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Lecturer in English, City, University of London

Dr Sarah Jilani is a Lecturer in English at City, University of London, who teaches Anglophone postcolonial literatures and world film on a number of BA and MA modules with a particular focus on race, gender, and the legacies of colonialism. As a freelance writer on contemporary art, books and film, she regularly contributes to The Economist, The Times Literary Supplement and ArtReview amongst others, and appears on BBC Radio 3 as a 2021 BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker.

After studying for a BA English at the University of York and an MSt in English at the University of Oxford, Sarah worked in digital strategy and journalism in London. In 2017 she joined the University of Cambridge as a PhD candidate in the Faculty of English, jointly funded by the AHRC and the Isaac Newton Trust. Supervised by Professor Priyamvada Gopal, her doctoral thesis studied how post-independence (1950s-80s) novels and films from Africa and South Asia help us understand subjectivity as politically important to the project of decolonisation.

Sarah's research interests include subjectivity, gender and political consciousness in postcolonial theory, literatures and film; she has published on a range of related topics, from neocolonialism in Francophone West African cinema to women's writing about the Nigerian Civil War. A monograph based on her doctoral thesis is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in 2023.


  • 2021–present
    Lecturer, City, University of London


  • 2021 
    University of Cambridge, PhD
  • 2013 
    University of Oxford, Master of Studies in English 1900-Present
  • 2012 
    University of York, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English and Related Literature


  • 2022
    Civic Interaction, Urban Memory, and the Istanbul International Film Festival, The Palgrave Handbook of Digital and Public Humanities
  • 2021
    'They drew an entire people after them': Subjectivity and Arrested Decolonisation in 'Xala', Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
  • 2021
    Gender and the politics of war historiography in Buchi Emecheta’s Destination Biafra, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature
  • 2020
    Neocolonialism and the resistant subject in Ayi Kwei Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Journal of Postcolonial Writing
  • 2018
    [Book Review] "Contemporary Diasporic South Asian Women's Fiction" by Ruvani Ranasinha, Women: A Cultural Review
  • 2015
    "'Black' Spaces: Othello and the Cinematic Language of Othering", Literature/Film Quarterly
  • 2014
    "Writing Exile: Displacement and Arrival in Eva Hoffman and Edward Said", Life Writing
  • 2014
    "Race, (In)Visibility and Subjecthood in Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' and Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye'", Postgraduate English

Professional Memberships