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Dr Kate Wallis

Lecturer in Global and World Literatures

Email:

Extension: 5423

Telephone: 013925423

My research examines contemporary African literature (emphasis on Kenya and Nigeria), material cultures of the book, global literary networks and frameworks, and African literature’s relationship to place. I have published in Wasafiri (2016) and have an article forthcoming in Research in African Literatures (2018).

I am also an editor and literary producer with 15 years experience of working in the publishing industry. I was previously Head of Humanities at Palgrave Macmillan, responsible for paperback publishing across history, literature, theatre and language. I worked for four years as an Editor and Producer at Kenya’s leading literary publisher Kwani Trust. I am currently a Director for Kigali-based publishing company Huza Press and an Editor (and co-founder) of www.africainwords.com.

I regularly curate workshops and festivals, and was the Producer of the Africa Writes festival in London in 2015 and Associate Producer of the 2017 Africa Writes Bristol Pop-Up.

My research on African literature and global literary networks is consistenly informed by my work as an editor and literary producer. I am currently working on my first book which builds on and develops my AHRC-funded doctoral research, exploring the literary production of three publishers based on the African continent established shortly after the turn of the millennium – Nairobi-based Kwani Trust, Lagos-based Kachifo and Abuja-based Cassava Republic Press. Literary Networks and the Making of 21st Century African Literature in English asks how these connected literary institutions have opened up new spaces and forms for the production of cultural memory through African literature, and, through this, reshaped paradigms and frameworks for understanding world literary production. Bringing together textual analyses of major works from each press with over 70 original interviews with writers, publishers, critics and booksellers, the study argues that more attention needs to be given to the dynamics through which exchanges in what are often labelled ‘local’ or ‘national’ literary spaces intersect with (often validating and being validated by) exchanges in what are instead labeled ‘world’ or ‘global’ literary spaces. In response, I offer a new critical model for conceptualizing literary networks and show the significance of this framework both in the production and reading of world literature, making visible the role of these publishers as cultural brokers facing in multiple directions – both across the ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ spaces of culture in Kenya and Nigeria, as well as outwards to likeminded publishers in Africa and world literary space.

Term 1 2017-18 Office Hours: Mondays: 2pm to 3pm, Fridays: 3pm to 5pm 

Please sign up for office hours via this link here.  My office is in Queen's Building, Room 147.