Dr Leslie Fesenmyer

Leslie Fesenmyer

Research Affiliate

Leslie is Assistant Professor in Social Anthropology and African Studies in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.  Since 2019, she has been leading a project on multi-religious encounters in urban Kenya, part of a larger comparative and collaborative research programme with Ammara Maqsood (UCL) and Giulia Liberatore (Edinburgh) and funded by the European Research Council.

Prior to joining DASA in September 2018, Leslie held several research and teaching positions at Oxford, including an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship at COMPAS.  She received her MPhil and DPhil in Social Anthropology from Oxford.  Before returning to academia, she spent ten years working on social justice issues in San Francisco and New York City.

Leslie’s research interests include transnational migration, kinship, belonging, religion (especially Pentecostalism), religious pluralism, and (urban) space and place. She has pursued these interests in East London and urban Kenya, and in the context of migration between Kenya and the United Kingdom.

Selected publications

(Accepted, 2023) Relative Distance: Kinship, Migration, and Change between Kenya and the United Kingdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(2022) ‘Ambivalent belonging: Born-again Christians between Africa and Europe’.  Journal of Religion in Africa.

(2020) ‘Living as Londoners do’: The prosperity gospel as a mode of being in East London. Social Anthropology 28(2): 402-417.

(2020) With G. Liberatore and A. Maqsood. ‘Introduction: Crossing religious and ethnographic boundaries: The case for comparative reflective.’ Social Anthropology 28(2): 386-401.

(2020) With G. Liberatore and A. Maqsood, Eds. Crossing religious and ethnographic boundaries: The case for comparative reflective. Special Issue. Social Anthropology 28(2).

(2019) Bringing the Kingdom to the city: Mission and the place-making practices among Kenyan Pentecostals in London.  Special issue. City and Society.

(2018) Pentecostal pastorhood as calling and career: Migration, masculinity, and religion between Kenya and the United Kingdom. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 24(4): 749-766.