Rebecca Macklin

Rebecca Macklin


I am a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Leeds and was 2017-18 Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher at Cornell University. At Cornell, I worked with Professor Eric Cheyfitz in English and was affiliated with the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. I am the 2019-20 Secretary for the Graduate Student Caucus of the African Literature Association.

My research draws together Indigenous, postcolonial and world literature discourses, to comparatively explore transnational engagements with conditions of coloniality and literary articulations of decolonial resistance. My thesis focuses on contemporary Native American and South African fiction, including texts by Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, Leslie Marmon Silko, Zoë Wicomb, Zakes Mda, and K. Sello Duiker. My work is animated by the need to move beyond disciplinary boundaries that prioritise a focus on the nation, or narrow definitions of Indigeneity, in order to understand how authors utilize world literature as a form through which to reveal and disrupt the colonial logics that underpin the capitalist world system. My research is associated with the Leverhulme Trust funded Major Research Project “Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary World Literatures”.

My writing has appeared in publications including the journal Native American and Indigenous Studies and Wasafiri. I am currently guest editing a special issue of Transmotion on 'Native American Narratives in a Global Context: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives', due for publication in May 2019. At Leeds, I am involved with a number of different research groups and am also co-founder of the Postcolonial and World Literature and Cultures Reading Group. I have been involved in the organization of a number of events, workshops and conferences, including most recently a conversation between Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge and authors Zoë Wicomb and Yousif M. Qasmiyeh in June 2018 as part of the 'Archives of Resistance' conference; the 2018 Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies lecture with Professor Jennifer Wenzel on 'Reading for the Planet: Environmental Crisis and World Literature'; and the 2018 Race and Resistance lecture with Professor Carole Boyce Davies on ''Decolonizing Discourses and African Literary Studies'.

Prior to my PhD, I worked in academic publishing, working with branches of the United Nations as an editor of sustainable development publications. I am a Board Trustee for the Bishop Simeon Trust and has a pervading interest in the role of participatory arts as a tool for youth empowerment. I have worked with communities on a range of impact-oriented projects associated with the University of Leeds AHRC funded project 'Changing the Story', led by Professor Paul Cooke, including filmmaking and arts workshops with young people in South Africa.

Twitter: @rebeccamacklin_

Selected Awards:

  • US-UK Fulbright Commission All Disciplines Award for Postgraduates (2017-18)
  • Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences Scholarship for a Non-Degree Student (2017-18)
  • British Association for American Studies 2019 Postgraduate Essay Prize received for ‘Performing Indigeneity in a Global Context: Touristic and Literary Spaces of Resistance in Thomas King’s Truth and Bright Water’ 

Professional memberships:

  • African Literature Association (Secretary of the Graduate Student Caucus)
  • British Association for American Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies Association
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  • Native Studies Research Network
  • World Literature Network

Student education:

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and my teaching practice has been recognized for a commitment to inclusivity. I have taught or lectured on a range of modules across the School of English and the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, including:

  • Prose: Reading and Interpretation,
  • American Words, American Worlds,
  • Reception,Transmission and Translation: The Global Circulation of Literature

I also acted as tutor and mentor to Onondaga high school students during my time at Cornell University, through the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Tutoring Program.

Research groups and institutes:

  • Centre for World Literatures
  • Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • Leeds University Centre for African Studies
  • Environmental Humanities Research Group
  • Postcolonial and World Literature and Cultures Reading Group (co-founder)

Media coverage:

Research interests

Native American and Indigenous literatures, South African literature, postcolonial and decolonial theory, world literature, Indigenous studies, feminist theory, biopolitics, environmental humanities, memory studies


Special issues:

Ed. with Eman Ghanayem, ‘Native American Narratives in a Global Context: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives’, special issue of Transmotion, 5:1, July 2019 


Eman Ghanayem and Rebecca Macklin, ‘Indigenous Narratives: Global Forces in Motion’, Transmotion, 5:1, July 2019 

‘Global Spaces of Indigeneity: Tourism, Literature and Resistance in Thomas King’s Truth and Bright Water’ in The Art of Resistance: Volume One (Literature), eds. David Stirrup and Padraig Kirwan (forthcoming)

Reviews, interviews and essays:

Walking the Clouds ed. Grace L. Dillon, Review, Postcolonial Studies Association Newsletter, Issue 21, June 2018

‘An Interview with LeAnne Howe’, Wasafiri, May 2017  

Understanding Louise Erdrich by Seema Kudup, Review, Journal of Native American and Indigenous Studies, University of Minnesota Press, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2017


  • MA in English Literature, University of Leeds
  • BA in English Literature, Lancaster University

Research groups and institutes

  • Literary studies
  • American Studies Research Group
  • Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • Environmental Humanities Research Group
  • Medical Humanities Research Group