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Staff profiles

Dr Tom Stennett


Research interests

The literatures of colonial and post-colonial Portuguese-speaking Africa; the relationship between the arts and politics in Portuguese-speaking Africa; modern and contemporary Portuguese literature; comparative literature; and, translation. 

My doctoral dissertation was on the pennames of the neglected Portuguese painter and poet António Quadros (1933-1994), who publishd poetry and prose fiction in Mozambique, where he lived 1964-1984. I used Quadros's peculiar case — as a Portuguese writer publishing under Luso-Mozambican and Mozambican pennames — to consider the question of what it means to be an author in Mozambique through the themes of identity (who counts as Mozambican?), canonicity (to what literary tradition do works authored by complex cases such as Quadros belong?), representation (who is empowered to speak on behalf of the Mozambican 'people'?) and readership (what is the role of writers in contexts of high illiteracy, such as Mozambique?).

My post-doctoral project will consider the relationship between literature and party politics in colonial and post-independence Angola and Mozambique. Through an analysis of a selection of writer-politicians — authors who were actively engaged in some form of political activities — the study will interrogate the literary histories of Angola and Mozambique.