Dr Alexander Fyfe
Teaching Fellow in Comparative Literature
Office hours autumn 2020: TBA
I received my PhD in Comparative Literature and African Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. Prior to joining Edinburgh as a Teaching Fellow in Comparative Literature, I was an assistant professor of English at the American University of Beirut. While my primary research is in modern African literatures, I generally teach in the areas of postcolonial literatures, world literature, and critical theory.
PhD Comparative Literature and African Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (2019)
MA English Literature, University of Warwick (2014)
BA French & Italian, University College London (2012)
Theories and Methods of Literary Study I
In broad terms, my research is concerned with the relations between politics and literary form in modern African literatures. My current book project, African Literatures and the Politics of Subjectivity, argues that African writers have consistently used literature as a means to imagine alternative ways of living and being in postcolonial Africa. Rather than merely reflecting or representing exisiting formations of the subject, writers as diverse as Gabriel Okara, Bessie Head, Susan Kiguli, and Chwayita Ngamlana use a wide variety of literary forms to articulate new and politically expedient modes of existence.
In addition to my published articles, I have edited special issues of African identities and (with Rosemary Jolly) The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.
“Marxism and African Literary Studies Today.” African Identities 18.1-2, 2020, 1-17.
“The Archival Politics of the Postcolonial Special Collection: A Case Study in Literary Value and Amos Tutuola.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 50.2-3, 2019, 137-161.
“Wealth in Fiction: Animism, Capitalism, and Ben Okri’s The Famished RoadTrilogy.” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 5.3, 2018, 318-337.
“The Textual Politics of the Land in the Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa.” Research in African Literatures 48.4, 2017, 78-93.
“Universalism and the Specificity of the Literary in Frantz Fanon’s ‘On National Culture’”. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies19.6, 2017, 764-780.