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Hedley Twidle

I grew up on mining towns in remote parts of South Africa, and joined the English Department in 2010. I am now a senior lecturer in southern African and postcolonial literatures. Much of my research deals with very local materials – the natural, literary and social histories of Cape Town – as it explores the difficult relation between postcolonial and environmentalist approaches in the humanities.

At the moment, I am particularly interested in how ideas of space and place play out in compelling non-fiction narrative – especially in those parts of the world that are subject to extreme spatial distortion and inequality. In work on writers like Rachel Carson and Arundhati Roy, I have explored the language of public science writing and environmental justice, tracing how unstable ideas of ‘conservation’, ‘ecology’ and ‘pollution’ might be engaged from the global South. 

I also have a strong interest in the essay as a creative, experimental form. I try to read and write more ‘public’ forms of scholarship, and at present am thinking about a cultural history of the N2 highway.

More of my work can be found at www.hedleytwidle.com
My full profile and publications on the English Department website.
 

Selected publications in the Environmental Humanities:

Firepool: Experiences in an Abnormal World (Kwela Books, 2017). A collection of my essays and creative non-fiction.

N2: Reading and Writing the South African Highway. Social Dynamics (2017).

Half-lives, Half Truths. Svetlana Alexievich and the Nuclear Imagination. South Africa PEN essay series, 18 August 2016.

Nuclear Summer. A walk through South Africa’s nuclear pasts and futures. Sunday Times, 7 February 2016.

Invasive Narratives and the Inverse of Slow Violence: Alien Species in Science and Society. Environmental Humanities, vol. 7 (2015). Co-authored with Susanna Lidström, Simon West, Tania Katzschner and M. Isabel Pérez-Ramos (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden).

An Unnatural History. Review of Henrietta Rose-Innes, Green Lion. Sunday Times. 9 May 2015.

Rachel Carson and the Perils of Simplicity: Reading Silent Spring from the global South. Ariel. Special Issue on Postcolonial Ecologies, 44:4 (2014).

The Life of the Mine. Remembering Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014). Business Day, 22 July 2014.

‘The Sea Close By: The Coastal Diaries of Albert Camus, Athol Fugard and Stephen Watson.’ Alternation, Special Issue: Coastlines and Littoral Zones, (2013).