, focus group discussions, photoelicitation, artwork, and discourse analysis to understand and problematise the role that (racialised) representations of global poverty and inequality in media and by international development and philanthropic organisations, have in shaping audience’s subjectivities, dispositions and behaviours. So too, how audiences interpret, challenge and reappropriate the symbolic and material effects of these representations in their everyday lives.

Beyond this substantive focus, Edward is broadly interested in ideas, questions, concepts and the application of (media and cultural) representation, identity and cultural competency in a variety of social, community and professional contexts.

He welcomes PhD applications from candidates who wish to use qualitative approaches to investigate these aforementioned research interests as well as other cognate themes, disciplines, and traditions

Selected publications

  • Ademolu (2021) ‘Racialised representations of Black African poverty in INGO communications and implications for UK African diaspora: Reflections, lessons and recommendations’ Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing.
  • Ademolu (2021) ‘A pictured Africa: drawing as a visual qualitative research methodology for examining British African Diaspora imaginings of their ancestral ‘home’, Visual Studies.
  • Ademolu (2021) ‘‘An outward sign of an inward grace’: how African diaspora religious identities shape their understandings of and engagement in international development’ Identities
  • Ademolu (2021) Seeing and being the visualised 'Other': humanitarian representations and hybridity in African diaspora identities,Identities
  • Ademolu (2023) Birds of a feather (don’t always) flock together: Critical reflexivity of ‘Outsiderness’ as an ‘Insider’ doing qualitative research with one’s ‘Own People’ Qualitative Research.

Expertise and public engagement

Edward’s research and cross-disciplinary expertise are particularly impactful, in that people outside of academic find it interesting, important and engaging. This is true both in the sense that he appeals to large audiences, and to more niche, specialist groups. With respect to the former, he has written media articles, most notably for The Conversation, commenting on a variety of topical issues around representation and identity. His review of the film Black Panther was read over 65,000 times in the first week.

A selection of his media publications below:

With respect to the latter, it is remarkable how quickly the development NGO sector have caught up with his work. Edward has been invited to contribute to public debates on development communications and diaspora audiences for UK and international NGO professionals such as The BOND Annual Conference (the largest international development event in Europe).

He has also worked in a consultative capacity in the non-profit/development NGO sector on commissioned projects, partnering with international charities including Oxfam (GB) to develop ‘in house’ training tools and practice guideless on ‘imagery and portrayal’ in (their) fundraising communication practices.



In his current role, Edward is leading and developing cross-Faculty introductory and substantial modules and co-curricular work around Cultural Competency Education on a new College-wide Cultural Competency programme.