Dr Erica Lombard

BA (Hons) Rhodes, MA York, DPhil Oxon

Office: AC Jordan 218


Erica Lombard was educated in South Africa and the UK, where she completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2015 with a thesis on white nostalgic writing of post-apartheid South Africa. She has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Johannesburg and the University of Oxford. At the latter, she was the postdoctoral fellow on the Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds research project, which explored experiences of reading Black and Asian British literature in the UK. She continues to run the project website.

Erica’s current research focuses on questions of transformation and transition in South African literary publishing in the post-apartheid era. Through a series of case studies of individual publishers and particular books, this work analyses the material, institutional and ideological forces that have shaped South African literature since the end of apartheid. Erica plans to develop this research into a monograph that considers the development of South African literature from 1990 to the present from a book historical perspective, examining the influence of the local and global literary markets on the content as well as the production, circulation and reception of South African literary texts.

Research Interests

South African literature and culture

Postcolonial and world literatures

Book history, especially the politics of publishing and the postcolonial literary marketplace in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

Globalisation and culture, particularly South Africa in the global imaginary

Whiteness studies

Memory and nostalgia in writing, especially post-transitional literatures and cultures


Edited Volumes

Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard and Benjamin Mountford, eds. Fighting Words: Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017. Paperback coming in 2019.

Book Chapters

‘“Reach forward, into the past”: Nostalgia as Post-Transitional Mode.’ South African Writing in Transition, edited by Rita Barnard and Andrew van der Vlies, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, pp. 143­–165.

‘Freedom Fighter/Postcolonial Saint: The Symbolic Legacy of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom (1994).’ Fighting Words: Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World, edited by Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard and Benjamin Mountford, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017, pp. 247–262.

‘Fighting Words: Books and the Making of the Postcolonial World.’ Fighting Words (co-authors Dominic Davies and Benjamin Mountford; 2017), pp. 1–26.

Journal articles

‘Apartheid and Armchair Nostalgia in America: Lisa Fugard’s Skinner’s Drift and Post-Apartheid Homecoming Novels in the Market.’ Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, special issue on postcolonial nostalgia, edited by Simon Lewis and Giusi Rosso, (forthcoming 2019).

‘The Work of Nostalgia in Denis Hirson’s I Remember King Kong (The Boxer).’ English in Africa, special issue on nostalgia in South African literatures, edited by Dirk Klopper and Nedine Moonsamy, 43.3, 2016, pp. 19–41.

‘Through a Sheet of Glass: The Ethics of Reading in Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda.’ Journal of Literary Studies, 29.1, 2013, pp. 50–66 (co-author Mike Marais).


With Elleke Boehmer, ‘British literature is richly tangled with other histories and cultures – so why is it sold as largely white and English?’ The Conversation. 16 October 2017.

Writers Make Worlds (2017–present), website for the University of Oxford Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds research project, providing teaching and learning resources on contemporary Black and Asian British writing for schools and universities.