Dr Sara Marzagora joined King’s College London in January 2020. She holds a PhD in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies from SOAS University of London (2016) during which she also worked as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford (2014-2016). After her PhD, she co-led for four years the SOAS research project “Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies” on bottom-up approaches to world literature. Over the years, she held visiting positions at Northwestern University, Addis Ababa University, Rhodes University, City University of New York, and the ZMO (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies).
Sara is a steering committee member of the British Academy project Fontes Historiae Africanae (Sources of African History), an editorial board member of the Comparative Literature section of Modern Languages Open, and a member of the Postcolonial Print Cultures International Research Network. In January 2021 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Research interests and PhD supervision
Sara is a literary and intellectual historian of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Her research focuses on conceptualisations of the “global”, both in terms of its historical genealogies and as a set of methods to subvert Eurocentric and neocolonial epistemologies. She has written about the potential and limitations of the “transnational turn” in the humanities from the point of view of three interrelated disciplines: intellectual history, literature, and political thought. Her approach to cultural and intellectual production draws on Marxist and sociological methodologies.
She is currently completing her book manuscript The True Meaning of Independence: Ethiopian Intellectuals in a Colonial World (1901-1919), and co-editing two more books: a volume on oral traditions in world literature with Francesca Orsini, and a volume on national multilingualism in South Asia and the Horn of Africa with Javed Majeed. Her research on Amharic literature, Ethiopian political thought, and Ethiopian history has been published in the Journal of African Cultural Studies, Journal of African History, International History Review, Journal of World Literature, Global Intellectual History, African Identities, Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For a full list of publications, see her research profile.
Sara welcomes PhD proposals in her areas of expertise:
- Global intellectual history and world literature
- Critical theory and cultural studies
- History of print cultures and literary genres
- Literatures in African languages, including orature
- Ethiopian history, literature, and political thought
Sara teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in world literature, critical pedagogy, literature and nationalism, medieval and modern African literatures, and the intellectual history of the Horn of Africa.