Dr Hedley Twidle

Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature


Hedley grew up on mining towns in remote parts of South Africa, and joined the English Department in 2010. He is am now a senior lecturer in southern African and postcolonial literatures. Much of his research deals with very local materials – the natural, literary and social histories of Cape Town – as it explores the difficult relation between postcolonial and environmentalist approaches in the humanities.

At the moment, he is particularly interested in how ideas of space and place play out in compelling non-fiction narrative – especially in those parts of the world that are subject to extreme spatial distortion and inequality. In work on writers like Rachel Carson and Arundhati Roy, he have explored the language of public science writing and environmental justice, tracing how unstable ideas of ‘conservation’, ‘ecology’ and ‘pollution’ might be engaged from the global South.

As part of the M Phil in the Environmental Humanities, his research interests include the following:

· Space, place and the environment in southern African and postcolonial literatures
· ‘Reading’ infrastructure: a cultural history of roads, bridges, water, power etc.
· Literary non-fiction, long-form narrative and questions of the environment
· The language of public science writing: ‘slow violence’, metaphor and narrative

Contact: hedley.twidle@uct.ac.za