I studied at the Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale (Italy) where I obtained an MA in English and German; then moved on to the University of Strathclyde (UK) to complete a PhD in Postcolonial Studies. I have held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Coimbra (Portugal). I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
2008: PhD in Postcolonial Studies, University of Strathclyde, UK Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde.
2003: MA (with Distinction) in English and Cultural Studies, Universitá ‘L’Orientale’, IT. Funded by the Facoltà di Lettere.
2014: Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Keele, UK.
Research and scholarship
My research interests lie at the intersection of Postcolonial and Cultural Studies; I write on African literatures, migration and diaspora. My monograph Ethics and Aesthetics in Toni Morrison’s Fiction (Brill - Rodopi 2018) focuses on the African-American experience, slavery and its legacies by exploring an aesthetics that is inseparable from the ethical. I am also interested in space: I co-edited a book with John Miller, titled The Globalization of Space: Foucault and Heterotopia (Pickering and Chatto 2015) which explores the concept of heterotopia by examining a range of contested spaces from a multidisciplinary perspective. My longer term research plans centre on a study of representations of contemporary migration between Africa and Europe and the idea of a postcolonial Mediterranean. Traversing postcolonial studies and cultural studies, this work will also address questions concerning identity, space culture and the environment.
I was Principal investigator (PI) of AHRC funded project 'Responding to Crisis' with Dr Agnes Wolley (RHUL); Co-Investigator of ESRC-AHRC 'Global Challenges scheme project 'Arts for Advocacy' with Dr Laura Jeffery (Edinburgh University). Both these projects are concerned with forced displacement and the role of the arts; I deploy participatory, creative methods and work with a wide range of data. I have curated and co-curated several exhibitions (mainly with video and photo installations) in both national and international venues (Glasgow, Naples, London, Rabat, Keele). I am currently PI on the AHRC-GCRF-funded MADAR 'Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights' Network Plus, with co-director Dr Laura Jeffery. MADAR is a regional approach to protection in contexts of conflict and displacement in central Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). I am Co-I on AHRC GCRF Impact and Engagement grant MARAM ‘Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco’ with Laura Jeffery and Sebastien Bachelet (2019-20). MARAM seeks to foster greater social and institutional recognition for marginal artists (specifically migrants from Africa and the Middle East and Moroccans from disadvantaged communities). I am also Co-I on AHRC GCRF Network Plus grant CUSP 'Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace,' with Dr Alison Phipps. CUSP aims to strengthen arts and cultural institutions/organisations in LMIC, so they can become a reference point for the identification and transformation of social conflict.
2020-24: Principal Investigator, AHRC-GCRF Network Plus MADAR (with Co-Is Dr L.Jeffery, Edinburgh; Dr S. Bachelet, Manchester; Prof. M.S. Musette, Algiers; Anastasia Valassopoulos, Manchester; Prof. Lahlou, INSEA, Morocco; Prof. Boubakri, Sousse, Tunisia; Dr Flood, Keele). AH/T008008/1 (£1,871,675).
2020-24: AHRC-GCRF Network Plus CUSP, Co-I (with PI Prof. Alison Phipps, Glasgow University). AH/T007931/1 (£1,905,776).
2019-20: Principal Investigator, AHRC-GCRF 'Inception Award MADAR' (with Co-Is Dr L. Jeffery, Edinburgh). AH/T005327/1 (£98,9600).
2019-20: Principal Investigator AHRC-GCRF 'Development Award MADAR', (with Co-Is Dr L.Jeffery, Edinburgh; Dr S. Bachelet, Manchester; Prof. M.S. Musette, Algers). AH/T005327/1 (£60,000).
2019-20: AHRC-GCRF Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement, MARAM ‘Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco’; Co-I (with Dr Laura Jeffery PI, The University of Edinburgh) AH/S005846/1 (£100,000).
2016-18: ESRC-AHRC (GCRF), 'Arts for Advocacy'; Co-I (with Dr Laura Jeffery PI, The University of Edinburgh) ES/P004598/1 (£300,000).
2015: AHRC Networking Grant, ‘Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century’ (PI; with Co-I Dr Agnes Woolley, Royal Holloway) AH/M009645/1 (£42,668).
2015: Keele University Key Fund, Refugee Week Organization (£2000).
2012-13: Postdoctoral Grant - FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia – Portuguese Research Council), University of Coimbra – Centre for Social Studies.
Key words: Postcolonial, Migration & Mobilities, Cultural Studies, African Literatures, Creative Methods, Cultural Resilience, Space & Power.
I would be happy to supervise students interested in any of these research areas.
Natalie Ilsley, AHRC NWCDP Award (2018-2021): “Migrant Women and Creative Arts: Building Resilience in Glasgow and Stoke-on-Trent”. Second supervisor with Dr Anastasia Vallassopoulos.
Matthew Mild, (2017-2020) “Undoing Gendered Race Postcolonial Masculinity in Contemporary Experimental Literature”. Second supervisor with Dr Nicholas Bentley.
