“Apartheid’s Ghosts: Slavery in the Literary Imagination.” Cambridge Companion to Global Literature and Slavery, ed. Laura Murphy. Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming, 2021).
“Anthropocene Storytelling: Ecological Writing and Pedagogies of Planetary Change.” (Co-authored with Tjawangwa Dema) Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, ed. Cajetan N. Iheka. New York: Modern Language Association, (Forthcoming, 2021).
“Holocaust in the Indian Ocean: Landscapes of Exile from Eastern Europe to Mauritius.” Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, (Forthcoming, 2021).
“Eco-Cosmogonies: Climate Change and Ecological Form.” Verge: Studies in Global Asias, (Forthcoming, 2021).
“A Truly Decolonial Curriculum Means Treating Students as Citizens.” WONKHE, 20 August, 2020.
“Seed Bags and Storytelling: Modes of Living and Writing after the End in Wanuri Kahiu’s Pumzi.” (Forthcoming in Critical Philosophy of Race: Special Issue on Race and the Anthropocene, 2019).
“Narratives of Modernity: Creolization and Early-Postcolonial Style in Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry v 5.3, April 2018.
“Precedence and Warning: Global Apartheid and South Africa’s Long Conversation on Race with the United States.” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies v. 18.3, June 2017.
“Relating to and Through Land: An Ecology of Relations in Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka.” The Postcolonial World. Eds. Jyotsna Singh and David D. Kim. New York: Routledge Press, September 2016.
“Exile in Mauritius: Colonial Violence and Indian Ocean Archives.” (co-authored with Ronit Frenkel) Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, v. 30.2, July 2016.
“Ecologies of Relation: Post-Slavery, Post-Apartheid and Rethinking Race Across the Atlantic in Zakes Mda’s Cion.” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, v. 17.1, February 2016.
Book Manuscripts in Preparation
African Anthropocene: The Ecological Imaginary in African Literature
My current book manuscript, African Anthropocene: The Ecological Imaginary in African Literatures, explores the relationship between environmental thinking and anti-colonial politics in African literary and cultural production across the twentieth century, and argues for expanded historical timelines for thinking about the environment in African literature, film and artistic production. While much of the ecocritical historicism looking to the African continent begins with the mid-twentieth century moment of political independence and decolonization, my project makes the case for much earlier forms of ecological thinking that informed writing from the continent from at least the start of the twentieth century. The turn to ecocriticism in the fields of African humanities broadly and African literatures more specifically has been relatively recent, and these studies are also characteristically marked by their chronologies, which re-inscribe a postcolonial historiography to the emergence of an environmental awareness in African literary and cultural production. My project, on the other hand, begins at the start of the twentieth century and demonstrates how authors and intellectuals on the African continent at this time were already deeply invested in ecological understandings of local places. In turn, these ecological writings are the basis for early and often nascent forms of anti-colonial politics which predate the more popularized expressions of the mid-twentieth century and the moment political independence. By looking at earlier expressions of political ecological histories in African writing, I am able to argue for a rethinking and expansion of received genealogies of decolonization on the continent. This project has been chosen for a “Futures” Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich, and I will be working on completing the manuscript while in residence there in 2021.
Holocaust in the Indian Ocean: Exile in Mauritius and the Making of Postcolonial History.
This project explores an archive of Jewish detention on the island of Mauritius during WWII. While these detainees were part of the refugee crisis that Hannah Arendt describes as the statelessness created by European fascism, they were also pawns in a geo-political struggle over the British Mandate of Palestine. My research explores the process of the ‘production of refugees’ that became characteristic of the mid-twentieth century state craft, leaving this particular group to to the machinations of the British Empire. I situate this relatively unknown history in relation to a larger body of work on the role of islands within the geopolitical tectonics of empire. Arguing that the island of Mauritius provided a particular form of a “carceral archipelago,” I position a series of representations of the island – both visual and written – from the perspective of the Jewish detainees as a way to read the role of Mauritius and the Indian Ocean as a particular and underexplored theater of the Holocaust. I also read Mauritian author Natchacha Appanah’s fictional account of this story of Jewish detention as re-centering Mauritius within an Indian Ocean history of the Holocaust. The project claims that Appanah’s literature, when read against the dissolution of the British Empire and its Palestine Mandate, remaps Postcolonial history from the vantage point of the Indian Ocean. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded research in Mauritius to investigate archives for this project.