Anna Ball

Anna Ball

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English English, Culture and Media


Dr Ball is a Senior Lecturer in English and teaches widely across the fields of contemporary literary studies, postcolonial studies and gender studies. She supervises work at MRes and PhD level. With Jenni Ramone, she co-directs the Postcolonial Studies Centre at NTU.

Career overview

Dr Ball completed an AHRB-funded MA (2004) and GTA-funded PhD (2008) at the University of Manchester, and has taught at NTU since 2007. She is currently co-Director of NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre Working at the cusp of postcolonial, feminist, world literary and comparative literary studies and across various textual and visual mediums, she has published widely on questions of space, border-crossing, embodiment and agency, particularly within a Middle Eastern context. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contemporary Women’s Writing and a member of the Postcolonial Studies Association. She also works closely with a number of arts and cultural organisations in the Nottingham area, including the New Art Exchange and Nottingham Beyond Borders.

Research areas

Dr Ball's research is concerned with the intersection of postcolonialism and feminism, and their growing pertinence to questions of culture, identity and power within the Middle East. She works with literature, film and visual culture, and is particularly interested in Palestine and Afghanistan as emergent sites of postcolonial enquiry. She has published work on topics ranging from gender in Palestinian cinema to the portrayal of sexual violence in Arab women's writing and, in 2013, curated an exhibition and film season on Palestinian visual culture. Her monograph, Palestinian Literature and Film in Postcolonial Feminist Perspective, was published on the Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures Series in 2012. Also deeply interested in theoretical questions of space, border-crossing and embodiment, Dr Ball is currently working on a monograph and community outreach project, The Body in Flight: Gender, Disenfranchised Mobility and Creative Representation, which explores the gender politics of mobility in literary and filmic narratives of displacement, human trafficking, forced migration and refugeeism. With Karim Mattar, she is also currently co-editing an edited collection of essays on The Postcolonial Middle East.

Dr Ball welcomes applications for MRes and PhD supervision. She is interested in supervising projects in postcolonial and / or feminist studies, particularly in relation to Middle Eastern culture, to questions of space, place and embodiment, and / or to narratives of refugeeism, displacement and activism. She welcomes interdisciplinary projects that work with literature, film and other forms of visual culture. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

Dr Ball is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Women's Writing and a reviewer for a number of journals in the fields of postcolonial and Middle Eastern Studies. She is a member of the Academic Working Group for the Public Programme at Nottingham Contemporary, and of the Gallery Curatorial Board for the Bonington Gallery, NTU. She frequently delivers public lectures, study days and film introductions at museums and galleries in the Midlands area, such as Birmingham Museum and the New Art Exchange, Nottingham, and serves as a Committee Member on Nottingham Beyond Borders, which organises a programme of cultural activities and events for Refugee Week each year.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Ball works with a number of cultural organisations in the Nottingham area, including the New Art Exchange (where she was Academic-in-Residence in Spring 2013), Nottingham Contemporary and the Nottingham Refugee Forum on the delivery of public engagement activities, and is a Committee Member of Nottingham Beyond Borders (which delivers an annual programme of cultural events through Refugee Week). Through her curation of an exhibition of Palestinian video art (Presenting Absence: Moving Images of Palestine, Bonington Gallery, 2013) and as co-organiser of the Oxford Palestine Film Season (2013), she has worked with a number of Palestinian film directors, and with cultural bodies that support the Palestinian Arts.


Special Issue of Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 'Palestine and the Postcolonial'. Ball A and Williams P, 2014, 50 (2)

Communicating with Darwish's Ghosts: absent Presence in Dialogue with the Palestinian Moving Image. Ball A, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communications, 2014, 7, 135-151

Kafka at the West Bank Checkpoint: De-normalizing the Palestinian Encounter Before the Law Ball A, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2014, 50 (1), 75-87

Impossible Intimacies: Towards a Visual Politics of 'Touch' at the Israeli-Palestinian Border Ball A, Journal for Cultural Research, 2012, 16 (2-3), 175-195

Palestinian Literature and Film in Postcolonial Feminist Perspective Ball A, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012

Between Awra and Arab Literary Feminism: Sexual Violence and Discursive Crisis in Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero Ball A in Thompson ZB and Gunne S (eds), Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives: Violence and Violation, 2010, 71-84, London, Routledge

'Here Is Where I Am': Re-Rooting Diasporic Experience in Leila Aboulela's Recent Novels Ball A, in Rerouting the Postcolonial: New Directions for the New Millenium, ed. S Lawson and J Wilson, 2010, London, Routledge, 118-127

Between a Postcolonial Nation and Fantasies of the Feminine: The Contested Visions of Palestinian Cinema Ball A, Camera Obscura, 2008, 23 (3), 1-35

The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East (under contract; forthcoming 2018) Anna Ball and Karim Mattar, eds.,

See all of Anna Ball's publications...

Press expertise

Dr Ball is able to offer expert opinion on questions pertaining to postcolonial feminism, Palestinian literature and film, representations of gender in the Middle East and cultural questions of gender and refugee experience.