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Rhodes > English > People > Academic Staff > Sam Naidu

Prof Sam Naidu


Associate Professor Sam Naidu

B.Journ (Rhodes), BA (Hons) (Rhodes), MA (Rhodes), PhD (Rhodes & SOAS, University of London), PGDHE (Rhodes)

email address: s.naidu@ru.ac.za

Teaching and Research Interests

South African/Postcolonial Crime Fiction, Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction, African Literature, Transnational Literature (Literature of the African, Latin American, and South Asian Diasporas), Postcolonial Feminist Literature, Oral/written interface in colonial South Africa, English transcriptions of Xhosa folktales, the publication and marketing of indigenous South African orature, Folklore and Ethnographic Writings of George McCall Theal, Homer and the influence of Classical western texts on contemporary literature in English, Grotesque, Monstrous and Abject Bodies in Literature, and Emily Dickinson.

Andrew W. Mellon Intersecting Diasporas Research Group

Sam is co-ordinator of the Intersecting Diasporas Research Group, which studies various transnational texts in order to describe the complex and paradoxical experiences of diasporas in a world of increasing mobility and de-territorialism, which yet, in certain locations, also faces increased regulation or prohibition of migration.

Follow this link to find out more about the Intersecting Diasporas Research Group. Dr. Andrea Thorpe, a Postdoctoral Fellow, is one of the members of the Intersecting Diasporas Group. 

Selected Publications

Click here for details of Sam's Published Works, or follow the link to her ORCID account, where you can follow her to be informed of upcoming and new publications: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9456-8657  

Community Engagement

Together with the Makana District Friends of the Library and the Rhodes University Community Engagement Division, Sam helps establish school libraries, runs reading clubs, and facilitates Literature Appreciation workshops at DD Siwisa Primary, Ntsika Secondary, and Nombulelo Secondary Schools.   

In March 2018, Sam launched an official university short course called Community Engagement Reading Club Orientation (CERCO). This course falls under the auspices of the Department of Literary Studies in English and the Community Engagement Division. Nine students completed the course and have received certificates ofcompetence.

Institutional/Professional Activities

Member of the Rhodes Univeristy Sexual Violence Task Team. See the most recent report: http://www.ru.ac.za/criticalstudies/policybriefsfeedbackreports/  

Chair of the Rhodes University Language Committee, Convener of the Annual Multilingualism Colloquium (see the website: https//www.ru.ac.za/multilingualism). See the following articles: 



and https://www.ru.ac.za/multilingualism/latestnews/languageacademicsuccessclearlylinked.html

Rhodes University Community Engagement Committee

Margaret and Patrick Flanagan Scholarship Committee

Editorial Board Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies

Editorial Board English in Africa

External Examiner UCT, Stellenbosch University, UNISA, and UNISA Gender Studies Unit

Reader MA in Creative Writing Programme, Rhodes University

Guest Editor Current Writing Vol 25 No 2, 2013

Guest Editor Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Spring 2016

Guest Editor Scrutiny2 August, 2019 

Resident: Department of Latina/Latino Studies, College of Ethnic Studies and Cesar E Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University (2017-2019)

Departmental Portfolios

English 3 Course Co-ordinator

English 2 Paper Co-ordinator - Transnational Literature

English 3 Paper Co-ordinator - Encountering African Literature

Paper Co-ordinator Honours - Africa in the World.

Co-ordinator - Departmental Research Seminars

Member - Postgraduate Committee 







Last Modified: Thu, 25 Jul 2019 21:10:18 SAST

Rhodes > English > People > Academic Staff > Sam Naidu

Sam's Published Works


2017. A Survey of South African Crime Fiction: Critical Analysis and Publishing History, UKZN Press: Pietermaritzburg.

2017. Sherlock Holmes: Cultural Politics and Intellectual History, Palgrave Macmillan: London.

2010. Realising Human Rights for All: Navi Pillay, Arcadia Books: London.

Book Chapters: 

Forthcoming. "Race and Ethnicity in Crime Fiction". Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction. 

Forthcoming. "'We take heroin, we give cocaine, we give money, we distribuya. We take to whole world': Transnational Crime in Deon Meyer's Devil's Peak and Santiago Gamboa's Night Prayers". Detection Across Borders: Mobility, Liminality and Transgression in Contemporary Crime Narratives.

Forthcoming. "Migration and the Short Story". The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English, Edinburgh University Press.

2018. "Teaching Postcolonial Crime Fiction: A South African Case Study". ed. Beyer, Charlotte, Teaching Crime Fiction, "Teaching the New English" Series, Palgrave Macmillan. 83-98.

2018. "Negotiating Home-Homeland: An Analysis of Selected Life-Writing by Women Writers of the South Asian Diaspora". ed. Bhat, Shilpa Daithota, Beyond Trishanku: Diaspora Poetics and Homing in South Asian Women's Writing, Lexington Books. 107-118.

2017. "A 'Horrific Breakdown of Reason': Holmes and the Postcolonial Anti-Detective Novel, Lost Ground". Sherlock Holmes in Context, Palgrave Macmillan. 115-131.

2017. "Poison and Antidote: 'Evil' and the Hero-Villain Binary in Deon Meyer's Post-Apartheid Crime Thriller, Devil's Peak". eds. Effron, Malcah and Brian Johnson, The Function of Evil Across Disciplinary Contexts, Lexington Press. 117-130.

