Prof Helene Strauss
9B 204
051 4013452
Flippie Groenewoud Building: Block B 204

Short CV

Helene Strauss joined the Department of English at the University of the Free State (UFS) in September 2011 after 11 years in Canada, where she obtained her PhD before taking up a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. She was appointed as Chair of the Department of English at the UFS in May 2013. Her areas of interest include Southern African, African and African diasporic literature, film and culture; postcolonial cultural studies; critical race, sexuality and gender studies; responsibility; interracial and intercultural interaction; protest cultures and emotional publics; and consumer cultures. She welcomes postgraduate students in the fields of Southern African and African studies; postcolonial cultural studies; and race, sexuality and gender studies. Her undergraduate courses have included: Reading Film; Postcolonial Cultures: Theory and Practice; Un-disciplining the body: Poetics and Performance and Memorialising the Past: The Memory Industry of Post-Apartheid South Africa. She has taught postgraduate courses such as Reading Sex and Sexuality in Post-Apartheid South Africa and Intra-African Mobilities: Contemporary African Cultural Production.

Her academic honours and awards include a Standard Research Grant (2009-2012) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); a Canadian Governor General’s Gold Medal for her Doctoral Research; a SSHRC doctoral fellowship; and a Y1 rating from the National Research Council of South Africa. Her current research provides a critical analysis of representations of intimacy in post-TRC South African literary and cultural texts, with the explicit aim of mapping possibilities for social, civic and interpersonal responsibility in the current phase of post-apartheid political life. Her research on this topic has, thus far, been published in the journal Subjectivity, and has informed a Special Issue of the journal Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies on the topic of ‘Postcolonial Intimacies’, which she co-edited and for which she co-authored the introduction (with Phanuel Antwi, Sarah Brophy and Y-Dang Troeung). She is also completing a book on intercultural interaction and everyday life in post-apartheid South Africa and co-editing (with Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and Andre Keet) a collection of essays on historical trauma and memory. Her other publications have appeared in journals and books such as African Identities; Wasafiri; Journal of Literary Studies; English in Africa; English Academy Review; ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature; Postcolonial Text; Under Construction: `Race` and Identity in South Africa Today; and Burdened by Race: Coloured identities in southern Africa. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals ARIEL and English in Africa.

Courses Presented

ENG314:  An introduction to sociolinguistics; Drama and poetry in English

ENGD6894: Reading film: perspectives from film theory and cultural studies

ENGI6844: Intra-African mobilities: contemporary African cultural production [Not available in 2014]

ENGL6808: Research methodology and research essay in literature

ENGL6824: Contemporary critical theory


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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