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About Ian Rasmussen

Ian holds a degree in African Studies from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in Politics and the Mass Media from the University of Liverpool. He gained a postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education from the University of Chester and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  He has been a member of the Department since 2004 having previously taught at the Universities of Birmingham and Liverpool.

In essence, Ian’s vocational and academic interests have always concerned communication. In his early career, he worked as a political press agent moving on to coordinating the activities of a bi-lateral developmental NGO based in Bristol and Ghana. This experience of being in the thick of hands-on aid projects added to his fascination with Africa. His first degree, undertaken at the Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham, enabled him to acquire specialist knowledge (especially in the fields of politics, history and culture) which, along with courses in the Media, Culture and Society Department, gave him an understanding of cultures and media across the globe. He went on to teach modules in African Politics, Political theory, and economic development, and was made an honorary life member of the Guild of Students in recognition of his ‘student-friendly’ style! His Masters in Politics and the Mass Media at Liverpool gave him an understanding of the complex and troubled relationship between democracy and journalism, and he enthusiastically invests this knowledge in his teaching. For many years now, Ian has chaired the university’s election and referendum debates with local and national politicians.

He has made appearances in broadcast media concerning areas as diverse as food, politics and the media. He has contributed to cookbooks and has written food reviews and articles, and lobbies on food and animal welfare issues.  Ian is a very keen amateur cook and owns an extensive private library of cookery books and related literature.  He is currently the team leader for the university’s Food in the time of Lockdown (FINTOL) research project.  He has met and interviewed many notable people in the food industry including Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and Sheila Dillon.

As speech-writer and Public Orator, Ian has written and delivered speeches for many luminaries including HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall, actors Dame Patricia Routledge and David Suchet and the Director-General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall.


At Chester, he has contributed to many undergraduate programmes including Radio, Advertising, Media and Communication. He has also worked extensively on the Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) ERDF funded enterprise champion programmes and produced outreach programmes for partner institutions.


Ian’s research into the BBC World Service and the Somali community in Liverpool earned Ian a distinction in his Masters degree and funding from the AHRB to undertake further research under Professor John Corner to whose UG/PG modules on documentary he contributed for several years. He has given papers at the University of Liverpool and the University of Madison at Wisconsin. He is still regularly asked to deliver lectures on celebrity culture at other institutions.

His interests both in the media and Africa meant that he made a valuable contribution to Master’s modules undertaken by postgraduate medics at the world famous School of Tropical Medicine at the University of Liverpool. His modules covered globalisation, the media at war and the Rwanda genocide.



Ian holds a degree in African Studies and a Master's degree in Politics and the Mass Media.