Sanja Nivesjö

Associate senior lecturer/Assistant Professor at Centre for Gender Research

Visiting address:
Villavägen 6
752 36 UPPSALA
Postal address:
Box 527
751 20 Uppsala

Short presentation

I am an Associate Senior Lecturer (biträdande lektor) at the Centre for Gender Research. My current research project concerns the depiction of interracial love in literature from South Africa and Zimbabwe, 1900-1950. I obtained my PhD in English literature from Stockholm University and Justus Liebig University Giessen in 2020 with the dissertation Dis-placed Desires: Space and Sexuality in South African Literature.


  • african literature
  • critical race theory
  • gender and sexuality
  • queer theory
  • south african literature
  • temporality
  • theories of space
  • zimbabwean literature



Postdoctoral researcher, Uppsala University (English department) and University of Salford, 2021-2023.


Swedish Research Council, International Postdoc, 2021-2023.

Sven and Dagmar Salén Foundation, One-year Postdoc, 2020 (cancelled due to Covid-19).

Birgit and Gad Rausing Foundation, Postdoc research, 2020.

Visiting researcher:

African Feminist Initiative, Penn State University, 2018.

Department of English, Stellenbosch University, 2016.

International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, 2015.


PhD, English Literature, Stockholm University & Justus Liebig University Giessen, 2020.

MA, Sexual Dissidence in Literature and Culture, University of Sussex, 2013.

BA, English, Uppsala University, 2011.

BA hons, International Relations and Spanish, University of St Andrews, 2010.


Research interests:

My general research interests are in African literature, South African literature, queer theory, sexuality studies, solidarity, critical race studies, and theories of space and temporality.

I am currently engaged in a project (previously funded by the Swedish Research Council) looking at the representation of interracial love in Southern African literature from the first half of the twentieth century. I am affiliated with the South African Modernism project.

My doctoral research focused on questions of sexuality and space in South African 20th and 21st-century literature. It identified the entanglement of space and sexuality as a trope in South African literature which responds to the country’s history of colonial and apartheid racial segregation and prohibition of interracial sex. I speak about this research here.


(as researcher) All That Is Buried, dir. Simon Stanton-Sharma and Maire Tracey, Nov. 2022.

"The South African Short Story." Fanthorpe Lecture 2022, Cheltenham Ladies College.

Part of team organising and running workshops in art and creative writing for the public ( and a film screening with Q&A ( at the Being Human Festival 2022 at University of Salford (

(with Jade Munslow Ong). “Research Trip to South Africa July-September 2022.” South African Modernism website, 11.09.22.

"Liquid Modernity/Leaking Bodies in 1920s South African Literature." South African Modernism website, 17.12.21

(with Sigi Vandewinkel) “Review Caine 2021: Leaps of Faith – Troy Onyango’s ‘This Little Light of Mine.’” Africa in Words, 15.07.21.

Nivesjö, Sanja. Interviewed by Pil Saugmann. Nyfiken Podcast, Sept 2021,

“Queer Movements: Sexual Desire, Space and Home in Damon Galgut’s In a Strange Room and Phaswane Mpe’s Welcome to Our Hillbrow.” LitNet, 27.08.14,


Recent publications

All publications




Sanja Nivesjö