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Senior Lecturer

Dr Polo Moji

MA and PhD, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)

Office: Room 110A, AC Jordan Building


Polo is scholar of comparative literary and cultural studies with an interest in African and Afro-diasporic narratives in English and France, African feminism and Critical Black Geographies. She earned her PhD in Comparative and General Literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) in 2011, after completing her MA under the Bourse de la Région Ile de France scholarship.

Polo has been a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Pretoria, during which period she co-convened a research group on gender studies. She subsequently taught French and Francophone Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand before joining the English Department at the University of Cape Town in April 2018.

As one of the few researchers in South Africa who work on Afro-European narrative form in English and French, Polo’s current book project explores Afrodiasporic literary production in the context of rising European nationalisms leading up to the “Brexit” era. It reads, with a particular focus on Francophone Afro-Europeanism, against the discourse of crisis surrounding contemporary trans-Mediterranean/Atlantic crossings and border locations such as Lampedusa island. She is co-editing the forthcoming special issues: “Ghostly Border-Crossings: Europe in Afrodiasporic Narratives” in Tydskrif vir letterkunde: A Journal for African Literature (2019) and “The Cinematic City: Desire, Form and the African Urban” in The Journal of African Cinemas (2019).

Research Interests

African & Afrodiasporic (Francophone / Anglophone) Literatures


Feminist Literary and Cultural Studies

Critical Black Geographies

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Moji P. B. Home/land: Diasporic Space and Topologies of Relation in Nimrod’s L’Or des Rivières (Chad, 2010). Spaces of Longing and Belonging: Territoriality, Ideology and Creative Identity in Literature and Film, Editors: Bill Richardson and Brigitte Le Juez, Brill Rodopi. (forthcoming 2019)

Moji, P. Literary Adventures in Francophone Afropea: Léonora Miano and Music as a Language of Afro-diasporic Subjectivity. Multilingual Currents in Literature, Translation and Culture, Editors: Rachael Gilmour and Tamar Steinitz. September 2017. Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature Series. Chapter 9.

Peer-reviewed Articles

Moji, P. Divas and Deviance: Hip-Hop Feminism and Black Visuality in Lauren Ekué’s Icône Urbaine (2006). Agenda, Special Issue: Gender and the Popular imaginary. Routledge Taylor & Francis & UNISA Press, 28 August 2018,

Moji, P. (Un)Known Bodies: Dissecting Sara Baartman in the Francophone Autobiography, 53cm (Bessora,1999).  Journal of the African Literature Association, Routledge Taylor and Francis & African Literature Association, 12 October 2017, 183-194,

Moji, P. Prodi-gals: Statelessness and Place-lessness in Lauretta Ngcobo’s The Prodigal Daughter (2012), Scrutiny 2: issues in English studies in Southern Africa, Special Issue - Lauretta Ngcobo, Routledge Taylor & Francis & UNISA Press, 30 September 2017, 64-75,

Moji, P. New Names, Translated Subjectivities: (Dis) location and (Re) naming in NoViolet Bulwayo’s We Need New Names, 2013 (Zimbabwe).  Journal of African Cultural Studies. Routledge Taylor & Francis, 6 January 2015,

Moji, P. Réécriture d’un genre L’autobiographie politique des « Pères de la Nation » et L’Ex-père de la nation (1987) d’Aminata Sow Fall. Etudes Françaises en Afrique austral No.43 (2013). AFSSA Publications, 112-133

Moji, P. And she didn’t die: An interview with Lauretta Ngcobo in Johannesburg, 18 August 2010. Agenda, No 100/28.2 (2014). Routledge Taylor & Francis & UNISA Press, 20 June 2014,

Moji, P. Gender-based genre conventions and the critical reception of Buchi Emecheta’s Destination Biafra (Nigeria). Literator, Vol 35, No 1 (2014). May. 2014,

Moji, P. Ivorité: equating xenophobic nationalism and women’s marginalisation in Tanella Boni’s Matins de couvre-feu, 2005 (Ivory Coast). International Journal of African Renaissance Studies 8(2) 2013. Routledge and UNISA Press, 58-69,