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Neelika Jayawardane

Associate Professor


Contact

307 Marano Campus Center
315.312.2628
neelika.jayawardane@oswego.edu

Website

Class website

Office hours

Fall 2017
Tuesday & Thursday
12:45 - 2:00
or by timely appointment
Email professor 24hr. in advance.

Neelika Jayawardane

M. Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). She is a founding member of the online magazine, Africa is a Country, where she was Senior Editor and contributor from 2010-2016. She teaches postcolonial literature and theory with a special focus on contemporary African literature, and literature that focuses on immigration, displacement, and travel. Her scholarly publications focus on the nexus between South African literature, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism and apartheid on the body. She is working two projects: her first project is a book project on the Afrapix Collective, “South Africa’s only anti-apartheid photography agency”; her second project focuses on art produced as a vital part of the #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall, and other coterminous student-activists’ movements in South Africa.Among numerous published texts, Jayawardane recently contributed the main essay for the South Africa pavilion's  57th Venice Biennale catalogue, and essays for The Walther Collection’s publication (2017) and other artists’ catalogues. Her writing is featured in TransitionsApertureAl Jazeera English, Contemporary&, Art South AfricaContemporary Practices: Visual Art from the Middle EastEven, and Research in African Literatures.

Class webpage here

Publications

Book Chapters:

Scholarly Essays and Articles:

  • “No Shore in Sight: Precarious Journeys and Unbearable Passages in the Moving Image Installations of Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng.” Catalogue essay for the South Africa Pavilion, The 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. 2017. (Forthcoming)
  • “Photography as Travel Memoir: Itinerancy, Movement, and Subjectivity Formation in Kenyan photographer Mimi Cherono’s Work.” Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art, Catalogue essay for Walther Collection, 2017. (Forthcoming).
  • “Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama: Embracing the Dark Lionesses’ Call”. For Aperture (forthcoming in 2017).
  • “Liminal Horizons: Joël Andrianomearisoa’s When the day belongs to the night.” Catalogue essay for Joel Andrianomeriosoa’s work at the India Art Fair, 2017.
  • “Precarious Bricoleurs: Simphiwe Ndzube’s Becoming.” Exhibition catalogue essay for Simphiwe Ndzube’s solo exhibition, 2016. Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town.
  •  “Dreaming of Transcendence: Andrew Tshabangu’s Photography.” Exhibition catalogue essay for Andrew Tshabangu’s solo exhibition, 2016. Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.
  • “Otobong Nkanga: Transformations and Erasures.” Art of Nigerian Women. 2016.
  •  “Between Nostalgia and Future Dreaming: Aida Muluneh’s Portraits”. Transition 120 (June 2016).

Articles (Journalism):

Conferences

  • 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

Fall 2017 Courses

ENG 204/800

TR 9:35-10:55 208 Marano CC
ENG 360/810 TR 11:10-12:30 306 Marano CC
ENG 465/810 TR 2:20-3:40 208 Marano CC

ENG 204-In English 204, the seminar for sophomores, we learn about the significance of theory and criticism for the study of literature – be it poetry, drama, traditional narratives, memoirs, or even things outside of the realm of literature, such as television news, print, live feeds on twitter, or blog posts. We will look at how global and national issues – the socio-political world around us – interact with the ways in which writers write and readers read; that is, we will look at the relationship between things we regard as personal and how those private issues are intrinsically tied to the political. We will also work on establishing how authors construct themselves as narrators, where they situate themselves in the literary landscape, and how they have been “received” by the literary/critical community of readers and critics over time.

    This is the first class in which you will learn the skills necessary for the next step in your career as an English major. As the semester moves into the winter months, you will become more confident as a reader and critic, and become more capable of injecting theory into your critiques of writers and their work, highlighting your skills as a skilled researcher ready for your next set of English classes. The coursework for ENG 204 involves more than reading nice stories. Be prepared to carefully read and analyse scholarly articles and theory that pertain to writing and ready to engage in class discussion (without rambling uselessly). Be thoughtful, and supply responses to texts that reveal the ways in which social, historical, and political contexts are just as important to our understanding of a text as what exists on the page.

