Achille Mbembe, born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, New York, from 1988-1991, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1996, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Codesria) in Dakar, Senegal, from 1996 to 2000. Achille was also a visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, and a visiting Professor at Yale University in 2003. He has written extensively in African history and politics, including La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (Paris, Karthala, 1996). On the Postcolony was published in Paris in 2000 in French and the English translation was published by the University of California Press, Berkeley, in 2001. In 2015, Wits University Press published a new, African edition. He has an A1 rating from the National Research Foundation.
Sarah Nutall took up the Directorship of the WITS Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) in January 2013, but she is no stranger to the Institute having been a prominent Senior Researcher here from 2000 until 2010. Born in South Africa and educated at the Universities of (then) Natal and Cape Town, Sarah won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to read for a D.Phil. at Oxford. A literary scholar by training, Sarah’s varied research interests and prolific publication record have established her as a leading cultural commentator and critic as well as one of the leading scholars of her generation. She has lectured at the University of Stellenbosch and, for the past five years, has been a Visiting Professor at Yale University and Duke University. Sarah has edited several path-breaking books; her influential monograph, Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Post-apartheid, explores mutuality, transgression and embodiment in contemporary South Africa.
Joseph Slaugther is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Columbia University specialized in literature, law, and socio-cultural history of the Global South (particularly Latin America and Africa).
He teaches and publishes in the fields of postcolonial literature and theory, African, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures, postcolonialism, narrative theory, human rights, and Third-World approaches to International Law. Especially he is interested in the social work of literature — the myriad ways in which literature intersects (formally, historically, ideologically, materially) with problems of social justice, human rights, intellectual property, and international law.
His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Public Voices Fellowship and the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. His first book, Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law, was awarded the prestigious René Wellek prize.
Furthermore, he co-edited a volume of essays, The Global South Atlantic (2017), that explores some of the social, cultural, political, and material interactions across the oceanic space between Africa and Latin America that have made it historically (im)possible to imagine the South Atlantic as a region.
Dilip M Menon is the Mellon Chair of Indian Studies and the Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand. He was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge and got his PhD degree from Cambridge. He is a translator from the Malayalam and writes on film, theatre and literature. His research for the past decade has engaged with issues of caste, socialism and equality in modern India. This has resulted in several essays and a monograph on issues of caste in modern India as also a translation of the first novel written in an Indian language by a lower caste individual.
Currently, he is working on issues of cultural and intellectual history and is engaged in a project on the writing of history in India between 1850 and 1960. The work inaugurated at the Centre is interdisciplinary and transnational in approach and looks afresh at issues of colonialism, modernity and migration in the Global South.
Simon During is a New Zealander who studied at Victoria University, Wellington and the University of Auckland before completing his PhD (on George Eliot) at Cambridge. He first joined the English Department at the University of Melbourne in 1983 as a tutor. After visiting positions at the University of Auckland and the Rhetoric Department at UC Berkeley, he was appointed Robert Wallace Professor at Melbourne in 1993. As Head of Department there in the late 1990s, he was instrumental in establishing the Cultural Studies, Media and Communications, and Publishing programs. In 2001, he left Melbourne for Johns Hopkins, where he taught in the English department for nine years. Between 2010 and 2017 he was a Research Professor at the University of Queensland as well as holding visiting positions at the FU Berlin, Tübingen, Université Paris, the American Academy of Rome, University of Cambridge, and elsewhere. In 2017 he rejoined the University of Melbourne's School of Communications and Culture as an Honorary Professor.
He has made contributions to the studies of post colonialism, secularism, Australian and New Zealand literatures as well as to cultural studies. But he has mainly concentrated on relations between literary and cultural history and European (mainly British) literature. His books include Foucault and Literature (Routledge 1991), Patrick White (Oxford 1994), Modern Enchantments: The Cultural Power of Secular Magic (Harvard 2002), Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory, and Post-Secular Modernity (Routledge 2010), and, most recently, Against Democracy: Literary Experience in the Era of Emancipations (Fordham 2012).
Sudesh Mishra was born in Suva and educated in Fiji and Australia. He has been, on different occasions, the recipient of an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Harri Jones Memorial Prize for Poetry and an Asialink Residency in India. Sudesh has taught at Flinders University, Deakin University and the University of Stirling. He was Visiting Professor at the Fiji National University in 2010 and helped establish the School of Communication and Creative Arts. He is the author of four books of poems, including Tandava (Meanjin Press) and Diaspora and the Difficult Art of Dying (Otago UP), two critical monographs, Preparing Faces: Modernism and Indian Poetry in English (Flinders University and USP) and Diaspora Criticism (Edinburgh UP), two plays Ferringhi and The International Dateline (Institute of Pacific Studies, Suva), and several short stories. Diaspora Criticism (2006) is widely regarded as a milestone text. Sudesh is also (with Seona Smiles) the editor of Trapped, an anthology of writing from Fiji, and has had his work published in many ranked journals, including Social Text, Subaltern Studies, Meanjin, Ariel, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Fulcrum, Borderlands, New Literary History, Oxford Literary Review and Emergences.
