Dr Charlotta Salmi

Department of English Literature
British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My main research interests are in contemporary postcolonial and world literature and theory. I work on a range of literary forms, from human rights narratives to graphic journalism, from South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.


  • BA Joint Honours English and History (University of York)
  • MA  Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality (University of York)
  • DPhil (University of Oxford)


Following my joint honours in English and History at the University of York, I completed an MA in Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality. In 2013 I received my doctorate from Oxford in Partition Literature, after which I held a fixed-term lectureship in Postcolonial Studies and World Literature at Queen Mary University of London.


I am interested in different forms of violence in contemporary postcolonial and world literature. My doctoral research looked at more or less violent forms of community and belonging in contemporary literature from two partition areas: Israel and Palestine, and India and Pakistan. I am currently in the process of preparing this work for publication under the title Bordering the World in Post-Partition Literature. The book explores the border imaginary in a range of genres by writers such as David Grossman, Raja Shehadeh, Amitav Ghosh and Uzma Aslam Khan, especially through the epistemic limits and boundaries that exist in both sectarian and humanist discourse.

My British Academy funded project considers violent textualities in graphic literature (graphic novels, memoirs and comic journalism) from and about the Middle East and South Asia. I will mainly be focussing on the relationship between alternative modes of representation and political violence in texts from Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Israel and India. This project taps into some of my broader interests in conflict narratives, popular resistance literature, narratology and reading.

Other activities

I am a member of the Postcolonial Studies Association, the Modern Literature Association and the American Comparative Literature Association.

Recent presentations include:

  • "Reading Michael Ondaatje: Feeling One’s Way to the Human" South Asian Writers Series and Symposium, University of Oxford, May 2014.
  • "Drawing Lines: Intersections in Contemporary Arab and Israeli Comics" Cultural Interactions Panel Series, The Woolf Institute and Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, May 2014
  • "Mapping Time: Towards a Post-Partition Literature" ‘Counter-Cartographies and Comparative Literature’ Seminar, American Comparative Literature Association, New York University, March 2014
  • "Framing Palestine in Joe Sacco’s Graphic Journalism" Islam and the West Seminar Series, History Department, Queen Mary University of London, February 2014



  • "The Graphic Novel" in The Oxford History of the Novel in English Volume 10: South Asian and South-East Asian Fiction from 1945. ed. Alex Ticklell. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2017.
  • "Sequential Art in the Age of Postcolonial Production: Comics Collectives in Israel and South Africa." in Popular Postcolonialisms: Discourses of Empire and Popular Culture. Eds. N. Atia and K. Holden. Routledge. Forthcoming 2016.
  • "Reading Footnotes: Joe Sacco and the Graphic Human Rights Narrative". Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Forthcoming 2016.
  • "’A Necessary Forgetfulness of the Memory of Place’: Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry of No Return." Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies14.1 (2012).
  • "Reflections on a National Cartography: The Freedom to Roam and the Right to Imagine in Raja Shehadeh’s Travel Writing." Journal of Postcolonial Writing48.4 (2012).


  • "Walter Goebel and Saskia Schabio (eds.). Locating Postcolonial Narrative Genres." Anglia (2014)
  • "A Canvas For Popular Dissent: Zahra’s Paradise, an Iranian Graphic Novel."The Oxonian Review (2013).


  • "Partition Literature" in Oxford Bibliographies: Literary and Critical Theory ed. Eugene O’Brien. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Entry on Raja Shehadeh. The Literary Encyclopaedia, 2014.
  • "’The sweet wind from Europe’: Imperialist Hauntings and Postcolonial Resistance in English Literature." Philip Allan Magazines: The English Review 24.1 (September 2013).
  • "Interview by Nicola Abram." Postcolonial Studies Association Newsletter9 (Spring 2012).