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Professor Alison Donnell – University of Reading

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Professor Alison Donnell

Professor Alison Donnell
Job Title:
Head of School of Literature and Languages



Areas of Interest

Research groups / Centres


Areas of interest

My primary research interest is postcolonial writings and theory, in particular Anglophone Caribbean literature and black British writings. I also have a strong interest in women's writing and feminist theory.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise doctoral students engaged in a broad range of research in Caribbean, postcolonial and women's writing and would welcome Ph.D. students in any of my specialist areas. I have recently supervised doctorates on Caribbean women's poetry, Reading Emotion in African-Caribbean Women's Writing, Contemporary Jamaican Novels and Black British Women's Playwriting. My former PhD students are now employed at the University of Reading, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and the University of Liège, Belgium.

Recent major publications

  • Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature [co-edited with Michael Bucknor](Routledge, 2011)
  • Selected Poems of Una Marson (Peepal Tree Press, 2011)

For a full list of publications please see Alison Donnell's publications

Research projects

  • AHRC Research Fellowship, Caribbean Queer
  • Diasporic Archives, Leverhulme International Network
  • A British Academy/Associated Commonwealth University Collaboration: Breaking Sexual Silences
  • Scottish Insight Institute Project: 'Independent Publishing: Making and Preserving Culture in a Global Literary Marketplace'

For more details see Alison Donnell Research

Editorial Roles

I was a Founding and Joint Editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 1998 to 2011. I now serve on the Editorial Board of The Journal of West Indian Literature and am Advisory Editor to the journal MaComère I am Trustee and Editorial Advisor to Wasafiri

Research Groups

In 2011, I founded the Faculty Research Theme, Minority Identities: Rights and Representation, and remain an active member

Recent invitations to present my work

  • 2012: Organiser and Presenter at Caribbean-Irish Connections Conference, Barbados; Hurst Fellow at the University of Washington, St Louis; Invited speaker at Universities of Liège, Miami and Pittsburgh.
  • 2011: Workshop symposium on 'Other World Literatures,' University of Maryland; Plenary Paper at Love, Sex, Desire & the (Post)Colonial. Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London; Plenary Paper at 'Beyond Calypso: new perspectives on Sam Selvon' Conference, Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick; Oxford Postcolonial Research Seminar, Wadham College, University of Oxford; Keynote Address at Criticism and Theory Conference 8, University of the West Indies, Barbados.  


Within the department I convene specialist third year modules on Black British Fiction and Writing Global Justice. I contribute to courses in Women's Writing and Feminist Theory and Criticism and Theory. I also teach on the MA (Res) Modern and Contemporary Writing

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