BA; English Honours, Cape Town. D.Phil, Oxford
Caroline Rooney was born in Zimbabwe. She studied as an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town before taking up a Beit Fellowship to undertake doctoral research at Oxford University. She works and publishes mainly in the area of postcolonial studies and Arab cultural studies, focusing on liberation struggles and their aftermaths in both sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. Her research engages with postcolonial theory in relation to diverse philosophical and spiritual traditions, literary and political uses of language, and cross-cultural articulations of gender and sexuality. Her current work is particularly concerned with contemporary Arab writing and popular culture in relation to the Arab uprisings, and explores the resources of arts activism both critically and creatively.
From 2009-12, she was an ESRC/AHRC Global Uncertainties Fellow with a research programme entitled Radical Distrust: A Cultural Analysis of the Emotional, Psychological and Linguistic Formations of Political and Religious Extremism . This programme analyses the emotional, psychological and discursive formations of extremism and radicalism through a study of literary texts and popular culture across the areas of postcolonial and Middle Eastern studies. It has been conducted through projects on Global Youth Cultures (2009-2010); Egyptian Literary Culture and Modernity (2009-2010); Transnational Representations of the ’82 Siege of Beirut (2010); Settler Cultures (2011); and Popular Imagination and the Arab Spring (2011-12). She has recently held a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship  (2012-2015) with a programme entitled Imagining the Common Ground: Utopian Thinking and the Overcoming of Resentment and Distrust. The activities and research of this leadership fellowship serve to explore both the pitfalls and constructive possibilities of utopian thinking with reference to cultural notions of the common ground and civil society in contemporary African and Middle Eastern contexts. As part of this programme she initiated and worked on a play and three documentaries, contributing also to protest poetry collections. She enjoys ongoing collaborations with musicians, spoken word performers and visual artists, and she is currently the UK PI on an AHRC Newton programme, ‘Egypt’s Living Heritage’.
Office: NC 3
School of English
Study Leave Autumn and Spring Terms 2018/19
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Caroline Rooney has supervised eleven PhDs (including on Palestinian, South African, Zimbabwean, Algerian and Egyptian literature), and she currently supervises five PhDs in progress. She welcomes applications in the areas of contemporary Arab and African writing, liberation literature and popular culture.
With Donna Landry, she is consultant editor for Routledge’s postcolonial monograph series and she serves on the advisory boards of the African Articulations Series and the Oxford Literary Review. She is also a member of the advisory panel for Translating Cultures (AHRC).