Dr Nicola Abram is 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, and reading representations of 'race', ethnicity and gender in non-naturalistic British drama.
"During my undergraduate degree I became curious about the idea of 'identity', which so often appears in contemporary literature. Focusing specifically on the issues of gender and ethnicity, I began researching plays and performance poetry by black British women - most of which had never been published. This resulted in my first book, Black British Women's Theatre: Intersectionality, Archives, Aesthetics."
Nicola shares this fascinating subject with students on the Part 3 module "Black British fiction", where she works with students to analyse a range of texts - novels, short stories, poetry, plays, films, and theory - in relation to their historical contexts.
Through the module students look at the ways in which ideas of 'home', 'community', 'conflict' and 'belonging' have evolved since the Windrush period (the phase of post-war migration from the Caribbean to Britain, named after the boat on which hundreds of passengers travelled to the UK in 1948). They also trace the use of different forms of English, such as Jamaican Creole, and recognise how language and literature are enriched by these sources.
"By the end of the module students are better informed about the colonial and postcolonial history of Britain, and are equipped and eager to critique insular ideas of the nation. Not only do they recognise and celebrate the diversity of its citizens, but they become more active and engaged as citizens themselves."