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Current news

The latest news for the UCT Department of English.  Please go to the archive for older news articles.

Associate Professor Christopher Ouma receives College of Fellows Young Researcher Award
Mon, 08 Nov 2021 - 12:30

Associate Professor Christopher Ouma is a recipient of the College of Fellows Young Research Award for 2021. Ouma is one of four academics who have been recognised for their outstanding scholarly work, that has made significant independent contributions to research in their field. 

Research Seminar: Associate Professor Rosanne Kennedy on the role of activism in shaping cultural memory
Mon, 25 Oct 2021 - 10:15

We are delighted that Associate Professor Rosanne Kennedy, from the Australian National University (ANU), will be presenting at our next Research Seminar Series session, on Thursday, 28 October 2021 at 12h00 (SAST). She will be in conversation with Professor Sandra Young (UCT). Prof Kennedy will be discussing an Indigenous Australian movement known as Grandmothers Against Removal, focus of the 2017 documentary, After the Apology, that documents memory in activism and contributes to the cultural memory of the stolen generations.


The Konstantin Sofianos Scholarship 2022 essay topic has been released
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 - 11:00

Submissions are now open and the essay topic has been posted online. You can access the guidelines for applying, as well as this year’s topic at .

Submission deadline: 20 January 2022. Please allow yourself enough time for reading and preparing your essay.


The Writers' Seminar with Damon Galgut
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 - 09:45

We are delighted to announce that award-winning novelist, Damon Galgut, will be the first writer to join our The Writers' Seminar.

Damon Galgut will be joining us on Friday 22nd October from 12h00 until 13h30. He will be in conversation with Associate Professor Nadia Davids (UCT) about his recent Booker-shortlisted novel, The Promise.  

Research Seminar: Leon Bomela on "Nationalism in Nyamnjoh's Fiction"
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 - 12:15

The latest presentation in our ongoing Research Seminar Series, will take place this Thursday, 21 October 2021. One of our PhD students, Leon Bomela, will be speaking to us about his current research. He will be in conversation with Dr Polo Moji (UCT) and Associate Professor Christopher Ouma (UCT).

The session will take place on Microsoft Teams, and all interested can join here on the day. Please contact Oliver Melvill for any enquiries (


Launching monthly 'The Writer's Seminar' Series
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 - 09:00

The Department of English Literary Studies is excited to announce the launch of our new monthly seminar series: The Writers’ Seminar.      

Alongside our existing departmental research seminars, we will be hosting a monthly salon/seminar where we will be engaging with celebrated South African writers about their soon to be, or recently published work. We will be announcing details for new seminars on our website monthly.


The Konstantin Sofianos Scholarship applications open for 2022
Tue, 05 Oct 2021 - 09:30

The Konstantin Sofianos Scholarship provides financial support to exceptional Honours students enrolled in the English Literature Honours programme at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Scholarship applications are open to all students who have been accepted to the English Honours programme at UCT for 2022. The selection of the winner is decided on the strength of a literary essay written by applicants – and not on the basis of other determiners, like academic record or financial background. A new topic is selected each year.


Associate Professor Nadia Davids' latest play, Hold Still, premieres this month
Mon, 04 Oct 2021 - 16:15

Acclaimed playwright Nadia Davids’ latest play, Hold Still, premieres at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, for a limited season, from 13 to 30 October 2021, at 7pm and matinees at 2.30pm.

Hold Still tells the story of a family shaped by different generational traumas, who must confront their own histories to get through a single, life-changing night. The multi-themed play focuses on a long-term marriage and through it, examines the limits of middle-class empathy and the complexities of an inter-racial, intra-cultural family living with the weight of catastrophic political histories.

Associate Professor Nadia Davids wins UCT Creative Art Works Award
Fri, 19 Mar 2021 - 18:15

What Remains, a years-long, multiple-output creative collaboration between Professor Jay Pather and Associate Professor Nadia Davids, is a fusion of text, dance and movement that tells a story about the unexpected uncovering of a slave burial ground in Cape Town, the archaeological dig that follows and a city haunted by the memory of enslavement. When the bones emerge from the ground, everyone in the city – descendants of the enslaved, archaeologists, citizens, property developers – is forced to reckon with a history sometimes remembered, sometimes forgotten. Loosely based on the uncovering of a graveyard at Prestwich Place in Cape Town

Virtual Event: Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature BOOK LAUNCH
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 - 11:30

The Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) invites you to the virtual launch of: Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature: Memories and Futures Past by A/Prof. Chris Ouma
Monday, 29 March at 4PM
Click here to join
MEETING ID: 994 4861 0289

Online Event: African Feminisms 2020
Mon, 07 Sep 2020 - 14:00
Healing as a Revolutionary Act  Featuring: Mmatshilo Motsei’s webinar, “Conversations with my Womb” 

Introduction by Barbara Boswell, video-poetry by various artists, and an optional feminist wine-down (bring your own booze)
Pre-event activity: Shelley Barry Watch Party 7th – 11th September on 

Registration deadline: 9th Sept 23h (Pretoria time)
Registration Email: 
Max participants: first 90 people to register, otherwise live-streamed on



Christopher Ouma launches Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature: Memories and Futures Past
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 - 14:00

The Department celebrates the recent publication of Christopher Ouma's new book, Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature: Memories and Futures Past. 

This book examines the representation of figures, memories and images of childhood in selected contemporary diasporic African fiction by Adichie, Abani, Wainaina and Oyeyemi. The book argues that childhood is a key framework for thinking about contemporary African and African Diasporic identities.