Wamuwi Mbao (NHC Fellow, 2022–23)

Project Title

Representing Discontent: South Africa in Words and on Screen

Stellenbosch University

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Fellowship Work Summary, 2022–23

Wamuwi Mbao is a writer and literary critic. He teaches literature at Stellenbosch University. His research interests are in South African popular culture, literary criticism, and architecture and automotive histories. He is the editor of Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poetry of Decolonization.

He is a fiction critic with the Johannesburg Review of Books. His work has appeared in various publications. His short story "The Bath" was noted as one of the most significant short stories of South Africa's new democracy. He is the recipient of a South African Literary Award for his body of literary criticism.

Selected Publications

Years of Fire and Ash

  • Mbao, Wamuwi. “Feeling towards the Contemporary: Judging New South African Fiction.” Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa 34, no. 1 (2022): 88-95.
  • Mbao, Wamuwi. Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poetry of Decolonization. Jonathan Ball: 2021.
  • Mbao, Wamuwi. “‘What Does it Do to You to be the Subject of Someone Else’s Imaginative Impoverishment?’—Wamuwi Mbao Reviews Claudia Rankine’s New Book Just Us.” The Johannesburg Review of Books, April 15, 2021.
  • Mbao, Wamuwi. “Perplexing the Liquid University.” English Studies in Africa 63, no. 1 (2020): 72-88.
  • Mbao, Wamuwi. “Terror Terroir: Building Disruptive Possibilities in Ivan Vladislavić’s The Folly.” Journal of Literary Studies 36, no. 4 (2020): 9-26.