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Dr. Thorell Tsomondo

Dr. Tsomondo earned her Ph.D. in 1980 at the State University of New York—Buffalo, with concentrations in Shakespeare, 19th-century British literature, and the novel, and minors in African and African-American studies. At Buffalo, she taught Major American Writers, Major British Writers, and writing courses. She taught English, American, African and African diaspora literature and literary criticism at the University of Zimbabwe for an interval (1983-1989) between faculty appointments in our department, where she teaches Shakespeare, literary theory, and British literature, especially 19th-century British literature, on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her scholarly essays—on Othello, Jane Austen’s fiction, relationships between James Baldwin’s and Charles Mungoshi’s fiction, Caribbean literature, and Victorian fiction—have been published in refereed journals, including Mosaic, Persuasions, Kunappipi, Critique, World Literature Written in English, English Studies in Africa, and the Victorian Newsletter. She has just completed a book,The Not So “Blank Page”: The Politics of Narrative and the Woman Narrator, Defoe to Dickens (in circulation), and she is currently at work on a study that spans several centuries of writing and is titled “What Is the Black Saying?: Talking B(l)ack in Colonial Script, in Colonial Time.”

Dr. Tsomondo has participated in scholarly conferences on Romantic literature, British Studies, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Zimbabwean Literature, and Comparative Literature and Film. Most recently, she was invited to present “From Caliban’s Island to Dracula’s Imported ‘Soil’: A Study in the Vagaries of (Post) Colonial Traffic” at the Sixth Triennial Congress of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, held at Rhodes University, S.A. She organized a panel (“Monstrous Economy”) for the 2003 Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference (Albuquerque, NM). She has directed MA theses and doctoral dissertations on a variety of topics in British literature. She is an active member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and of the North/East 19th-Century Women’s Writers’ Study Group and serves as Howard University’s representative on the Board of Directors of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Internationally recognized as an expert in postcolonial theory and the literature of imperialism, Dr. Tsomondo was invited by Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, to serve as an international, external examiner for the doctoral dissertation “Captive Bodies: Representation, Narrations of Desire, and Slavery” (with particular reference to slavery in the Cape Colony).

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