Brady Smith

Brady Smith
Humanities Teaching Scholar
  • Department of English
bradysmith@uchicago.edu
I work on literary and environmental history in Africa, especially the interplay between environmental history and literary form. My book project, Southern African Literatures: An Environmental History develops an alternative history of the literatures of South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique from the 19th century to the present, one meant to show how their longstanding engagement with the problem of modernity on the subcontinent has been an exploration of its ecological foundations as well. At the same time, it puts ecocriticism in conversation with perspectives in African studies in order to develop a new approach to the field, one focused on economy as much as ecology, the urban as much as the rural, and on how Southern Africa’s writers have responded to and reimagined the ecology of modernity over time. More broadly, I’m interested in the place of Africa within discourses on globalization and the Anthropocene, the literature and history of the Lusophone Atlantic, and in how growing awareness of ecological crisis changes the way people live and think about life in cities around the world.

Courses

2016-17 courses: Winter 2017, J.M. Coetzee (undergraduate). Spring 2017, AfroSF (undergraduate).

Undergraduate: African Literature; South African Literatures; Literature and the Environment

Publications

  • “Wizards, Superwonders, and a Fictional African State: Money and the Ecology of the Grotesque in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Wizard of the Crow,” Research in African Literatures 46.3 (Fall 2015): 165-189
  • “Other Atlantics: Cape Verde, Chiquinho, and the Black Atlantic World,” Comparative Literature Studies29.2 (2012): 246-264