Dr. des. Ksenia Robbe

Englisches Seminar
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Johannisstr. 12-20
D-48143 Münster

Ksenia Robbe now works at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.

Ksenia Robbe holds an M.A. in African studies and in English translation and interpretation from the State University of St. Petersburg. From Oct. 2007 to Oct. 2011 she was a doctoral fellow at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) in Giessen, where she has recently obtained a Ph.D. in English and American Literary and Cultural Studies. In her dissertation titled ‘Dialogics of Motherhood: South African Women's Writing and the Politics of Translocation’ she investigated the possibilities of cross-cultural comparative study of South African literatures from a gender-oriented perspective.

From November 2011 till March 2012 she worked as research assistant in International Affairs at the GCSC and was an international post-doc fellow with the Research Group Universality and the Acceptance Potential of Social Knowledge: On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South at the University of Freiburg. Her new project engages with the paradigms of thinking postcoloniality in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Soviet Russia.

She has taught and published in the areas of South African literary history, African women’s writing and activism, and postcolonial theory. Other research interests include intellectual history, gender theory, (post-)Soviet studies, transnational knowledge production.

She is member of the ASNEL/GNEL (Association for Postcolonial Studies in German-speaking countries) and the EACLALS (European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies).

Currently, she is lecturer at the Institute for Cultural Disciplines and with the B.A. programme International Studies, both at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


Academic Essays

“Controversies and Conversations: Linguistic and Generic Translations in/of Antjie Krog’s Relaas van ‘n Moord”. Conventions and Conversions: Generic Innovations in African Literatures. Eds. Susanne Gehrmann and Flora Veit-Wild. WVT, Trier, LuKA 4. Forthcoming 2012.

“Comparison as Translation: The Possibility of the Comparative Study of South African Literatures.” Provocation and Negotiation: Essays in Comparative Criticism. Eds.Gesche Ipsen, Timothy Mathews and Dragana Obradović. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2011.

“The Difficulty of Belonging: Reading across the Times and Spaces of South African Women's Autobiographic Narratives.” Identität in den Kulturwissenschaften: Perspektiven und Fallstudien zu Identitäts- und Alteritätsdiskursen. GCSC 5. Eds. Horst Carl, Wolfgang Hallet, Ansgar Nünning and Martin Zierold. Wiss. Verlag Trier, 2011, 277-292.

“Dialogue Within Changing Power Structures: Commodification of Black South African Women’s Narratives by White Women Writers?” Commodifying (Post)Colonialism: Othering, Reification, Commodification and the New Literatures and Cultures in English. ASNEL Papers 16. Eds. Rainer Emig and Oliver Lindner. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2010, 109-124.

“’Ya pishu potomu chto ya v gneve’: Stoletnaja istorija zhenskoj literatury na Afrikaans”. [‘Ek skryf omdat ek woedend is’: Hundred years of Afrikaans women’s writing”]. Papers from the 3rd Workshop of Young Russian Africanists, Saratov Univ. Press, 2004, 144-152.


”Dispropriating Law and Literature: Review of Mark Sanders’ Ambiguities of Witnessing: Law and Literature in the Time of a Truth Commission.” Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007.
http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=25881 , published Jan. 2010.

Under the Sky of My Africa: Alexander Pushkin and Blackness. Eds. Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Nicole Svobodny, Ludmilla A. Trigos. Illinios: Northwestern Univ. Press, 2006. Wasafiri. Journal of International Contemporary Writing. Issue 'African Europeans', 56 (Winter 2008), 84-85.

Encyclopedia Entries

34 entries on South African writers for Encyclopedia Africa. Vol.1-2. Moscow: Publishing House ‘Encyclopedia’, publishing house ‘INFRA_M’, 2010.


Riana Scheepers. “Dom v tri s polovinoj istorii.” Trans. from Afrikaans (“‘n Huis met drie en ‘n half stories”). Under My Africa’s Sky: History, Culture and Languages of Africa. Vol. 4. Moscow: Publishing House Kluch-S, 2009, 195-203.

Guest Lectures

“Voyage in - Voyage out, or, How to Read a South African Text?” 10th Seminarie Afrikaans, Limburg Universitair Centrum, Hasselt (Belgium), July 2008.

“Afrikaanse literatuur: ´n oorsig“ [Afrikaans Literature: An Overview]. Lecture series 'Taalkunde: Afrikaans' (Prof. Dr. Amand Berteloot). Haus der Niederlande, WWU Münster, December 2006.

“Canonisering van Zuid-Afrikaanse vrouwenliteratuur.” [Canonization of South African Women’s Literature]. Lecture series 'Canoniseing in de Nederlandse literatuur' (Prof. Dr. Lut Missinne). Haus der Niederlande, WWU Münster, June 2006.

Conference Papers (Selection)

"Transgressing Beyond Transition: (Re)Productions of Knowledge and Space in Critical Writing by South African Intellectuals". Conference of the Association for African Studies in Germany (VAD) “Embattled Spaces, Contested Orders”, Cologne, 30 May – 02 June, 2012.

“Thinking Postcoloniality beyond the Centre: The Challenges of the ‘New’ Intellectual Cultures in Post-Soviet Russia and Post-Apartheid South Africa”. Internationale und interdisziplinäre Sommerakademie „‚Knowledge in Flux’: Wissenskulturen und Diskursivität des Wissens angesichts von Differenzierungs-, Dynamisierungs- und Transnationalisierungsprozessen“, Herder-Institut Marburg, 12.-17. September 2011.
“Post-Soviet Women Intellectuals: The ‘Decolonial Options’ of Maria Arbatova and Madina Tlostanova”. International Graduate Conference ‘Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Contestations: Decolonizing the Social Sciences and the Humanities’, Frankfurt Research Centre for Postcolonial Studies, 16-18 June, 2011.

“Strokes of Motherhood: Contesting Future in the Past in Contemporary South African Women’s Writing.” The Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) 15th Triennial Conference, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, June 6-11, 2010.

“Mothers of the ‘Lost Generation’: Questionable Communities and Complicities in Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother and Marlene Van Niekerk’s Agaat”. 21st Annual ASNEL/GNEL Conference “Contested Communities: Communication, Narration, Imagination”, University of Bayreuth, May 13-16, 2010.

“Transpositionings: Chronotopes of Decolonization in Njabulo Ndebele’s and Zoë Wicomb’s Short Stories.” 20th Annual ASNEL/GNEL Conference “Postcolonial Translocations”, University of Münster, May 21-24, 2009.