I am a 5th-year dual-title Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and African Studies. My research and teaching interests include the African Diaspora, Global Anglophone Literature, Gender and Sexuality, African Literature, Criticism, and Culture. My dissertation examines textual representations of the contemporary forced migration of black Zimbabweans to South Africa. I argue that the novels, short stories, and visual materials I study play a crucial role in articulating a phenomenological approach to contemporary African migration, the misery currently involved, and the potential to fulfill dreams and hopes in new spaces.
My dissertation’s aim is to challenge conventional representations of migration by revealing the diversity of lived experiences. I unsettle pervasive, universalizing discourses that often emphasize victimhood, ignore the specificity of experience, and decontextualize the treatment of black Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa from historical legacies of colonialism and apartheid. The writers and artists I study include Meg Vandermerwe, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, NoViolet Bulawayo, Phaswane Mpe, and Dan Halter.