Department of English Studies

Dr R D’abdon

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: English Studies
Tel: 012 429 6326
Fax: 012 429 6222


  • PhD Linguistics and Literary Studies (University of Udine, 2010)

Fields of academic interests

  • Spoken word poetry
  • Autobiographical writing
  • Poetry therapy

Field of Specialisation

  • African literatures in English
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Decolonial theory


Book chapters:

  • Go Fetisa Lekoalo/Beyond Literature. Orality, Poetry and Music in Post-apartheid Urban Spoken Word Art”. In: Beyond the Text. Issues in African Oral Literature and Diaspora Studies. Otiono, N. and Akoma, C. (eds.) (Forthcoming)
  • The Partnership Spiritual Voice in the Poetry of Napo Masheane, Lebo Mashile and Natalia Molebatsi”, in: The Goddess Awakened. Partnership studies in education and world literatures in English. Riem Natale, A., Conti Camaiora, L. & Dolce, M. R. (eds.) 2007. Udine: Forum. pp. 171-191.

Journal articles

  • Rewriting the past, reshaping the present, decolonizing the canon. Siphiwo Mahlala, Zukiswa Wanner and Makhosazana Xaba’s intergenerational and intertextual dialogues with Can Themba’s “The Suit”. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (Forthcoming)
  • Teaching spoken word poetry as a tool for decolonizing and africanizing the South African curricula and implementing literocracy”, in scrutiny2, special issue: The Scope of Contemporary South African Poetry Scrutiny2, 21:2, 2016.

  • “Reconceptualising poetry as a multimodal genre” (with Denise Newfield). TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, September 2015, pp. 510-532.


Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Postdoctoral Fellow (University of South Africa, 2013 – 2014)
  • Research Fellow (University of Udine, 2005 – 2007)
  • “Anna Panicali” Literary award (Italy, 2010)


  • ZAPP: The South African Poetry Project
  • NRF: South African Poetry as an Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS)