Professor of English and Africana Studies
Yvette Christiansë is a South African-born poet, novelist, and scholar. She is the author of two books of poetry: Imprendehora (published in South Africa by Kwela Books/Snail Press 2009) and Castaway (Duke University Press, 1999). Imprendehora was a finalist for the Via Afrika Herman Charles Bosman Prize in 2010 and Castaway was a finalist in the 2001 PEN International Poetry Prize. Her novel Unconfessed (Other Press, 2006; Kwela Books, 2007; Querido, 2007) was a finalist for the Hemingway/PEN Prize for first fiction and received a 2007 ForeWord Magazine BEA Award. It was also shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2008, and nominated for the Ama Ata Aidoo Prize 2010. Her poetry has been published in the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Canada, France and Italy. She is also the recipient of The Harri Jones Memorial Prize for poetry (Australia).
She teaches poetry and prose of former English colonies (with an emphasis on South Africa, the Caribbean and Australia), narratives of African Diaspora, 20th Century African American Literatures, poetics and creative writing. Her research interests include the nexus between theories of race and gender, class and postcoloniality. She has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Duke University's John Hope Franklin Center and a Visiting Professor at Princeton University's Center for Creative and Performing Arts. She has also been a National Research Council Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand and a visiting writer at the University of Cape Town. Her manuscript on Toni Morrison's poetics and is forthcoming from Fordham University Press. She is currently writing a book on representations of Liberated Africans or Recaptives between 1807 and 1886.
Poet and fiction writer, Yvette Christiansë, was born in South Africa under apartheid and immigrated with her parents to Australia at age 18. Her work has been published internationally, and her poetry collection, Castaway, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN International Poetry Prize. Her acclaimed first novel, Unconfessed, is based on the life of a slave woman in the Cape Colony and was a finalist for the 2007 Hemingway/PEN International Prize for First Fiction.
(page last updated 1/15/2015)
In the News
Three faculty members will participate in Barnard's Sixth Annual Global Symposium "Women Changing China."
Prof. Yvette Christiansë co-teaching Africana studies course with colleague in South Africa.
New faculty members strengthen the Africana studies program and establish new courses of study. Read more about these renowned scholars.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education highlights Prof. Christiansë's collaboration with South African colleague.