Sarah Jilani, King's

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr Priya Gopal
Dissertation Title: Realising the Nation, Re-making the Self: The Literature and Film of Decolonisation in Africa and South Asia

Biographical Information

After a BA (Hons) in English at The University of York (2012) and an MSt in English at The University of Oxford (2013), I wrote freelance on contemporary art, film and books for publications including The Economist, The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and ArtReview. In 2017, I began my PhD at Cambridge with a joint AHRC-Isaac Newton Trust award.

Research Interests

My thesis considers early postcolonial (1950s-1970s) African and South Asian realist novels and films for their treatments of subjectivity in relation to decolonisation. The self remains a central concern for postcolonial studies: space and place were the objects of colonial domination, but the subjugation of the colonised, via the refusal and manipulation of their subjecthood, accompanied this. I seek to investigate the relationship between subjectivity and the material everyday of (neo-/)post-coloniality in this period's works. I consider, amongst others, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Ayi Kwei Armah, Satyajit Ray, Buchi Emecheta, Kamala Markandaya and Ousmane Sembène.

My research interests also include Third Cinema theory and practice; Frantz Fanon; tricontinentalism and its legacies; materialist feminism; and literary and cinematic social realisms.

Areas of Supervision

I welcome contact from students interested in working on any of the above or related topics.

Selected Publications

Review of "Contemporary Diasporic South Asian Women's Fiction" by Ruvani Ranasinha. Women: A Cultural Review 29:3-4, 2018. 

"Violence and Mimicry: 'The Battle of Algiers' at 50", The Oxonian Review 30.2, 2016.

"'Black' Spaces: Othello and the Cinematic Language of Othering",  Literature/Film Quarterly 43.2, 2015.

"Race, (In)Visibility and Subjecthood in Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' and Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye'",  Postgraduate English 29, 2014.