Researcher

Dr Bonaventure Muzigirwa Munganga

My Expertise

Comparative Trans-Indigenous/Bla(c)k Race, Cultures, Literatures and Arts; Comparative Bla(c)k Epistemologies, (eco)Aesthetics and Poetics; Posthumanism, Postcolonialism and Decolonial Critique; Environmental Humanities; and Public Humanities

Biography

I took my first degree in English (ISP/Bukavu-DR Congo), then an MA in Literary Stylistics (University of Birmingham-UK) and a PhD in English Literary Studies (UNSW-Sydney). I am also an alumnus of the 2019 Harvard Institute for World Literature session and my primary and broad research interests span Literary and Cultural Theory and Criticism, Aesthetics and Politics, and Literature and Philosophy. I have a particular interest in Comparative...view more

I took my first degree in English (ISP/Bukavu-DR Congo), then an MA in Literary Stylistics (University of Birmingham-UK) and a PhD in English Literary Studies (UNSW-Sydney). I am also an alumnus of the 2019 Harvard Institute for World Literature session and my primary and broad research interests span Literary and Cultural Theory and Criticism, Aesthetics and Politics, and Literature and Philosophy. I have a particular interest in Comparative Black and Indigenous Race, Cultures, Literatures and Arts, with focus on epistemologies, (eco)aesthetic and poetics, posthumanism, postcolonialism and decolonial critique, as well as the possible synergies among these areas to forge both contemporary and yet to be named interdisciplinary literary, cultural, and social science research avenues. This eclecticism also informs my contribution to teachings in Colonialism: Resistance, Justice and Transition; Comparative Global Indigenous Histories and Politics; Media, Culture and Everyday Life; Media, Climate Crisis, and the Anthropocene. My work has appeared in Theory, Culture and Critique, Cogent Arts and Humanities, European Journal of English and American studies and Transmotion (forthcoming). Parts of my work have also been presented in conferences at Harvard University, Cambridge University, University of Sydney, UNSW-Sydney, Western Sydney University, and London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research. To end with, I have also previously worked, and I still maintain abiding interest, in such areas as education, emergency and development projects management and coordination, research in gender and agriculture, cultural affairs, as well as translation and interpreting.


My Grants

 

British Academy ODA Challenge-Oriented Research Grant on Power and Voice in Climate Change (June 2024-December 2026). Re-valuing Local Knowledges: Understanding Voice, Land and Power for Climate Action in Eastern DRC, ref # IOCRG\101313 (£147,298.13), joint with Sarah Arens (University of Liverpool), Nicola Thomas (University of Lancaster) and Blake Ewing (University of Nottingham).

UNSW ADA Innovation Hub Creative Confidence Annual $1.5K p.a grants (2021-2022).

       UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship, AU$52K p.a. + full tuition fee, 2018-2023

       Birmingham International Scholarship, £10,000 p.a. 2013-2014.    

       All-Saints Overseas Scholarship, £12,500 p.a, 2013-2014

       US Fulbright Scholarship for an MA in TESOL (declined), 2012


My Qualifications

 PhD English Literary Studies (UNSW-Sydney)

 MA Literay Stylistics (U. of Birmingham-UK)

 BA English (ISP/Bukavu-DR Congo)


My Awards

         

 


My Research Activities

I am currently working on three major projects. These include:

2. Localising the Anthropocene: Reconceptualising Time, Place, and Knowledge for local meanings of and response to Climate Change, Environmental Protection and justice in the Congo Tropical Forest region

This project focuses on climate fiction from countries across the Congo Basin forest to unpack how time, place, knowledge and their entailments of humans and nonhumans entanglements are conceptualised, as well as implications for the local meanings of the Anthropocene, climate change, environmental protection, justice, and policies. Part of this project is funded by a joint British Academy grant under the scheme of Power and Voice in Climate Action (2024-2026). 

2. Black Memories and Epistemologies: The Poetics of Cosmopolitan Identity in Afro-Diasporic Literatures

This project studies how contemporary Afro-Diasporic fictions epitomise black worlds by registering black memories as the writers’ negotiation of a black identity in a cosmopolitan locatedness. It will explore how black memories interface and intermesh with issues of race, gender, ecology, and identity, and how reading, enacting, and making sense of these worlds is contingent upon the readers’ creative minds for the pursuant poetics. This project’s innovation holds on construing black worlds as unfolding among and juxtaposed to non-black worlds, thus conversant with what African philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne views as “pluralism” (2020) of, or multiple worlds, while at the same time registering black memories and epistemologies as mode of copyrighting black cultural authorship in world literature.

3. Worlds in the Land Down Under: Ethnicity, Indigeneity, and Identity Constellations in Australian Multicultural Literature

The project seeks to find whether and how Australian multicultural writers enact worlds that epitomise a multicultural Australia and how as readers we read and/or interprets these worlds from a multicultural perspective. Multicultural Australian literature “is not simply a matter of adding more new names to the existing canon but of learning to read differently, in other words, to read via cultural difference.” (Gunew 1988, 75) Learning to read differently implies visiting and inhabiting different worlds (at least during the reading) and returning in Australia. I intend my study as a fundamentally comparative one, treating multicultural writers from Aboriginal, African, and Asian origins and argue that they bring their audience to experience worlds bound up with the writers’ ethnicity and Indigeneity. Australian Multicultural literature, I therefore argue, epitomises identity constellations as the writers’ claims and negotiations of who they understand they are as humans in their cosmopolitan locatedness and of which, in so doing, they seek public recognition (Taylor 1994, Modood 2013, Parekh 2006) in the multicultural Australia they envision.

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Publications

by Dr Bonaventure Muzigirwa Munganga