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Neelika Jayawardane

Associate Professor


M. Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and senior editor and contributor to the online magazine, Africa is a Country. She is an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa).  

Jayawardane was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in the Copperbelt Province in Zambia, and completed her university education in the US. Her academic publications focus on the nexus between South African literature, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism and apartheid on the body. Her most recent publications include "'Forget Maps': Countering Global Apartheid, Creating Novel Cartographies in Ishtiyaq Shukri's The Silent Minaret" in Research in African Literatures (2013) and a book chapter, "'Scandalous Memoir': Uncovering Silences and Reclaiming the 'Disappeared' in Mahvish Rukhsana Kahn's My Guantánamo Diary" in Transatlantic Literature and Culture After 9/11: The Wrong Side of Paradise (Palgrave McMillan, 2014). She also publishes regularly on photography and art, the most recent of which includes an essay on apartheid-era photography exhibit at the International Center for Photography in Manhattan in Art South Africa; "Cartography without Frontiers: The Body, the Border, and the Desert in Sama Alshaibi's Artwork" in Contemporary Practices: Visual Art from the Middle East; and "Everyone's Got Their Indian: A Photographic History of South Africa's Asians" in Transitions.  


'Scandalous Memoir': Uncovering Silences and Reclaiming the 'Disappeared' in Mahvish Rukhsana Kahn's My Guantánamo Diary."Transatlantic Literature and Culture After 9/11: The Wrong Side of Paradise ed. Kristine A. Miller. Palgrave McMillan, 2014. (Book Chapter)

'Forget Maps': Countering Global Apartheid, Creating Novel Cartographies in Ishtiyaq Shukri's 
The Silent Minaret" Research in African Literatures. Volume 45, Number 1, Spring 2014, pp. 1-23.  


  • November 2014: National Women's Studies Association Conference. Panel: "Violent Geographies: Transnational Representations of Gender, War, and Resistance". Paper: "Re-Telling the Nation: Dangerous Disclosures in South African Women's Memoirs". San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • November 2014: 57thAnnual African Studies Association Conference. Panel (Chair): "Winnie Madikizela Mandela: Reflections on the Mother of the Nation". Paper: "Winnie and the Camera: Fashioning an Impenetrable Armature." Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • March 2014: American Comparative Literature Association Conference. Panel: "The Comic Mask: Theorizing Satire, Humor and Laughter in South African Culture". Paper: "Untranslatable Caricatures: South Africa's Cartoonists' Reliance on Racist Tropes."

  • January 2014: 129th MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, 5-8 January 2014.

    (a) Panel: "Space and Belonging in Post-9/11 US American Literature": "'Scandalous Memoir': Uncovering Silences and Reclaiming the Disappeared in Mahvish Rukhsana Kahn's My Guantánamo Diary."

    (b) Panel: "Expatriation, Authorship, and Reception in African Literatures": "Relocating the Expatriated Self in the 'New' South Africa: Memoirs of Indian South Africans."

  • March 2013: Organised and Chaired Panel: "Re-Inscribing the Self: Memoirs, Self-Narrative, Testimony and Contemporary African Writers." Literature, Liberation, and the Law: The 39th annual conference of the African Literature Association (Charleston, South Carolina)

  • Jan. 2013: "Meditation on the Terrorist: Daisy Rockwell's The Little Book of Terror." 128th MLA Annual Convention, Boston, Massachusetts, 5-8 January 2013. Panel: Human Rights in U.S. Literature and Beyond. 

Classes taught

Spring 2016 Courses

ENG 323/800TR2:20-3:40232 Marano CC
ENG 365/800TR11:10-12:30306 Marano CC
ENG 365/810TR9:35-10:55306 Marano CC