Ashleigh Harris is Professor of English Literature. She is the author of Afropolitanism and the Novel: De-Realizing Africa (Routledge, 2019). Her recent research has been focused on literary forms circulating outside of the formal book and publishing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other research interests include African book history, decolonising the literary curriculum, and multilingualism in South African literature.
BA Witwatersrand (1996); BA (Hons) Witwatersrand (1997); PhD Witwatersrand (2002)
Current and upcoming academic appointments
March 2021 – Present: Full Professor, Department of English, Uppsala University.
June 2019 – 31 May 2022: Research Associate, School of Literature, Languages and Media, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
January 2022 – July 2022: Research Fellow, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, South Africa.
My teaching interests include: African literature; Postcolonial literature; trans-national approaches to literary studies; African-American literature; writing and theories of trauma; feminist writing and theory; creative writing; psychoanalytic approaches to literature; and literature and ethics.
Selected recent publications (past 5 years)
2019. Afropolitanism and the Novel: De-Realizing Africa. New York: Routledge, pp: 198.
2021. ‘“The Diary of a Country in Crisis”: Zimbabwean Censorship and Adaptive Cultural Forms’ Journal of Southern African Studies. 47.5: 787–798.
2020. (with Nicklas Hållén). ‘African Street Literature: A Method for Emergent Form Beyond World Literature’, Research in African Literatures. 51. 2: 1–26.
2018. ‘African Street Literatures and the Global Publishing Go-Slow’ English Studies in Africa. 61.2: 1–8.
2019. ‘Hot Reads, Pirate Copies, and the Unsustainability of the Book in Africa’s Literary Future’, Postcolonial Text 14.2.
2018. ‘“The island is not a story in itself’: Apartheid’s World Literature”, Safundi. 19.3: 321–337.
2018. ‘Plastic Form and the Extro- and Emergent versions of Christopher Mlalazi’s Running with Mother,’ Journal of African Cultural Studies. 30.3: 356–370.
Chapters in Books
2021. ‘The Locations and Orientations of South African Literature: from Sol Plaatje to Peter Abrahams’, in Claiming Space: Locations and Orientatiosn in World Literatures, edited by Bo G. Ekelund, Adnan Mahmutovic and Helena Wulff. Bloomsbury Academic: 59–84.
2021. ‘African literature as indigenous history in South Africa’s “Decolonize-the-Curriculum” movement’, Routledge Companion to Indigenous Global History, edited by Lynette Russell and Ann McGrath Routledge: 651–668.
2018. ‘Locating Chronic Violence: Billy Kahora’s “How to Eat a Forest”’ in Stefan Helgesson, Yvonne Lindqvist, Annika Mörte Alling, Helena Wulff. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange, Stockholm University Press: 107–118.
2018. With Kerry Bystrom and Andrew J. Weber, ‘Introduction’, South and North: Contemporary Urban Orientations. New York: Routledge (Literary Cultures of the Global South Series): 1–22.
2017. ‘Afropolitan style and unusable global spaces’ in Bruce Robbins and Paulo Horta (eds.) Cosmopolitanisms. New York: New York University Press: 240–253.
2018. with Kerry Bystrom and Andrew J. Weber, South and North: Contemporary Urban Orientations. New York: Routledge, pp: 258.
2018. with Nicklas Hållén. Special edition of English Studies in Africa, 61.2.
2021. ‘Communal Intellection and Individualism in the African Novel’ Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.
2022. ‘Early Sesotho, isiXhosa and isiZulu Novels as World Literature’ in African Literature as World Literature, eds. Alexander Fyfe and Madhu Krishnan Bloomsbury.
2022/3. Literary Form Beyond the Book in Southern Africa. African Articulations Series, James Currey. Boydell & Brewer. Book proposal under review.
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