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Dr Zoe Norridge

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Literature, SOAS University of London

    2007
  • Master of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

    2001
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

    2000

Research interests

 

  •  African literature written in English and French
  •  Cultural responses to genocide in Rwanda
  •  Conflict, pain, memory, testimony and empathy
  •  Literature and human rights
  •  Literature and other art forms (dance, photography, memorials)

 

Zoe Norridge’s first book, Perceiving Pain in African Literature, examines literary accounts of suffering from sub-Saharan Africa published over the last forty years. Considering both fiction and life-writing, she discusses texts from West Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Southern Africa to ask how and why African writers represent pain. Authors include Yvonne Vera, J.M. Coetzee, Ahmadou Kourouma, Véronique Tadjo and Aminatta Forna, whilst the theoretical framework is drawn from  medical anthropology, trauma studies and world literature.

 

Building on this earlier project, her current research focuses on cultural responses to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. She is particularly interested in memorial sites and the ways in which the physical geography of the country influences literature and films from and about Rwanda.  Zoe has been travelling to Rwanda since 2009 and has completed a range of projects engaging with post-conflict cultures, including an AHRC funded workshop in Kigali examining the role of public culture and transitional justice in translating the idea of "freedom from fear".  She is currently engaged in initiatives to create training and networking opportunities for Rwandan photographers, in collaboration with local and international partners.

 

Zoe’s recent conference papers and keynotes have focused on the interface between culture and human rights with a particular emphasis on photography.  She is currently participating in an AHRC funded network entitled Children of Political Violence: Imagining the Past and Future from the Present, that brings together artists from Argentina, Rwanda and Northern Ireland.

 

Zoe Norridge is happy to discuss PhD proposals relating to African Literature.  She welcomes research projects concerned with cultural representations of conflict (particularly Rwanda) and enjoys supervising work across literature and other art forms.

 

Biographical details

 

Dr Zoe Norridge joined King’s College London in September 2012.  Prior to King’s she was a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Director of the Aftermaths Research Strand at the University of York, Department of English and Related Literature.

 

She has a BA and MPhil in Modern Languages (Cambridge), a PhD in African Literature (SOAS) and spent two years as the Salvesen Fellow at New College Oxford, affiliated with the Department of English and Centre for African Studies.  Before becoming an academic, Dr Norridge worked in health promotion for NGOs in the UK (Cancer Research UK, Terrence Higgins Trust) and Papua New Guinea (VSO).

 

Since being selected as one of ten inaugural “New Generation Thinkers” by the BBC and AHRC in 2011, Zoe has participated in several programmes on Radio 3.  Her documentary Living with Memory in Rwanda (produced by Anthony Denselow) won a Gold New York Festivals International Radio Program Award.  In 2014 she curated the exhibition Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now with Mark Sealy MBE in the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing.  She is an Associate Editor of Wasafiri Literary Magazine and reviews for academic and mainstream publications.

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