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Lynda Gichanda Spencer



Associate Professor Lynda Spencer

Associate Professor and Head of Department

BA Law (Walter Sisulu), BA Hons (Pretoria), MA (Witwatersrand), PhD (Stellenbosch)

email: l.spencer@ru.ac.za


Teaching and Research Interests

Women’s Fiction, African Literary Studies, Transnational literature, Popular literature in Africa, Postcolonial Studies, Popular women’s fiction, East African literary and cultural studies, African Diasporic Studies, and Women’s narratives on war.

Andrew W. Mellon Urban Connections in African Popular Imaginaries (UCAPI) Research Group

Lynda is principal investigator of the UCAPI Research Group, concerned with African popular modes of representation and interpretation, and especially with the ways in which local specificities and global imaginaries are articulated through popular genres. It seeks to engage critically with various knowledge productions that are embedded in local cultural forms. 

Lynda is also principal Investigator (with Ashleigh Harris): Contemporary African Texts and Contexts: Decolonising the archive, genre and method. This project aims to bring together two established research projects: ‘African Street Literature and the Future of Literary Form’, financed by the Swedish Research Council (2017-2020) at Uppsala University, and ‘Urban Connections in African Popular Imaginaries’, funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation (2017 - 2021) and based at Rhodes University. Both projects are concerned with the methodological limits placed on the field of African literary studies in the global academy. These limitations are related to questions of the archive, genre and method

Selected Publications

Click here for more details on selected research publications https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9504-5919

Book Chapters

2012. “Heirs of Tradition or Veiled Anxieties? Romance, Sex, and Marriage in Contemporary Ugandan Women’s short stories.” Rethinking Eastern African Literary and Intellectual Archives. Eds. James Ogude, Grace A. Musila and Dina Ligaga. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. 98-117.

2012. “Biography of Moses Isegawa.” Dictionary of African Biography.  Eds. Emmanuel K. Akyempong and Henry Louis Gates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012. Biography of Goretti Kyomuhendo.”  Dictionary of African Biography.  Eds. Emmanuel K. Akyempong and Henry Louis Gates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles

2015. “Visible Wars and Invisible Women: Interrogating Women’s Roles During Wartime in Goretti Kyomuhendo’s Waiting:  A Novel at War.English in Africa 42.2: 109-128.

2014. “‘On the fringes of society’ and out of the closet’.” A response to “Sexual/Textual Politics.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 32.4: 491-492.

2013. “The House of Mothers:  Constructing Alternative Forms of Mothering in Kagiso Lesego Molope’s The Mending Season. English Academy Review 30. 1: 63-75.

2009. “Young, Black and Female in Post-apartheid South Africa: Identity Politics in Kopano Matlwa’s Coconut.” Scrutiny 2.11.1:66-78.

2005. “Language Learning Interventions.” Journal for Language Teaching 39. 1: 114-130.

Book Reviews

2010. “The Mending Season.  The English Academy Review.27.2: 146-149.

2009. “Waiting: A Novel at War.” English Academy Review. 26. 2: 107-108.

2009. “Words and Worlds: African Writing, Theatre, and Society.” African Studies Review, 52 .1: 222-224.

2007. “Waiting: A Novel at War.” African Studies Review, 50.3: 211-212.

Academic Engagements

Head of Department, Course coordinator: English 3, Course coordinator: English 1, Paper Co-ordinator: Encountering African Literature

Institutional/Professional Activities

Editor: The Journal of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies

Co-convenor (with Sharlene Khan): African Feminisms Conference (Afems) 

Guest Editor (with Grace A. Musila and Dina Ligaga): Agenda: Empowering women for gender equity Issue (3) 2018

Guest Editor (with Minesh Dass): English in Africa Issue (3) 2018

Complier (with Tina Steiner): Year’s Work in English Studies (New Literatures: Eastern Africa Region)

Project Participant: Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence (Rhodes University)

Member:  English Academy of Southern Africa

Member: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

External Examiner: Stellenbosch University, University of the Witwatersrand and Monash University

Committee Member: GenAct (Rhodes Univerisity)

Hall Fellow:  Courtenay- Latimer (Rhodes University)






Last Modified: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 10:35:06 SAST