2010. “Life-Writing: The Migrating Selves of Meena Alexander”. eds. Singh, Jaspal, K. & Chetty Rajendra, Comparative Poetics in the Literature of Transnational Indian Writers, Northern Michigan University. 87-96.

2007.  “South Asian Diasporic Women’s Short Fiction: the South African Contribution”, eds. Kuortti, Joel & Mittapalli. Rajeshwar, Indian Women’s Short Fiction, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. 47-75. 

2008. “Women Writers of the South Asian Diaspora: Towards a Transnational Feminist Aesthetic?”. eds. Raghuram, Parvati et al. Tracing an Indian Diaspora: Contexts, Memories and Representations, Sage Publications. 368-391.

Editor of Special Issue of Journals:

Forthcoming. Scrutiny 2, 2019 - Dedicated to Intersecting Diasporas.

2016. Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 4(1) - Dedicated to crime fiction in South Africa. 

2013. Current Writing, 25(2) - Dedicated to crime fiction in South Africa.

Journal Articles:

Forthcoming. "African Noir". Forum for Modern Language Studies: Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures

Forthcoming. (With Andrea Thorpe) "Vulnerability and Consequential Complicity: The Figure of the Black Female Migrant in Miriam Tlali's 'Devil at a Dead End' and Chimamanda Adichie's 'On Monday of Last Week". 

2018. (With Andrea Thorpe) "'I don't belong nowhere really': The Figure of the London Migrant in Dan Jacobson's 'A Long Way from London' and Jean Rhys' 'Let Them Call It Jazz'". English Academy Review, 35(1): 26-37.

2016. "Crime Travel: A Survey of Representations of Transnational Crime in South African Crime Fiction". Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 4(1): 3-22.

2016. "The Emergence of the Farm Crime Novel: Socio-Historical Crimes, Personal Crimes, and the Figure of the Dog". English in Africa, 43(2): 9-38.

2015. “The First World’s Third-World Expert: Self-Exoticisation in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner”, with Mohammad Shabangu. Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 1(3): 40-56.

2015. “Sherlock Holmes: Evolving Cultural Icon, Adaptations, Personhood, and Fan Communities”. The Human: Journal of Literature and Culture, 4: 4-19.

2015. (with Beth Le Roux) “South African Crime Fiction: Sleuthing the State Post-1994”, with Beth Le Roux. African Identities, 12(4): 283-294.

2014. “Crimes against Nature: Ecocritical Discourse in South African Crime Fiction”, Scrutiny 2, 19(2): 59-70.

2014. "Writing the Violated Body: Representations of Violence Against Women in Margie Orford's Crime Thriller Novels", Scrutiny 2, 19(1): 69-79.

2014. “The Struggle for Authority in George McCall Theal’s Kaffir Folkore (1882)”, Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies, 24(1): 78-97.

2013. “Vrou is Gif: The Representation of Violence against Women in Margie Orford’s Clare Hart Novels”, with Louise Vincent. African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention, 11(2): 48-62.

2013. “Crime Fiction, South Africa: A Critical Introduction”, Current Writing 25: 124-135.

2013. “Fears and Desires in South African Crime Fiction”, Journal of Southern African Studies 39(3): 727-738.

2012. “Three Tales of Theal: Biography, History and Ethnography on the Eastern Frontier”, English in Africa, 39(1): 51-68.

2005. “On Becoming an African-Asian English Academic at Rhodes University”, African Sociological Review, 9(1): 97-104.

2001. “The Myth of Authenticity: Folktales and Nationalism in the ‘new’ South Africa”, Scrutiny 2, 6(2): 17-26.

Book Reviews:

2018. De Kock, Leon. Losing the Plot: Crime, Reality and Fiction in Postapartheid Writing. 2016. WITS University Press. 277 pages (including Works Cited and Index). Jacobs, J.U. Diaspora and Identity in South African Fiction. 2016. UKZN Press. 354 pages (including Select Bibliography and Index). In English in Africa, 45(2): 133-139. 

2017. "'Plotting the Path to Virtue' Review of Losing the Plot: Crime, Reality and Fiction in Postapartheid Writing by Leon de Kock". in Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, 54(2): 180-182.

2009. The Writing Circle by Rozena Maart and Shalom India Housing Society by Esther David.  In Wasafiri: The Magazine of International Contemporary Writing, 57.

2002. “The Dinner Party” by Don Maclennan.  WordStock (official publication of WordFest, project of the National Arts Festival).

2002.  “African Short Stories: Translating Africa”. Review of The Picador Book of African Stories, edited by Stephen Gray. Picador.   WordStock (official publication of WordFest, project of the National Arts Festival).

Web Publications:

2001. "The Myth of Authenticity: Folktales and Nationalism in the 'new' South Africa", Learning Online South African Literary Encyclopedia. Internet. www.mweblibrary.com. 

Last Modified: Thu, 28 Feb 2019 08:19:53 SAST

Rhodes > English > People > Academic Staff > Sam Naidu

Intersecting Diasporas Research Group Post-Doctoral Fellow: Andrea Thorpe

Project Title: Diasporic Subjectivities in South African Writing

Andrea Thorpe’s postdoctoral research builds on her doctoral dissertation which explored postwar South African writing about London. She is currently expanding and reworking this project into a monograph. She is also taking her research in a new direction by looking at the ways in which apartheid South Africa is figured in the texts and networks of black British writers during the second half of the twentieth century. While contributing to South African literary studies and literary historiography, her research reaches beyond its primary national context towards a timely recognition of South African literature’s intersections with other diasporic and transnational literatures.

Last Modified: Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:24:19 SAST