School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Professor Stephanie Newell

Leverhulme Visiting Professor

Background

Steph has worked at universities in Europe and America, including Stirling University, Trinity College Dublin, Sussex University and Yale University. She has served as President of the African Studies Association of the UK, Executive Committee member of the African Literature Association, and member of the prize committee of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prizes. From 2013 to 2016, she was Principal Investigator on a project, "The Cultural Politics of Dirt in Africa, 1880–present", funded by the ERC. Currently she is Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Steph's research interests include Anglophone African print cultures, with particular attention to media audiences and readerships in colonial West Africa, and creative writing as articulated through local print cultures, including newspapers, pamphlets, novels, and magazines. She is the author of five books on African literature and popular print cultures. Her forthcoming book, Histories of Dirt: Media and Urban Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos, works at the intersection of African literary studies and urban cultural history.

While in Newcastle as Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Steph will work alongside Neelam Srivastava, James Procter, Jack Webb, and other colleagues, to help build the Postcolonial Print Cultures network, and she will deliver a series of seminars and public lectures to disseminate her knowledge of archival and printed material relating to African print histories. While here, she will work on a research project called "African Print Worlds: Newspapers, Local Creativity and West African Reading Publics", focussing on the central role of African-owned newspapers in creating platforms and publics for the earliest West African creative writers in English.

Here is a recent podcast about her project on dirt: The Idea of Dirtiness


Research

Steph Newell’s research interests include Anglophone African print cultures, with particular attention to media audiences and readerships in colonial West Africa, and creative writing as articulated through local print cultures. She is the author of five monographs on African literature and popular print cultures. Her forthcoming book, Histories of Dirt: Media and Urban Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos, works at the intersection of African literary studies and urban cultural history.

Ghanaian Popular Fiction

Literary Culture in Colonial Ghana

West African Literatures: Ways of Reading

The Forger's Tale: The Search for 'Odeziaku'

The Power to Name: A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa

Histories of Dirt

Publications

  • Newell S. "Afterword: Newsprint Worlds and Reading Publics in Colonial Contexts". Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions 2020. In Press.
  • Newell S. "Graphic Fictions: Reader Research and the Making of a Comic Strip in 1950s ‘British West Africa.’”. Research in African Literatures 2020. In Press.
  • Newell S. Histories of Dirt: Media and Urban Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2020. In Press.
  • Newell S. “Screening Dirt: Colonial Film Audiences and the Problem of Spectatorship.”. Social Dynamics 2018, 44(1), 6-20.
  • Newell S. “The Last Laugh: African Audience Responses to Colonial Health Propaganda Films.”. Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 2017, 4(3), 347-361.
  • Newell S. “Life Writing in the Colonial Archives: The Case of Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-96) of Colonial Nigeria.”. Life Writing 2016, 33(3), 307-321.
  • Newell S. “Paradoxes of Press Freedom in Colonial West Africa.”. Journal of Media History 2016, 22(1), 101-112.