Véronique Tadjo is Professor and Head of French and Francophone Studies at WITS, Johannesburg. Prior to joining the University of the Witwatersrand in January 2007, she held a number of positions such as Translator and Consultant in Nairobi, Kenya (1994 - 1998); Assistant Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Abidjan (1988 - 1993); Assistant Lecturer at the French Department of Lagos University (1987 - 1988); Assistant Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Abidjan (1982 - 1984); Assistant Lecturer at the English Department of the École Normale Supérieure of Abidjan (1981 - 1982); and English teacher at the Lycée Moderne de Korhogo in the North of Côte d’Ivoire (1979 - 1981). Between 1999 and 2006, Tadjo was also a full-time fiction writer and visual artist.
Ivan Vladislavić was born in Pretoria in 1957 and lives in Johannesburg. His books include the novels The Restless Supermarket, The Exploded View and Double Negative, and the story collections 101 Detectives and Flashback Hotel. In 2006, he published Portrait with Keys, a sequence of documentary texts on Johannesburg. He has edited books on architecture and art, and sometimes works with artists and photographers. TJ/Double Negative, a joint project with photographer David Goldblatt, received the 2011 Kraszna-Krausz Award for best photography book. His work has also won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the Alan Paton Award, the University of Johannesburg Prize and Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction. He is a Distinguished Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Wits University.
Peter Krieger, Ph.D. in art history (Hamburg University, Germany) specialized in theory and history of architecture and urban planning. Research Professor at the Institute of Aesthetic Research and Professor at the Graduate Program of Architecture at the National University of Mexico (UNAM). He served as vice-president of the International Committee of Art History (CIHA/UNESCO). Collaborated at the research project Transcultural and Transhistoric Efficiencies of the Baroque Paradigm, University of Western Ontario, Canada (SSHRC). Appointed Aby Warburg Research Professor at Hamburg University, Germany, in 2016. Author of articles and books about the image of cities and landscapes, focussing on the aesthetics and ecology of the megalopolis.
Amadou Ba is lecturer in contemporary German literature at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. His research interests include literature, politics and intermediality, literature and intercultural comparison, literary and cultural theory in the context of North-South sociopolitical relations and diverse questions of contemporary German-speaking societies (problems of integration, nation, language and development as well as North-South cooperative politics).
Duncan McEachern Yoon has an MA from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. He served as a Fulbright Scholar to South Korea in 2004. His research interests include Africa and China relations, Third World solidarity movements, the Cold War, postcolonialism, and world literature. He is the co-director of the Global South Cultural Dialogue project at Cornell University and has published in Frontline, The Journal of Contemporary Thought, The China Quarterly, and The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. He has recently accepted a position at the University of Alabama as an Assistant Professor of English.
Philip Mead is inaugural Chair of Australian Literature and Director of the Westerly Centre. Philip’s research is at the intersections of national and transnational literary studies, cultural history and theory, poetics, literary education, and digital humanities. He has led nationally competitive research and teaching grants, most recently the ALTC funded project, ‘Australian Literature Teaching Survey’ (2009), the ARC Discovery Project grant for 2010-2012, ‘Monumental Shakespeares: an investigation of transcultural commemoration in 20th-century Australia and England' (with Gordon McMullan, King's College London), and the OLT funded Extension project ‘Update and Expansion of the AustLit Resource Teaching with AustLit site’ (2013-2014). He is on the board of management of the ARC LIEF funded AustLIt consortium.
Pashmina Murthy is an Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. She joined the English department in 2012 after having taught in the department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota for several years. She is currently working on a book project on female infanticide in nineteenth- and twentieth-century India.
With a PhD in Communication Sciences from the University of São Paulo (USP) and Masters in Literary Studies from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Fernando Resende is a Professor of Media Studies in the Graduate Program in Communication, Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF). He coordinates the [LAN] Laboratory for the Experimentation and Research of Media Narratives and is vice coordinator of PPGCOM / UFF and Local Coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate – Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones (UFF / Bergamo / Tübingen / Perpignan). He is a researcher for the PQ / CNPq (National Counsel for Technological and Scientific Development) and a FAPERJ Young Scientist (Foundation for Research of the State of Rio de Janeiro) with an emphasis on communication studies, communication theory and journalism, working principally in the areas of: journalism, discourse, narrative, culture, communication, alterity, and conflicts in the Middle East. He is a deputy coordinator of the GT Islam & Media of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR – 2011/2012).
David Wood is an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Aesthetic Research at UNAM in Mexico City and has a PhD in Latin American Cultural Studies from King’s College London. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the films of Jorge Sanjinés and co-editor of a volume on Latin American silent cinema, and has written articles and book chapters on diverse aspects of Latin American cinema, including documentary and experimental filmmaking, film archives and preservation, and compilation and found footage practices. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies.