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Elleke Boehmer

Internationally known for her research in postcolonial writing and theory and the literature of empire, Elleke Boehmer (BA(Hons), MPhil(Oxon), DPhil(Oxon)) currently works on questions of migration, identity and resistance in both postcolonial literature and writing of the colonial period, in particular of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. A Rhodes Scholar (1985-88), she is Professor of World Literature in English, a Professorial Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, and Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson. Elleke writes both fiction and non-fiction, cultural history and criticism. Her best-selling short biography of Nelson Mandela (OUP VSI series) has been translated into Arabic, Thai and Portuguese (Brazil region). Furthermore, she is director of the Marie Curie funded International Training network ‘CoHaB’, and recently she was Co-Investigator, with Professor Susheila Nasta of the Open University (PI), on a large AHRC-funded project ‘Making Britain' to investigate the many rich South Asian contributions to British social, cultural and political life in the period 1870-1950.
Elleke Boehmer's main research and supervisory interests include anti-colonialism since 1870; life-writing and auto-biography; modernism, masculinity and empire; and the cross-overs between feminism and nationalism in colonial and postcolonial writing. She has a continuing concern with what it means to represent beauty and death, especially in postcolonial narrative and poetry.

Series featuring Elleke Boehmer

  • Great Writers Inspire
  • Challenging the Canon
  • The Leonard Woolf Symposium
  • Leonard Woolf's The Village in the Jungle (1913): A Day Symposium
  • TORCH | The Oxford Research in the Humanities
  • Humanitas - Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT)
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Indian Traces in Oxford
  • Perceptions of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue
  • Interviews on Great Writers
  • Censorship in Literature in South Africa
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Living Bilingual Professor Elleke Boehmer (Director of TORCH) delivers a talk as part of the Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize Talks at Linguamania, Ashmolean Museum. Elleke Boehmer 22 Feb 2017
2 Session 6 Sixth session in the Perceptions of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, held in Oxford in June 2016. Elleke Boehmer, Roger Crisp, Ashwini Deshpande, Devaki Jain 09 Aug 2016
3 Session 5 Fifth session in the Perceptions of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, held in Oxford in June 2016. Elleke Boehmer, Francesca Rhodes, Lloyd Pratt, Tarunabh Khaitan 09 Aug 2016
4 Session 4 Fourth session in the Perceptions of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, held in Oxford in June 2016. Diane Elson, Elleke Boehmer, Linda McDowell, Roger Crisp 09 Aug 2016
5 Session 2 Second session in the Perceptions of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, held in Oxford in June 2016. Elleke Boehmer, Roger Crisp, Lloyd Pratt, Ashwini Deshpande 09 Aug 2016
6 The Prospect of Global History How can global history can be applied instead of advocated? James Belich, Elleke Boehmer, Richard Drayton, Hannah-Louise Clark 27 Jul 2016
7 Cosmopolitanism and Empire Elleke Boehmer considers the cosmopolitan outlooks, experiences and values of Indian travellers to the west in the late 19th century. Elleke Boehmer 05 Apr 2016
8 Authorship, Politics, Celebrity: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives In this roundtable discussion, Caroline Davis, Olivier Driessens, and Peter D McDonald reflect on literature as a mode of public intervention. Elleke Boehmer, Caroline Davis, Olivier Driessens, Peter D McDonald 02 Apr 2016
9 Book at Lunchtime: Arcadia A Book at Lunchtime discussion of Iain Pears' interactive novel Arcadia Elleke Boehmer, Alex Butterworth, Emily Short, Iain Pears 07 Mar 2016
10 Wharton in Wartime A roundtable discussion to mark the publication of Alice Kelly's critical edition of Edith Wharton's First World War reportage Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). Alice Kelly, Shafquat Towheed, Dame Hermione Lee, Elleke Boehmer 11 Feb 2016
11 Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire Elleke Boehmer discusses her new book with Megan Robb, Faisal Devji and Santanu Das Elleke Boehmer, Faisal Devji, Megan Robb, Santanu Das 23 Nov 2015
12 Comparative Encounters between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi Part of "Book at Lunchtime", a fortnightly series of bite size book discussions, with commentators from a range of disciplines. Xiaofan Amy Li discusses her new book "Comparative Encounters Between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi." Xiofan Amy Li, Elleke Boehmer, Wang Xing, Matthew Reynolds 20 Nov 2015
13 The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's Legacy 60 years since the publication of the series' final volume, a distinguished panel explore Tolkien's literary legacy. Elleke Boehmer, Stuart Lee, Patrick Curry, Dimitra Fimi 16 Nov 2015
14 The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's Legacy 60 years since the publication of the series' final volume, a distinguished panel explore Tolkien's literary legacy Elleke Boehmer, Stuart Lee, Patrick Curry, Dimitra Fimi 09 Nov 2015
15 The Silk Roads: A New History of the World Peter Frankopan discusses his new book with Averil Cameron, Robert Moore and Elleke Boehmer Peter Frankopan, Averil Cameron, Robert Moore, Elleke Boehmer 27 Oct 2015
16 Narrative & Proof: Two Sides of the Same Equation One of the UK's leading scientists, Marcus du Sautoy, argues that mathematical proofs are not just number-based, but also a form of narrative. Marcus du Sautoy, Roger Penrose, Laura Marcus, Ben Okri 22 Jan 2015
17 Creative Commons OCCT event - The Point of Comparison The Point of Comparison Mohamed-Salah Omri, Elleke Boehmer, Ben Morgan, Nicola Gardini 20 Sep 2014
18 Creative Commons Intercultural Literary Practices - Theorising Interculturality Dr. Birgit Kaiser (Utrecht), Prof. Peter McDonald (English), and Prof. Elleke Boehmer (English) Birgit Kaiser, Peter McDonald, Elleke Boehmer 20 Sep 2014
19 Histories of the Self A roundtable discussion with Lynn Hunt (Humanitas Visiting Professor in Historiography), Lyndal Roper (Regius Professor of History) and Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English). Lynn Hunt, Lyndal Roper, Elleke Boehmer 29 May 2014
20 Creative Commons Why should we study Postcolonial Literature? Professor Elleke Boehmer of Wolfson College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes why we should study Postcolonial writers such as Achebe. Elleke Boehmer, Sarah Wilkin 31 Jul 2013
21 The Village in the Jungle Roundtable A discussion of key passages from Leonard (and possibly Virginia) Woolf, led by Hermione Lee (Oxford), Anna Snaith (KCL), Elleke Boehmer (Oxford), David Trotter (Cambridge), Susheila Nasta (OU), Nisha Manocha (Wolfson). Hermione Lee, Anna Snaith, Elleke Boehmer, David Trotter 24 Jun 2013
22 Creative Commons 'The Village in the Jungle' Roundtable Discussion This Roundtable Discussion offers several ways into the life and work of Leonard Woolf from the perspectives of several academics. Hermione Lee, Anna Snaith, Elleke Boehmer, Nisha Manocha 18 Jun 2013
23 Creative Commons Race and Resistance Across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century Elleke Boehmer and Imaobong Umoren talk about their research network which is investigating how twentieth-century activists, artists and intellectuals challenged racially oppressive hierarchies and sought to achieve equality. Elleke Boehmer, Imaobong Umoren 24 May 2013
24 Creative Commons Kipling, the Elton John of his age? Professor Elleke Boehmer discusses why Kipling's writing, and his poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in particular, launched him to international fame across the British Empire. Elleke Boehmer, Dominic Davies 08 Oct 2012
25 Creative Commons Postcolonial Women Writers Professor Elleke Boehmer notes the distinct lack of women writers on the Post/Colonial Writing page of the Great Writers website, and explores why this is the case. Elleke Boehmer, Dominic Davies 08 Oct 2012
26 Creative Commons Olive Schreiner Professor Elleke Boehmer gives a talk on Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), the South African novelist, pioneering feminist, and anti-imperialist polemicist. Elleke Boehmer 07 Feb 2012
27 Creative Commons Indian imperial crossings and the Oxford hub Professor Elleke Boehmer (Oxford) - 'Indian imperial crossings and the Oxford hub'. Elleke Boehmer 02 Mar 2010
28 Creative Commons Literature and State Censorship: A literary perspective Peter McDonald and Elleke Bohemer discuss state censorship from a literary perspective; also discussing the issues of nationalism, modernism and Apartheid. Peter McDonald, Elleke Boehmer 17 Nov 2009
29 Introduction to Indian Literature in translation Professor Boehmer gives a short talk on her current research on Indian Literature in English, looking at the Post-Colonial world of literature and gives an introduction to studying World Literature in the Humanities Division. Elleke Boehmer 30 Apr 2009