Prof Diana Jeater's current historical research work focuses on spiritual dimensions to justice and reconciliation. In 2013, she completed a British-Academy funded project entitled 'Evil-Doers: translating and interpreting spiritual perspectives on political violence and human rights in southern Africa.' This work focused on ‘evil’ actions in Zimbabwe, that is, actions deemed destructive of the wider community that were associated with witchcraft. The work traces a lineage of spiritual sanctions against such behaviour, from the early days of white occupation in Zimbabwe, down to the treatment of ‘sell outs’ in the 1970s and anti-government activists in the 2000s.
Prof Diana Jeater is currently particularly interested in ideas about ngozi, or vengeance spirits, and their role in post-conflict reconciliation, from the early days of white occupation through to the present.
She is also working on an ethnographic study of Pentecostal masculinities in contemporary Zimbabwe.
She has carried out extensive research on behalf of Zimbabwean asylum seekers in UK, and was UK Independent Advisory Group on Country Information (IAGCI) Independent Assessor for the 2011 UK Border Agency Country of Origin Information (COI) Report on Zimbabwe.
She has also recently produced a consultancy report on digital archives in southern Africa.