Gabriella Gay 2021-2028 (P/T) AHRC NWCDP CDA Award ‘Staffordshire's Colonial Connections: re-imagining black voices from the archival debris’. (Lead supervisor)
Hannah Smith 2021-2024 ESRC NWCDP CASE studentship – “Staffordshire and Slavery: Histories and Memories of an Inland Region” (Co-Supervisor with Siobhan Talbott)
Anna Garland ‘2017-2023 Middle eastern students' experiences of UK HE, from a post-colonial perspective’ – P/T, Professional Doctorate (Co-Supervisor with Sally Findlow)
2018 Robert Croton, “Post-apartheid South African theatre since the year 2000”.
2017 Gemma Scott, AHRC NWCDP Award (2013-2017): “Women under Emergency in India (1975-1977)”. Second supervisor with Dr Shalini Sharma.
2015 Chitra Jayathilake, “Biopolitics and postcolonial theatre: a comparative study of Anglophone plays in South Africa, India and Sri Lanka”.
2014-17: Teaching Excellence Award Nominee, Keele University.
2018: Keele Teaching Innovation Projects AWARD, “Breaking Barriers for BME British Students: Creative Development of Inclusive Pedagogic Practice”. Role: Joint Lead with S. Ui Connachtaigh. (£4346.80).
2017: [publication] ‘Internationalisation: Critical Incident(s) and Postcolonial Pedagogy’. Journal of Academic Development and Education. 7, 107-111. Full text.
2016-17: ERASMUS+ Teaching Mobility Grant, Visiting Lecturer, Cagliari University (Italy).
2015: ERASMUS+ Teaching Mobility Grant (British Council), Visiting Lecturer, Malta University.
- Writing at the Borders: Migrant and Refugee Narratives
- Postcolonial and World Literature in English
- Telling tales: An Introduction to Narrative Fiction
- Reading Literature
- 20th Century British Fiction and Poetry
- Literature and Society
- MA in Global Media and Culture
- MA Victorian Cultures and Context
- MA Contemporary Fiction & Film
- Reflective Practice in Humanities Research
Recent career history
2021- present Professor of Postcolonial and Cultural Studies
2018 – 2021 Senior Lecturer in English, The University of Keele.
2013 – 18: Lecturer in English, The University of Keele.
2012 – 13: Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Humanities, Migration and Peace Studies, The University of Coimbra, Portugal.
2011 – 12: Research Associate, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, UK.
2010 – 11: Research and Policy Officer, Black and Ethnic Minorities Infrastructure Scotland
2010 – 13: Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social and Political Studies - The University of Glasgow, UK.
2008 – 10: Teaching Fellow, Comparative Literature, The University of Glasgow.
Recent conference papers & invited talks
2019: Co-Organizer (with Prof. F. Shain) ‘Tackling Inequalities’ Conference, Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI). 13th June, Keele Hall, Keele university. (KISI Funded; approx. 90 participants)
2019: [invited speaker] “A Refugee Crisis? Reflections from the Edge Disciplines" Literary and Cultural Studies in Multidisciplinary Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. 3 April 2019, English Department, University of Münster, Germany.
2019: [invited speaker] “Art for Advocacy: Critical Engagement and Forced Displacement in Morocco” Moving methods: creative approaches to experiences of displacement, migration, social justice and belonging. The International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands.
2018: “Photographic encounters: Participation and creative-research processes on migration in Morocco Whither Refugees?” Restrictionism, Crises and Precarity Writ Large. 24-27 July, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki.
2018: [invited speaker] The Art of Empowerment, Nottingham Refugee Week 16–23 June 2018, Refugee Week, New Art Exchange, Nottingham.
2017: ‘Refugee Literature’? Narrative of Journeys across Africa and the Mediterranean. Refugee Literature Workshop GIS - MOMM Congress. 6 July, Paris.
2017: [invited speaker] ‘Island is no arrival’: The Contemporary Trans-Mediterranean Migration in Erri De Luca’s poetry. 8 February, Sussex English Colloquium, University of Sussex.
2016: [invited speaker] ‘Island is no arrival’: The Contemporary Trans-Mediterranean Migration in Erri De Luca’s poetry'. Migration, Asylum and Detention in Lampedusa: Discussing Research, Policies and Narratives. 4 July, The University of Manchester.
2016: “The Mediterranean: Memories, Salvage and Salvation”. BCLA Triennial Conference ‘Salvage’. 12-15 July, The University of Wolverhampton.
2015: (with A. Woolley) “Salvation, Abandonment and the Bureaucracies of Recognition”. Migration & Marginalities Conference. 10 September, University of Brighton.
2015: [invited speaker] Transcoastal Narratives: Journeys “between the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor”. 13 May, Research Seminar Series, University of Malta.
2014: (with A. Woolley) “Responding to crisis: Forced migration in the twenty-first century”, Reframing Disaster: Conference. 28-29 November, Leeds University.
2014: ‘On a quest for Hope and Other dangerous Pursuits’ EACLAS Conference, 14-18 April, The University of Innsbruck.
