Professor Tendai Mangena


I joined University of Leeds’ School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science, and the Leeds University Centre for African Studies, as a British Academy Global Professor in February 2023. I am also a Research Fellow in the Department of English at the University of the Free State, in South Africa since 2017. Before joining University of Leeds, I was Associate Professor in the English and Media Studies Department at Great Zimbabwe University where I taught African literature.

I received my PhD in African literature from Leiden University in 2015. Since then, I have held different research fellowships. From 2016 to 2018, I was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Postcolonial Literary and Cultural studies at Bremen University (Germany). From July to August 2019, I was a Humboldt Visiting Fellow in the same department. In 2020, I was a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages at the University of California (Riverside), USA. I worked on a project entitled ‘Champion Men Deserve Champion Beer: Gendered Geographies in Zimbabwean Fiction’.  

Research interests

My research interests lie at the intersections of African/Zimbabwean literary and cultural studies with a focus on questions of gender, sexuality, politics, power, and (in)justice.

My current research, funded by the British Academy through the Global Professorship program, is on ‘Uncoupling Heteropatriarchy in African Feminism: Unmarried Women and Indigenous Knowledges of Gender and Sexuality among the Shona of Zimbabwe’. The project uses the Zimbabwean case study to establish the nascent field of ‘singles studies’ as an urgent and important sub-field of African and gender studies.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in African literature, Leiden University.
  • MA in English, University of Zimbabwe.
  • BA Honours in English, University of Zimbabwe.
  • BA in English and Religious Studies, University of Zimbabwe.

Professional memberships

  • English Academy of Southern Africa (EASA).
  • Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA).

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Religion and Public Life
  • Theology and Religious Studies