Research / Teaching Area
Ph.D., University of the Witwatersrand
M.A., University of York
Visiting Research Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand
Kirby Manià earned a PhD in English from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) and holds a Master of Arts in Modern Literature and Culture from the University of York (United Kingdom). She has taught courses in the environment, literary studies, and academic writing at universities in South Africa and Canada. Her research focuses on the crossover between urban spaces, literature, and the environment. She is particularly interested in post-apartheid/post-transitional South African literature(s), urban ecology, environmental justice, crime writing, postcolonial ecocriticism, and writing pedagogy. Recent examples of her scholarly work can be found in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Safundi, and English Studies in Africa.
Urban ecology, urban studies, postapartheid studies, South African literature, environmental justice, postcolonial ecocriticism, gold-rush imaginaries, writing studies
“Rewriting the South African Pastoral: Pitfalls of the Plaasroman in Craig Higginson’s The Dream House.” English Studies in Africa, vol. 62, no. 2, 2019, pp.53-69, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00138398.2019.1685206?
‘”Translated from the Dead’: The Legibility of Violence in Ivan Vladislavic’s 101 Detectives.” Journal of Commonwealth Literature, vol.55, no. 1, 2018, pp.1-16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989418787334
“Writing the Urban Interregnum: Teleology and Transition in Ivan Vladislavic’s Johannesburg.” English Studies in Africa, vol. 60, no. 2, 2018, pp.48-57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00138398.2017.1416812
with Linda Mabin and Jessica Liebenberg. “‘To Go Boldly’: Teaching Science Fiction to First Year Engineering Students in a South African Context.” Cambridge Journal of Education, vol. 48, no. 3, 2018, pp.389-410. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2017.1337721
with Ariane Janse van Rensburg and Randall Bird. “Writing into Design: An Embedded Writing Course for Architectural Studies.” South African Journal of Higher Education, vol. 31, no. 5, 2017, pp.172-188. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20853/31-5-1497
‘”A garden had been left to grow wild there’: Considering Nature in Ivan Vladislavic’s Johannesburg.” Safundi, vol. 18, no. 1, 2017, pp.69-84. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17533171.2016.1252144
‘”Diving the Reef’: Water Metaphors in Ivan Vladislavic’s Portrait with Keys.” English in Africa, vol. 43, no. 2, 2016, pp.63-89. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/eia.v43i2.3
“‘We are Stories’: A Review of Ivan Vladislavic’s 101 Detectives.” English Academy Review, vol. 33, no.1, 2016, pp.140-144. DOI: http://dx.doi.Org/10.1080/10131752.2016.1153582
“Zoo-keeping in Johannesburg: Man/Beast Contestations in Ivan Vladislavic’s Portrait with Keys.” Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, vol. 25, no.1, 2013, pp.100-113. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1013929X.2013.795764
This course focuses on scholarly discourse published on the topic of environmental justice (EJ). It will consider discursive practices ranging from critical race theory, ecofeminism, social movement theory, media studies, geography, sociology, political ecology, and economics. Emerging as a movement in the early 1980s in the United States, EJ – now considered a global movement and a matter of global concern – recognizes the unfair distribution of environmental hazards on marginalized populations. Studies have shown that environmental harms disproportionately affect vulnerable social groups (which includes, but is not limited to, people of colour, indigenous communities, immigrants, women, minority groups, low-income communities, and climate refugees). EJ scholars research and monitor cases of socially produced environmental injustice and critically evaluate how multi-scalar policy decisions (such as neoliberal reform) continue to affect at-risk communities. EJ scholarship examines the social mobilization potential of communities against the uneven distribution of environmental hazards (or the lack of the fair distribution of environmental resources), and also considers how grassroots activists – in their campaign for greater recognition and participation in decision-making processes – hold governments and corporations accountable in their calls for justice. We will be tracing a number of scholarly conversations around the globalization of the Environmental Justice Movement (EJM) – looking at literature from the US, Canada, and other parts of the world – whilst discussing terms like environmental racism, climate justice, intersectionality, ecological debt, degrowth, food sovereignty, hydric justice, and environmentalism of the poor.
The course’s discursive approach invites students to engage with scholarly conversations and published research across a range of disciplinary perspectives. The course will entail writing about these research perspectives as well as producing research of your own.