2013: ‘Cultural Crossroads’. Crossroads Europe, Migration and Culture. 24-25 October, International Conference, The University of Copenhagen.
2013: “Burning Boundaries: Trans-coastal narratives across the Mediterranean”. British Comparative Literature Association XIII International Conference Migration. 8-13 July, University of Essex.
Recent administrative roles
- 2020: GCRF Champion, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Keele University.
- 2019: Research Leaders’ Network (member), Keele University.
- 2019: Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) QR Steering Group (member), Keele University.
- 2018: PGR Director, English & AHRC Pathway Lead NWCDTP Consortium.
- 2018: Faculty Research Ethics Committee, Member of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Keele University.
- 2018: Deputy Lead ‘Inequalities’, Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI).
- 2017: Deputy Programme Director, English, Keele University.
- 2017: Exceptional Circumstances Officer, English and American Studies, Keele University.
- 2017: Senator, Elected, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Keele University.
- 2017: English Research Seminars Coordinator, Keele University.
- 2016: Teaching and Research Mentor, School of Humanities, Keele University.
- 2015: Chair of Student Project Ethics Committee (SPEC), School of Humanities, Keele University.
- 2014-15: Coordinator, Open Days English, Keele University.
Peer review and Editorship
- Associate Editor –Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Taylor & Francis (2020-2025).
- AHRC Peer Review College: Academic, Peer Review College, Strategic & ODA (2020-2023).
- UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships (nominated 2018);
- UKRI GCRF - Global Challenges Research Fund;
- ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council.
Publishers & journals:
- Berghahn Books (NY).
- Journal of Space and Culture. SAGE, ISSN: 12063312
- New Formations Journal, ISSN: 0950-2378
- Journal Mediterranean Review, ISSN: 2005 0836.
- Journal Mediterranean Review, ISSN: 2005 0836.
- Culture, Theory and Critique, Routledge, ISSN: 1473-5776.
- Melus Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, Oxford Journals – ISSN: 0163-755X.
Impact & outreach
Mar 2019: [Invited Speaker] House of Commons, International Development Committee, ‘Mobilising Global Voices 2019: Perspectives from the Global South’.
Dec 2017: Rabat (Morocco) Co-Organizer International Event: Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Practitioners and NGO workers, activists and artists sharing knowledge and practices about forced displacement. Funded: AHRC-ESRC GCRF grant ES/P004598/1.
Apr 2017: Naples (Italy) Organizer International Event: “Sea-Crossing: The Mediterranean and its ‘Others’” in Partnership with the University of Naples. Funded: AHRC-grant AH/M009645/.
June 2017: Glasgow (UK) Co-Organizer International Event: “Displacement In Morocco And The UK: Best Practice Knowledge Exchange Forum” in partnership with The University of Glasgow (GRAMNEt) & GADEM Morocco. Glasgow University. Funded: AHRC-ESRC GCRF grant ES/P004598/1.
Sep 2017: London (UK) Organizer International Event: “States of being at the Borders of Humanity” at SPACE gallery, 131 Mare St, London E8 3RH. Funded: AHRC-grant AH/M009645/1.
June 2017: London (UK) Nominated Chair: AHRC World Development Summit 7th June 2017 at the British Library. Panel: “Mobilising the Arts: Migration and Forced Displacement”. Link.
June 2017: Glasgow (UK) Organizer: 3 Public Engagement & Knowledge Exchange Events “Refugee Festival Scotland”, 20-23 June: Glasgow University.
2014-15: Keele (UK) Co-Ordinator: Refugee Week at Keele University.
2014-15: ‘Knitted Narratives’ (art-based project with migrant women, African Social Health Agency (ASHA), Stoke on Trent.
2014: Stoke-on-Trent (UK) Board Member: African Social Health Agency (ASHA) Stoke on Trent, supporting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
2013: ‘Human Rights in a Closed Sea’ – film screening of Mare Chiuso (2012) and open debate - Coimbra, 18 April. Funding and support obtained from: Amnesty International (PT), Coimbra City Council, University of Coimbra, Radio RUC, and EU.
2010-12: Glasgow (UK) Co-organizer: film series on migration, human rights and Social Justice: Centre of Contemporary Art.
Oct-Dec 2019: “Migration. Récits. Mouvements”, Curated by Yvon Langue. Keele University Arts Gallery. Funded by: AHRC-ESRC GCRF grant ES/P004598/1.
Dec 2017: “Migration. Récits. Mouvements”, in collaboration with GADEM & La Villa Des Arts Rabat. Curated by Yvon Langue. Artists: Amine Oulmakki, Dabcha & Julien Fleurance. Funded by: AHRC-ESRC GCRF grant ES/P004598/1.
June 2017: Glasgow (UK) “Narrating objects of displacement in Morocco”, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow for “Refugee Festival Scotland”. Funded by: AHRC-ESRC GCRF grant ES/P004598/1.
School of Humanities
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109