Biography

Alison Donnell was appointed Head of School of Literature, Drama, and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia from September 2017. She was Head of the School of Literature and Languages at the University of Reading (2013-17) and previously worked at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Leeds. Her research has been funded by grants from the AHRC, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust, and she has an established international profile in Caribbean literary studies. Her latest research project on ‘Caribbean Literary Heritage’ (2017-2020) is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and brings her critical interest in recovering neglected writers together with her commitment to safeguarding the future of the literary past. She also has a keen interest in contemporary creative writing and is Chair of Directors for Wasafiri, a magazine of international contemporary writing. She has acted as a judge for academic prizes, held a number of fellowships, and was invited to deliver the National Library of Jamaica’s 2016 Annual Distinguished Lecture.

Professor Donnell's research and teaching interests include:

  • Anglophone Caribbean literature
  • black British literature
  • the intersections between feminism and postcolonialism
  • writing justice from the global south
  • postcolonial literary histories

She would welcome applications from students wishing to work on these topics.

All Publications

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Donnell, A.

(2015)

Entanglements of root and branch: The queer relations of the Caribbean Irish,

in Caribbean Irish Connections : Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

The University of the West Indies Press

pp. 103-118

ISBN 978-9766405045

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Donnell, A. (ed.), McGarrity, M. (ed.), O'Callaghan, E. (ed.)

(2015)

Caribbean Irish Connections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,

The University of the West Indies Press

ISBN 978-976-640-504-5

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2015)

'The African Presence in Caribbean Literature' revisited: Recovering the politics of imagined co-belonging 1930-2005,

in Research in African Literatures

46

(4)

pp. 35-55

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2015)

Rescripting Anglophone Caribbean Women's Literary History: Gender, Genre and Lost Caribbean Voices,

in Beyond Windrush : Rethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature.

University Press of Mississippi

pp. 79-96

ISBN 978-1-62846-475-7, 978-1-4968-1304-6

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2013)

Quarrels with the Quarrels with History,

in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal

10

(2)

article no. 12

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2013)

V.S. Naipaul: a queer Trinidadian,

in Wasafiri

28

(2)

pp. 58-65

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2012)

Caribbean queer: new meetings of place and the possible in Shani Mootoo's 'Valmiki's Daughter',

in Contemporary Women's Writing

6

(3)

pp. 213-232

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2012)

The island and the world: Kinship, friendship and living together in selected writings of Sam Selvon,

in Journal of West Indian Literature

20

(2)

pp. 38-53

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2012)

All friends now? Critical conversations, West Indian literature and 'The Quarrel with History',

in Small Axe

16

(2)

pp. 75-85

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2012)

Contesting Thistlewood: slavery, agency and the limits of representation,

in Joscelyn Gardner: Bleeding & Breeding.

Station Gallery

pp. 33-36

(Other chapter contribution)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

Una Marson and the fractured subjects of modernity: Writing across the black Atlantic,

in Women: A Cultural Review

22

(4)

pp. 345-369

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

Heard but not Seen: Women’s Short Stories and the BBC’s Caribbean Voices Programme,

in The Caribbean Short Story : Critical Perspectives.

Peepal Tree Press

pp. 29-43

ISBN 9781845231262

(Other chapter contribution)

(Published)


Narain, D. D., Donnell, A., O'Callaghan, E.

(2011)

Shani Mootoo: Writing, Difference and the Caribbean,

in Journal of West Indian Literature

19

(2)

pp. 1-8

(Editorial)

(Published)


Bucknor, M. A. (ed.), Donnell, A. (ed.)

(2011)

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature,

Routledge

ISBN 9780415485777, 9780415827942

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Donnell, A. (ed.)

(2011)

Una Marson: selected poems,

Peepal Tree Press

ISBN 9781845231682

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

Anna In-Between: Caribbean and not Caribbean: attachment, loss and strange Longing: a conversation with Elizabeth Nunez,

in The Caribbean Writer

25

pp. 262-276

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

The lives of others: Happenings, histories and literary healing,

in The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean literature.

Routledge

pp. 421-430

ISBN 9780415485777, 9780415827942

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

The Questioning Generation: Rights, Representations and Cultural Fractions in the 1980s and 90s,

in The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean literature.

Routledge

pp. 124-135

ISBN 9780415485777, 9780415827942

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2011)

Living and loving: emancipating the Caribbean queer citizen in Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night,

in Sex and the Citizen : Interrogating the Caribbean.

University of Virginia Press

pp. 168-180

ISBN 9780813931128, 9780813931135

(Other chapter contribution)

(Published)


Donnell, A.

(2009)

Visibility, violence and voice?: Attitudes to veiling post-11 September,

in The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader.

Routledge

ISBN 978-0415543705

(Other chapter contribution)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Professor Donnell’s research focuses on the relationships between literature and global justice agendas, in particular the injuries and legacies of colonialism. Her work is animated by the trandsdisciplinary fields of gender, queer and postcolonial studies.

Her primary research interest is postcolonial writings, in particular Anglophone Caribbean literature and black British literature. She also has a strong interest in women's writing, sexuality studies and archival work. Her inclinations have always been towards collaborative work, as her research projects listed below indicate.

Her recent publications include a special double issue of Caribbean Quarterly on ‘Caribbean Literary Archives’ and Caribbean Irish Connections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-edited with Evelyn O’Callaghan and Maria McGarrity). Her current projects include a monograph Caribbean Queer: culturequeer belongings, sexual plurality and the literary and a collection of Caribbean women’s fiction 1920-1970.

She is General Editor of Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1800-2015 a three-volume publication for Cambridge University Press (2020).