Elleke Boehmer
is Professor of World Literature in English, Wolfson College, and CoHaB director at the Faculty of English. Internationally known for her research in postcolonial writing and theory and the literature of empire, Elleke Boehmer (BA(Hons), MPhil(Oxon), DPhil(Oxon)) currently works on questions of migration, identity and resistance in both postcolonial literature and writing of the colonial period, in particular of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  A Rhodes Scholar (1985-88), she is Professor of World Literature in English, a Professorial Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, and Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson.  Elleke writes both fiction and non-fiction, cultural history and criticism.Her best-selling short biography of Nelson Mandela (OUP VSI series) has been translated into Arabic, Thai and Portuguese (Brazil region).

Her main research and supervisory interests include anti-colonialism since 1870; life-writing and auto-biography; modernism, masculinity and empire; and the cross-overs between feminism and nationalism in colonial and postcolonial writing. She has a continuing concern with what it means to represent beauty and death, especially in postcolonial narrative and poetry.

Elleke Boehmer was Co-Investigator, with Professor Susheila Nasta of the Open University (PI), on a large AHRC-funded project ‘Making Britain' to investigate the many rich South Asian contributions to British social, cultural and political life in the period 1870-1950. Working together with Research Assistant Dr Sumita Mukherjee and historian Dr Rozina Visram, Elleke focussed on the pre-1918 period. The team explored inter alia Indian students' lives in Britain, in particular Oxbridge and London, the experience of Indian Sepoys on the Western front, and the involvement of Indian intellectuals, artists, and writers in the formation of a pre-War avant-garde. Elleke is writing up a monograph based on this research, provisionally entitled, India Arrived.

Most recently, Professor Boehmer has won a Leverhulme International Network Grant for 2014-16.  The network Planned Violence: Post/colonial Urban Infrastructures and Literature will investigate the shifting relationship between urban planning, violence and literary representation from colonial into postcolonial times. Engaging in a dialogue between critical geographers, historians and cultural and literary critics, the network aims at identifying literary texts as key to interrogating current theoretical debates on space and social control.

Elleke Boehmer is the General Editor of the successful Series, Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures (OUP). The Series currently features the titles Postcolonial Poetry in English by Rajeev Patke (2006), West African Literatures by Stephanie Newell (2006), Pacific Islands Writing by Michelle Keown (2007), and Australian Literature by Graham Huggan. Priya Gopal's volume on the Indian novel in English appeared in January 2009.

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Professor M
ichael Keith is Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), Co-Director of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities http://www.futureofcities.ox.ac.uk/ and holds a personal chair in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. His research interests focus on the interface between culture, urbanism and migration. 

Michael was formerly Professor of Sociology, Head of Department and Director of the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR) at Goldsmiths College,University of London. He has also been a politician in the East End of London for twenty years and was at various times leader of the Council inTower Hamlets, chair of the Thames Gateway London Partnership (2000-2006) and Commissioner on the National Commission on Integration and Cohesion(2006-07).

Michael’s current research projects:

  • Risk Cultures in China: An Economic Sociology?
  • Cohesion, Integration, Migration: Urbanism, City Change, and the Future of Multiculturalism
  • Social Externalities: China, India, Africa: ESRC Rising Powers Network

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