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Katherine Hallemeier

Associate Professor

Address: 207b Morrill Hall
Phone: 405-744-5487


PhD, Queen's University


Areas of Interest & Expertise
  • Postcolonial literature and theory

  • Contemporary Anglophone African fiction

  • Studies in cosmopolitanism and human rights

  • Theories of affect and emotion

Recent Courses Taught
  • ENGL 6250: Forms of Postcolonial Optimism

  • ENGL 3190: Contemporary African Fiction

  • ENGL4340: Postcolonial Literature and Human Rights

Selected Publications


  • African Literature and U.S. Empire: Postcolonial Optimism in Nigerian and South African Writing. (Forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press, 2024). 

  • J.M. Coetzee and the Limits of Cosmopolitanism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Reviews: Ariel, Australian Literary Studies, Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, CHOICE, Oxford Bibliography of J.M. Coetzee

Special issue

  • Co-editor with Jeremy De Chavez, “Postcolonial Affect,” special issue of ARIEL 54.3-4 (2023). 

Selected peer-reviewed journal articles

Selected peer-reviewed book chapters

Book Review

  • Review of Approaches to Teaching Coetzee's Disgrace and Other Works. Eds. Laura Wright, Jane Poyner, and Elleke Boehmer. Invited review for Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines. 51.2 (2017): 322-24.

Selected Conference Presentations
  • “Nigerian Nonfiction and the Cold War U.S. University.” African Literature and the Cold War. Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Seattle, WA, 9-12 Jan. 2020.

  • “American Universities and New African Fiction.” Sites of Production and Productivity: Universities and Professional Organizations. African Literature Association Conference, Columbus, OH, 14-18 May 2019.

  • “Provincializing the American-as-‘Global’.” From the Venice Biennale to Wakanda: Cultural Production and Reconfigurations of Africa. Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Atlanta, GA, 29 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2018.

  • “Neoliberal Crisis and American Dreams of South Africa.” The Crisis of the Future/The Future in Crisis: The Aesthetics of Futurity in the Post-Global Present. Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, UCLA, 29 Mar. - 1 Apr. 2018.

Current Research

African Literature and U.S. Empire: Postcolonial Optimism in Nigerian and South African Writing examines African literatures in which dreams of postcolonial nationhood are maintained under conditions of U.S. empire. Postcolonialism has long been associated with postnationalism. Yet, the persistence of nation-oriented literatures from within the African postcolony and its diasporas registers how dreams of national becoming die hard. The Nigerian and South African literatures that are the focus of this study, while often attuned to the trans- and extra- national, repeatedly scrutinize why visions of national exceptionalism signified by a “pan-African” Nigeria or a “new” South Africa remain stubbornly affecting, despite decades of disillusionment with national governments beholden to a neocolonial global order. Optimistic forms of nationalism cannot be reduced, in these fictions, to easily critiqued state-sanctioned discourses of renewal and development. They are also circulated through experiences of embodied need, quotidian aspiration, and transnational relationship.

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