Member profiles

Meet the research network team

  • Madhu Krishnan (Network Convener) is Senior Lecturer of 20th/21st Century Postcolonial Writing at the University of Bristol. She is the author of Contemporary African Literature in English: Global Locations, Postcolonial Identifications (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Her work centres on African writing and cultural production in English and French, with a particular interest in material cultures and the shifting horizons of ‘the literary’. She has edited or co-edited special issues of WasafiriJournal of Postcolonial Writing and Research in African Literatures which examine print activism in 21st century Africa; postcolonial space; and the concept of the post-nation. In 2018 she will publish her second monograph, Writing Spatiality in West Africa: Colonial Legacies and the Anglophone /Francophone Novel (part of James Currey Press’s African Articulations series) and a minigraph, Contingent Canons: African Literature and the Politics of Location (Cambridge University Press).
  • Christopher Ouma (Network Convener) is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Cape Town. His research and teaching interests include the broader field of contemporary African and African Diasporic literary and cultural production. He is interested in African popular culture, black print cultures particularly small magazines, literary journals and literary periodicals. He has held fellowships at the Open University, Milton Keynes London and University of the Johannesburg. He has co-edited The Spoken Word Project: Stories Travelling through Africa, and recently co-edited a special issue of The Black Scholar titled “After Madiba: Black Studies in South Africa.” He has published a number of books chapters as well as articles in Research in African Literatures, East African Literary and Cultural Studies and Matatu, amongst others. He is currently co-editor of the journal Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies
  • Claire Ducournau is is Lecturer in the department of Literature at the University Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3, and member of the RIRRA21, an interdisciplinary research centre. Her first book, La Fabrique des classiques africains. Écrivains d’Afrique subsaharienne francophone (1960-2012), published in 2017 with the CNRS editions, explores the mechanisms by which writers from francophone sub-Saharan Africa attain literary recognition. At the crossroads of sociology and literary studies, her work centers on 20th-century francophone African writing, publishing and media, focusing on transnational circulations (whether of texts or writers), and the intersection between social and political constraints and aesthetics. Her current research explores press archives distributed on the African continent which challenge the canonical literary corpus mainly published in France.
  • Kate Wallis is Lecturer in Global Literatures in the Department of English at the University of Exeter. Her research interests include African literature (emphasis on Kenya and Nigeria), material cultures of the book, global literary networks and African literature’s relationship to memory and place. She is currently working on a monograph building on her doctoral research on contemporary literary networks in Kenya and Nigeria. Her work has been published in Wasafiri and is forthcoming in Research in African Literatures. She is an Editor for Huza Press and Africa in Words.
  • Ruth Bush is Lecturer in French in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol. Her research bridges African and African diasporic print cultures in French and in English, book history and cultural studies. Her recent publications include a monograph, Publishing Africa in French: Literary institutions and decolonization 1945 – 1967(Liverpool University Press, 2016), a popular history of the UK’s first radical black bookshop, New Beacon Books (reprinted in paperback in 2016 alongside poetry by Jay Bernard), and a special issue of Wasafiri magazine on ‘African Print Activism in the 21st Century’. She is also Primary Investigator on an AHRC-funded project which has ed to the digitisation of one of the earliest francophone African women’s magazines, Awa: la revue de la femme noire and an exhibition which launched in Dakar in November 2017.
  • Doseline Kiguru is currently the Humanities Research Fellow at the British Institute in Eastern Africa. Her research engages with issues of cultural and literary production in Africa with a major focus on the literary prize industries. The research looks into the contemporary African literary scene, analyzing different aspects of the cultural production mechanisms such as publishing outfits, creative writing trainings, literary magazines and journals, marketing of literary texts, writing competitions, among others.
  • Leslie James is a Lecturer in World History at Queen Mary University of London. Her broad interests include print cultures, imperial history and the history of anti-imperialism, decolonization, the Cold War, and African and Caribbean history. Currently, she is focusing on the intellectual debates contained outside of the structures of formal text manuscripts and, rather, in the everyday letters, editorials, and news items of the ephemeral press. She is examining newspapers in West Africa and the Caribbean as creative sites of circulation in the late colonial period.
  • Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire, Founder, Center for African Cultural Excellence is the cofounder of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence, which curates the Writivism Literary Initiative. He has published commentary, academic research, fiction and poetry in various periodicals and blogs including African Arguments, Chimurenga Chronic, This is Africa, Africa in Words, Africa is a Country, Saraba among others. He studied Law at Makerere University and Security at the African Leadership Centre (King’s College, London). He is a recipient of various fellowships among them the Harry Frank Guggenheim Young African Scholars Award. He is currently studying for a doctorate in English literature at Cornell University.
  • Nathan Suhr-Sytsma is Assistant Professor of English at Emory University, Atlanta, USA, where he also serves as Interim Director of the Institute of African Studies. His book, Poetry, Print, and the Making of Postcolonial Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2017), examines the literary and publishing history of the mid-twentieth-century era of decolonization. With Jeanne-Marie Jackson, he co-edited a special section of Research in African Literatures 48:2 (Summer 2017) on religion, secularity, and African writing. His most recent work addresses African literary prizes, literary publishing in Nigeria, and contemporary African poetry. You can find his write-up about the Small Magazines network discussions at Writivism 2017 on Africa in Words.
  • Billy Kahora’s short fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in Chimurenga, McSweeney’s, Granta Online, Internazionale and Vanity Fair and Kwani. He has written a non-fiction novella titled The True Story Of David Munyakei and was highly commended by the 2007 Caine Prize judges for his story Treadmill Love; his story Urban Zoning was shortlisted for the prize in 2012, The Gorilla’s Apprentice in 2014. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which won the Kalasha awards. He is working on a novel titled The Applications. A short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Youthful Follies will be released in 2017. He is also Managing Editor of Kwani Trust and has edited 7 issues of the Kwani journal and other Kwani publications including Nairobi 24 and Kenya Burning. He is also a Contributing Editor with the Chimurenga Chronic. He has been Kwani Litfest Curator since 2008 and recently curated Kwani Litfest 2015 Writers In Conversation: Beyond The Map Of English. Billy is a past recipient of the Chevening Scholarship and an Iowa Writer’s Fellowship
  • Khwezi Mkhize is Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Cape Town. Khwezi received his undergraduate early post-graduate education from the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. He received his PhD from the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. His dissertation, Empire Unbound: Imperial Liberalism, Race and Diaspora in the Making of South Africa, explored the politics of imperial belonging in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century South Africa using black print culture as an archive. He has published extensively in journals including Social Dynamics and Journal of Commonwealth Literature.
  • Macharia Mwangi is Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kenyatta University. His research spans postcolonial studies, creative writing, popular culture and East African literary culture. He has published his creative, critical and academic writing widely, and is currently working on a monograph-length study of the Kenyan literary magazines Busara, Mutiiri and Kwani?