Since the very beginning of my graduate work, I developed a profound interest in the history of cross-cultural encounters, particularly interactions between sub-Saharan Africa and the Western world. As I conducted preliminary dissertation research, I became intrigued by the complexity of Ethiopian-European relations in the early modern era. I strove to adopt an approach that did justice to both African and European agency and told the story of the encounter from both viewpoints.
Over the years, I maintained and further developed my interest in transcultural dealings between individuals and societies of the Horn of Africa and their interlocutors in the Red Sea, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean worlds. My historiographical method is heavily dependent on archival research as I privilege primary sources over theory: in recent years, I invested more and more time in contacting and visiting a variety of archives. There is nothing as exciting as unearthing unknown sources and stories waiting to be told.