African Studies Centre Annual Lecture

Convener: Miles Larmer

Speaker: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi


Daring to Decentre Western Readerships

One of the things the empire did for readers and publishers in the West was to prime authors from former colonies to write, especially fiction that hoped to reach global audiences, to Europe. This left the West’s idea of what a novel is unchallenged, created an illusion of a universal reader and gave immense power to the West to determine Literatures in European languages. Using my experiences as a Ugandan writing and publishing in Britain, this lecture hopes to look at the priming processes, perpetuation, the implications for the African canon, and finally the consequences of decentring Western readerships.


Free to attend  - in person please register here


The Lecture will be available online via MS Teams. This will be a live-stream only, with no online Q&A - all welcome

Please click the link here

jennifer makumbi 2021 pics

The African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford is delighted to announce that its annual lecturer for 2022 will be Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the celebrated and multiple award-winning Ugandan fiction writer. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013 and was a Sunday Times book of the year. Her second book, the short story collection Manchester Happened was published in 2019. The novel, The First Woman (titled A Girl is a Body of Water in North America) was published in 2020 and won the Jhalak Prize in 2021: Peter Kalu, Jhalak Prize judge, declared “In Jennifer Makumbi, we have a giant of literature living among us.”

Jennifer is also a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize 2018. She won the Global Commonwealth Short story prize 2014 for her short story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly. She is a Cheuse International Writing Fellow (2019) and holder of the KNAW-NAIS residency (2021). She has a PhD from Lancaster University and has been (senior) lecturer at several universities in Britain. In 2020, she was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine.