Monica Popescu

Contact Information
514-398-4400 Ext 00274
Email address: 
monica.popescu [at]

McGill University
Department of English
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA

Faculty Members
William Dawson Scholar of African Literature, Associate Professor & Director of Honours Programme
Cultural Studies
Arts 105

B.A. (Bucharest), M.A. (Bucharest), M.A. (Windsor), Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor

Teaching areas: 

Postcolonial literature and theory (esp. contemporary South African literature). Cold War studies. Eastern Europe and postcommunism. Gender studies, nationalism, and globalization.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities (2012) for South African Literature Beyond the Cold War

Resident Faculty Fellow, Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, 2013-2015

• Visiting Fellowship, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, University of Cambridge (jointly with Visiting Fellowship, Wolfson College), Easter Term 2012

SSHRC Insight Grant, 2012-2016

 Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture. Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs. 2008-2011

 Delta Kappa Gamma International Fellowship for Women Researchers

 Open Society Institute, Global Supplementary Grant

 Dean’s Scholar, University of Pennsylvania

Selected publications: 



South African Literature Beyond the Cold War. New York: Palgrave, 2010

The Politics of Violence in Post-communist Films. Brasov, Romania: Concordia, 1999

Journal Special Issue:

Monica Popescu, Cedric Tolliver and Julie Tolliver, eds. Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances during the Cold War. A special issue of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 50.4 (2014).


"Nelson Mandela." Co-authored with Rita Barnard. Mental Maps in the Era of Detente and the End of the Cold War, 1968-1991. Eds. Steven Casey and Jonathan Wright. New York: Plagrave, 2015. 236-49.

“On the Margins of the Black Atlantic: Angola, the Second World, and the Cold War.” Research in African Literatures. Special Issue on Africa and the Black Atlantic. 45.3 (2014): 91-109.

“Aesthetic Solidarities: Ngugi wa Thiong’o and the Cold War.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 50.4 (2014): 384-397.

“War Room Stories and the Rainbow Nation: Competing Narratives in Contemporary South African Literature.” National Myths: Constructed Pasts, Contested Presents. Ed. Gerard Bouchard. London: Routledge, 2013. 191-205.

“Lewis Nkosi in Warsaw: Translating Eastern European Experiences for an African Audience.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 48.2 (May 2012). 178-89.

“Reading through a Cold War Lens: Apartheid-Era Literature and the Global Conflict.” Current Writing 24.1 (May 2012): 37-49.

“Translations: Lenin’s Statues, Post-communism and Post-apartheid.” Marginal Spaces: Ivan Vladislavić. Ed. Gerald Gaylard. Wits University Press, 2011.

Reprint of: “Translations: Lenin’s Statues, Post-communism and Post-apartheid.” The Yale Journal of Criticism 16.2 (2003): 407-423.

“Voortrekkers of the Cold War: Enacting the South African Past and Present in Mark Behr’s The Smell of Apples.” Settler and Creole Reenactment. Eds. Jonathan Lamb and Vanessa Agnew. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 123-137.

Reworked version of: “Mirrorings: Communists, Capitalists and Voortrekkers of the Cold War.” Beyond the Border War: New Perspectives on Southern Africa’s Late-Cold War Conflicts. Eds. Peter Vale and Gary Baines. Pretoria: UNISA, 2008. 42-55.

“Waiting for the Russians: Coetzee’s The Master of Petersburgand the Logic of Late Post-colonialism.” Postcolonialism: South/African Perspectives. Ed. Michael Chapman. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 106-24.

Reprint of: “Waiting for the Russians: Coetzee’s The Master of Petersburg and the Logic of Late Post-colonialism.” Current Writing. 19.1 (April 2007): 1-20.

“Licence for Shooting: South African Literature, the Media, and the Cold War.” Scrutiny2Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa 13.1 (2008): 92-104.

“Imaging the Past: Cultural Memory in Dubravka Ugrešić’s The Museum of Unconditional Surrender.” Studies in the Novel. 39.3 (Fall 2007): 336-56.

“Cold War and Hot Translation.” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies. 8.1 (January 2007): 83-90.

“Cultural Liminality and Hybridity: The Romanian Transition.”Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers. The Paradoxes of Progress: Globalization and Postsocialist Cultures. (Special Issue). 86 (Fall 2001). 47-68.

“Writing in and Writing out—Race and Ethnicity in The Sound and the Fury.” Transatlantic Connections: Essays in Cultural Relocation. Ed. R. Mihaila and I. Pana, Bucuresti: Integral, 2000, 49-62.

“Liminal Space in the Post-colonial Context.” Studii de Limbi si Literaturi Moderne. Timisoara: Mirton, 1999, 130-38.

“On the Borderline: Liminal Aspects in Malouf’s Fiction.” Bulletin of the Transilvania University 6.41 (1999): 173-79.

Encyclopedia Entries:

“Zoe Wicomb” The Literary Encyclopedia. <> 3707 words. March 2012.

“Ivan Vladislavić” The Literary Encyclopedia. <> 2068 words. August 2008.

Other Publications:

“Of Masters, Scholars, and the Global Prize Economy” Berfrois. August 29, 2013.

Republished in abridged form as: "The argument over J.M. Coetzee" Africa Is a Country.

Current research: 

A book project on the Cold War in postcolonial writing. A co-edited special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing entitled Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances during the Cold War. Articles in preparation: representations of the Angolan war in South African Literature; representations of Transylvania in travel literature.