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Postcolonial Studies Centre

Unit(s) of assessment: English Language and Literature

Research theme: Sustainable Futures

School: School of Arts and Humanities


The Postcolonial Studies Centre at NTU, established in 2000, is a leading international hub for critical thought around the legacies of social disenfranchisement, colonialism, neocolonialism and the potential for postcolonial thought to contest marginality and social exclusion. The PSC founded the Changing Wor(l)ds Partnership which works with publishers, writers’ agencies and activist groups, and literary and cultural organisations to create a platform for dissenting and disenfranchised voices. The underpinning research of all Centre members contributes to the shape of this network and its aims of establishing collaboration between postcolonial scholars and cultural activists and practitioners.

The centre aims to lead and support work on decolonisation, and is committed to engaging with diverse public audiences; its Changing Wor(l)ds Partnership and literary events and festivals have been a forum for this in recent years. Recent events have included writing events, workshops, conferences, film screening and conversation series, festivals, and events with writers. Recent guest speakers and workshop facilitators for events led by the Centre have included the novelists Bernardine Evaristo (Booker Prize winner), Abdulrazak Gurnah, Kamila Shamsie, Sharankumar Limbale, Ajay Navaria, Urmila Pawar, Des Raj Kali, Cho. Dharman, Shamim Sarif, Okechekwu Nzelu, Pete Kalu; poets Kalyani Thakur, Jacinta Kerketta, Jameela Nishat and Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy; filmmakers Destiny Ekaragha, Cass Pennant, Perivi Katjavivi, Jayan K. Cherian; and translators Sipra Mukherjee, Maya Pandit, Annie Montaut, Uma Damodar Sridhar and Johannes Laping.

The PSC is led by the NTU English department and has staff members and doctoral candidates working across all NTU departments in the Arts and Humanities, as well as Arts and Design and Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. Many of its postgraduate researcher members are supported by AHRC M4C (Midlands Four Cities) funding, by NTU PhD Studentship bursaries or by international funding. The Centre runs interdisciplinary research and literary events, makes available online materials through its website and researchers’ project sites, and welcomes associate members including those outside academia seeking a research support network. The PSC is defined by a community of scholars who work across a range of cultural contexts seeking to extend the field of Postcolonial Studies.

Centre Research

Members of the Postcolonial Studies Centre supervise postgraduate students on topics including:

  • Contemporary postcolonial and global literatures
  • Interventions in postcolonial theory and world literature
  • The postcolonial literary marketplace
  • Dalit Literature
  • Refugee narratives and forced migration
  • Literary activism
  • Mental health
  • African American and Black British print and visual culture
  • The American South and the US civil rights movement
  • Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary postcolonial studies
  • Indigenous literatures
  • Women's writing, film and art from the contemporary Middle East
  • Travel writing
  • Ecocriticism
  • Globalization, technology, and contemporary literature and theory
  • Gender and maternity in postcolonial and global contexts
  • Representations of incarceration

Postgraduate Study

Colleagues associated with the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies welcome PhD proposals from prospective research students. For further information about opportunities as an English Research Student at NTU, contact us.

PhD Funding

Find out everything you need to know about funding your doctoral studies – from tuition fees and loans, to studentships and external funding.


Centre members’ individual research projects have included work with the Refugee Forum and with refugee women, with Dalit and Adivasi writers, and have addressed writers and communities worldwide, with recent work focusing on the UK, India, Palestine, Cuba, Nigeria, and the US. The Centre hosts a writer in residence – in 2019-20 and 20-21 this position is held by Eve Makis, novelist and life-writing specialist, who has delivered workshops online and in person and has supported staff and students throughout the university, as well as with our partners and collaborators, to write creatively.

In 2020, the centre developed a year-long series of public events to mark the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with Bonington Gallery: Formations enables interdisciplinary engagement prompted by themes or objects and is concerned with making visible the centrality of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic artists and thinkers, and the patterns and materials that connect global creative and intellectual histories. Many events are available to view on the dedicated Formations YouTube channel.

Centre members have worked with many local, national, and international partners, many through our Changing Wor(l)ds Programme, including:

  • UNESCO Cities of Literature
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • New Art Exchange
  • Nottingham Refugee Week
  • Palewell Press
  • HopeRoad Publishing
  • Exiled Writers Ink
  • Spread the Word
  • Primary Gallery
  • Bonington Gallery

Centre members have been awarded research grants from the British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Related staff

Centre members from departments other than English Literature:

PhD student members:

  • Beth Evans
  • Daniel Bilton
  • Arwa Almefawaz
  • Purnachandra Naik
  • Margaret Ravenscroft
  • Paul Adey
  • Miguel Mejides
  • Roxie Ablett
  • Allan Njani
  • Tom Lockwood-Moran
  • Panya Banjoko
  • Dani Olver
  • Valentina De Riso
  • Victoria Callus
  • Connor Murphy
  • Patricia Francis
  • Karmanye Thadani


Selected recent publications by centre members include:

Colin Alexander, Administering Colonialism and War: The Political Life of Sir Andrew Clow of the Indian Civil Service (Oxford and New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Anna Ball, Palestinian Literature and Film in Postcolonial Feminist Perspective (New York: Routledge, 2012)

Anna Ball and Karim Mattar, eds., The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019)

Phil Leonard, Orbital Poetics: Literature, Theory, World (London: Bloomsbury 2019)

Phil Leonard, Literature after Globalization: Textuality, Technology and the Nation-State (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

Sharon Monteith, SNCC's Stories: The African American Freedom Movement in the Civil Rights South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2020)

Sharon Monteith, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Jenni Ramone, ed., The Bloomsbury Introduction to Postcolonial Writing: New Contexts, New Narratives, New Debates (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)

Jenni Ramone, Postcolonial Literatures in the Local Literary Marketplace: Located Reading (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Nicole Thiara, Judith Misrahi-Barak and K. Satyanarayana, eds. Dalit Text: Aesthetics and Politics Re-Imagined (New Delhi: Routledge, 2019)

Related Projects

The Formations Event Series with Bonington Gallery

Nicole Thiara, Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature

Nicole Thiara, On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

Leverhulme Research Fellowship, Anna Ball: 'Moving Women, Moving Stories: Rethinking Narratives of Forced Migration'

Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship held by Distinguished Professor Sharon Monteith on the literature of the US civil rights movement

Sharon Monteith, SNCC’s Stories: The African American Freedom Movement in the Civil Rights South (2020)

Jenni Ramone, Postcolonial Literatures in the Local Literary Marketplace: Located Reading

Sharon Monteith, Journey to Justice

Phil Leonard, British Academy/ Leverhulme-funded Troubling Globalization workshops

Sharon Monteith and Nahem Yousaf, British Academy Landmark Conference: Civil Rights Documentary Cinema and the 1960s: Transatlantic Conversations on History, Race and Rights.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

The Postcolonial Studies Centre submitted an impact case study to REF 2021. Discover the real-world impact of their research

Here for the epic thinkers

The School of Arts and Humanities is home to research in Modern Languages and Linguistics; English Language and Literature; History; and Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.

AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership scholarships.

Applications are open between October and January each year.