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Nicola Abram, Department of English Literature – University of Reading

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Nicola Abram, Department of English Literature

Dr Nicola Abram
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Areas of Interest


Research groups / Centres



I am interested in the ways in which literature imagines and enacts a more equitable and just society, with a particular focus on the aesthetics of contemporary postcolonial and feminist writings. I am currently working on my first monograph, reading representations of 'race', ethnicity and gender in non-naturalistic British drama. My next research project will apply an archival methodology to reading postcolonial women's prose writing from across the world. I am Vice Chair for the international and interdisciplinary Postcolonial Studies Association ( and have previously served as co-editor of its newsletter.

Alongside my research I work to widen participation in the study of literature and languages, by conducting school/college and community outreach and promoting diverse curricula and inclusive pedagogy.  

I have previously led a reading group in a high security women's prison, and I regularly volunteer for a charity that supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse.


Within the Department of English Literature I convene modules on Black British Fiction (Part 3), Global Literatures: Translation as Theme and Theory (Part 3), and Research and Criticism (Part 1). I also teach or have taught writing and gender, feminist theory, contemporary fiction, and literary modernism, and on the MA (Res) Modern and Contemporary Writing.

I am interested in supervising PhD projects related to my research expertise, and welcome contact from prospective applicants.

I have also organised and delivered training on anti-racist pedagogy for AS/A-Level and university teachers, and was an invited speaker at 'I am not a costume: a discussion on cultural appropriation', organised by the University of Reading African Caribbean Society (2015).


My recent publications include:

(2016) 'Sensory signification in Juniper's Whitening and Victimese', in 'Telling it Slant': Critical Approaches to Helen Oyeyemi, eds Chloe Buckley and Sarah Ilott (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press).

(2014) 'Staging the unsayable: debbie tucker green's political theatre', Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 2.1, 113-130.

(2014) 'Looking Back: Winsome Pinnock's Politics of Representation', in Modern and Contemporary Black British Theatre, eds Mary Brewer, Lynette Goddard and Deirdre Osborne (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp.95-111.


Selected recent conference papers include:

(2016) Invited talk at Ethics, Affect, Responsibility: Global Citizenship and the Act of Reading, British Academy/University of Bristol.

(2015) 'Reading random through the archive: three decades of black British women's theatre', debbie tucker green symposium, University of Lincoln.

(2015) Invited talk at Representing race and black Britain in theatre, film, television and digital media symposium, National Theatre, London.

(2013) Invited talk at University of Cambridge Postcolonial Seminar Series.

(2013) Invited talk at Black British Women's Writing: Where Is It Now?, an International Expert Meeting, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Public Engagement

My recent activities include:

(2016) Co-organiser of 2nd Uhuru International Black Film Festival, University of Reading, with Unity Arts, Music & Multimedia.

(2014) Invited speaker at public Black History Month celebration, The Globe, Reading.

(2014) Radio guest on BBC Radio Berkshire African Caribbean Community Show hosted by Jeanette Kwakye.

(2012) Contributor to documentary film Margins to Mainstream: The Story of Black Theatre in Britain (Octavia Foundation/Nu Century Arts).


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