BOOKS/TEXTS: I recommend you do NOT get books on Kindle for scholarly purposes because you must be prepared to do close reading, with attention to specific passages. Below, the ISBN numbers for each book:

  1. Ten Little Indians, by Sherman Alexie
  2. Americanah, by Chimamanda Adiche
  3. Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo

 

  1. Ten Little Indians, by Sherman Alexie

           Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (March 17, 2004)

            ISBN-10: 080214117X

            ISBN-13: 978-0802141170

Price: Used paperbacks from $0.01!

  1. Americanah, Chimamanda Adiche
    Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)

            ISBN-10: 0307271080

            ISBN-13: 978-0307271082

Price: from $5.99-7.99

3.  Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo   

            Publisher: Akashic Books (April 1, 2014)

          Language: English

            ISBN-10: 161775272X

            ISBN-13: 978-1617752728

            Price: >$1-8

ENG 360-Typically when we speak of literature, we speak of ‘national’ literatures like British, American, or French literature, or of broader regional entities like ‘Western’ literature or ‘Latin American’ literature. But at least since Goethe articulated the notion of a “world literature” in the 1820s, there have also been attempts to think of literature in a global setting. Thinking globally has become only more urgent with the increasing mobility of people and cultures in the last century. And being critical readers, thinkers, and writers in this competitive new world of fast-moving “Netizens” is essential to being a successful and dynamic graduate, no matter where your degree will take you. The purpose of this course is to help students become more globally-aware by exploring a selection of contemporary literature—novels and memoirs different from the ‘classics’ to which you may have been previously exposed—helping us understand the individual’s role in rapidly evolving societies and landscapes. The novels and memoirs we read in this class will help us become critical thinkers and help us understand the individual’s role in society. We will read also learn how to respond to though our own informed, well-designed, and well-researched writing.

BOOKS/TEXTS: I recommend you do NOT get books on Kindle for scholarly purposes because you must be prepared to do close reading, with attention to specific passages. Below, the ISBN numbers for each book:

  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
  2. Americanah, by Chimamanda Adiche
  3. The Buddha of Suburbia (paperback) by Hanif Kureishi
  4. Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo
  5. Coursepacket Readings (critical articles, links to author interviews, assignments – all on class website)

 

  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

            Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)

            ISBN-10: 1594483299

            ISBN-13: 978-1594483295

            Price: from $0.68 (used paperback) – $6.95 (new)

  1. The Buddha of Suburbia (paperback) by Hanif Kureishi

            Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1991)

            ISBN-10: 014013168X

            ISBN-13: 978-0140131680    

            Price: from > $1

  1. Americanah, Chimamanda Adiche
    Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)

            ISBN-10: 0307271080

            ISBN-13: 978-0307271082
Price: from $5.99-7.99

4. Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo    

            Publisher: Akashic Books (April 1, 2014)

          Language: English

            ISBN-10: 161775272X

            ISBN-13: 978-1617752728

            Price: >$1-8

ENG 465-Many of you may have never read a book by an African author. Don’t be afraid. The books we read in this course are going to surprise you in terms of subject matter, style, and poetic language. Together, we will develop a greater appreciation of cultural, thematic, and aesthetic differences in contemporary African Literature, produced by a particular author -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We will begin by discussing how themes addressed and styles of writing used differ markedly from that of the writers from the early 1960s, when many African Writers wrote polemically against the abuses of their colonial powers, and responded to the transformations and disappointments that came with political independence -- then address the differences inherent in our author's works. We will also familiarise ourselves with the scholarship surrounding Adichie, as well as the writing she produces on blogs, her public talks (available on video), and in popular (and literary) publications.

 

As with any advanced literary study, we will read critical and analytical papers about each author’s works to help contextualise our reading; these papers will, in turn, help you as you write your research paper. In addition, we may also explore art and photography produced by contemporary artists from the locale (Lagos, Nigeria and West Africa in general), to look at the ways in which written texts and image narratives work together or contradict each other.

 

BOOKS/TEXTS: I recommend you do NOT get books on Kindle for scholarly purposes because you must be prepared to do close reading, with attention to specific passages. Below, the ISBN numbers for each book:

  1. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adiche
  2. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adiche
  3. Americanah, by Chimamanda Adiche
  4. Online texts (including short stories and essays), podcasts of interviews, TED talks (all available free, from our online Class Coursepacket)
  5. Coursepacket Readings (critical articles, links to author interviews, assignments – all on class website)