Aaron Bartels-Swindells

Aaron Bartels-Swindells
Contact Information
Email address: 
aaron.bartels-swindells [at] mcgill.ca

McGill University
Department of English

McGill Writing Centre
McLennan-Redpath Library Complex
Main Floor, Room #02
459 McTavish Street
Montreal, QC H3A 0C9

Course Lecturer
Cultural Studies
Areas of interest: 

African literature; critical and literary theory; global Anglophone literature; global Black studies, postcolonial studies; sociology of literature; theory and history of the novel


I specialize in global Anglophone literatures and global Black literatures, specifically those from Sub-Saharan Africa, with additional interests in postcolonial studies, theories of the novel, and critical and literary theory. My research has appeared in Representations, African Identities, and Post45: Contemporaries. I am currently working on two book projects: one on the aesthetics of segregation in twentieth-century South Africa and another on Drum magazine, the primary organ of Black cultural production in South Africa during the early-apartheid era.


Ph.D. in English (University of Pennsylvania)
M.Phil. in English Studies: Criticism and Culture (University of Cambridge)
M.A. in English Literature (University of Edinburgh)

Selected publications: 

Journal Articles

“Unmasking Communism: Ayi Kwei Armah, Black Marxism, and the Cultural Turn, 1967-1984.” African Identities 18, no. 1-2 (2020): 162-181. doi: 10.1080/14725843.2020.1773245

“The Metapragmatics of the ‘Minor Writer’: Zoë Wicomb, Literary Value, and the Windham-Campbell Prize Festival.” Representations 137, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 88-111. doi: 10.1525/rep.2017.137.1.88

Public Scholarship

Genre Fever (with Jane Hu). Severance Cluster. Post45: Contemporaries, October 13, 2020.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellow in the Humanities, Urbanism and Design (H+U+D) Initiative, University of Pennsylvania, 2020-21
  • Foreign Language Area Studies Academic Year Fellowship (Advanced isiZulu), 2017-18
  • Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Grant (South Africa: isiZulu), 2017
  • Foreign Language Area Studies Academic Year Fellowship (Basic isiZulu), 2016-17
  • Foreign Language Area Studies Summer Fellowship (Stellenbosch, South Africa: Afrikaans). 2017
  • Fox International Fellowship, Yale University, 2013-14
Taught previously at: 

Pennsylvania State University
University of Pennsylvania

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