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Mag. Dr. Michela Borzaga



Research interests

  • Modernism
  • Literary & Cultural Theory 
  • Cultural Studies - Thing Studies
  • South African literature
  • Postcolonial Thinkers (Achille Mbembe, Francoise Vergès, Frantz Fanon)
  • Human Rights in Africa

Selected Publications


  • Ed. with Dorothea Steiner. Imagination in a Troubled Space: A South African Poetry Reader (Salzburg: Poetry Salzburg, 2004).
  • Ed. with Ewald Mengel and Karin Orantes. Trauma, Memory, and Narrative: Interviews (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010).
  • Ed. with Ewald Mengel. Trauma, Memory, and Narrative: Essays (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012).
  • Trauma on the Move: Re-reading the Contemporary South African Novel (forthcoming).

Articles, Interviews, Reviews

  • "Human Rights in Africa." Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies, Routledge (in preparation).
  • "J.M. Coetzee's Postcritical Turn: A Re-reading of In the Heart of the Country." Ed. Sue Kossew and Melinda Harvey (submitted).
  • "A Life in Research with J.M. Coetzee: An Interview with David Attwell." Life Writing 12.3 (2015):251-263.
  • "The Present in Pain: Temporal Poiesis in Mongane Wally Serote's To Every Birth Its Blood." Journal of Literary Studies  31.1 (2015):64-81.
  • "I remember: An Interview with Denis Hirson." Il Tolomeo (2014):99-111.
  • "Trauma in the Postcolony: Towards a New Theoretical Approach." Trauma, Memory, and Narrative: Essays. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012. 65-92.
  • "The Rediscovery of the Extraordinary: A Question of Power by Bessie Head." Werkwinkel 5.2 (2010):27-42.
  • "James Weldon Johnson's Ex-Colored Man's 'Truths'." Moderne Sprachen 52.1 (2008): 9-26.
  • "South Africa: A Personal Encounter." Imagination in a Troubled Space. Salzburg: Poetry Salzburg, 2004. 9-14.
  • "Freeing the Muse. An Interview with Tatamkhulu Afrika." Imagination in a Troubled Space. Salzburg: Poetry Salzburg, 2004. 174-186
  • Damon Galgut's The Impostor. www.itch.co.za Ed. Mehita Iqani, 2008.
  • Antjie Krog, Nosisi Mpolweni and Kopano Ratele. There Was This Goat. www.itch.co.za Ed. Mehita Iqani, 2009.
  • Sindiwe Magona's Beauty's Gift. www.itch.co.za Ed. Mehita Iqani, 2009.

Selected Papers & Lectures

  • "From Tatamkhulu Afrika to Questions of Literary and Cultural History." First Joint Symposium: South Africa in Perspective, University of Salzburg, Dec. 2004.
  • "Coetzee the Poet: In the Heart of Language." A Dialog Conference on J.M. Coetzee, University of Salzburg, June 2006.
  • "Living with My Perpetrators: A Question of Power by Bessie Head." Beyond Reconciliation Conference, University of Cape Town, Dec. 2009.
  • "Theorising Trauma in the Contemporary South African Novel." GNEL Conference: Contested Communities, University of Bayreuth, May 2010.
  • "Trauma in the Postcolony: A Theoretical Introduction." University of Vienna, Nov. 2, 2010.
  • "Traumatic 'Gate-Walls' in André Brink's The Rights of Desire and Damon Galgut's The Impostor." EACLALS Conference: Gateways and Walls, University of Istanbul, April 2011.
  • "Trauma and South African Literature." AISCLI Summer School, University of Torino, Sept. 18, 2012.
  • "A Postcolonial Interrogation of Trauma in the Humanities." Interrogating Trauma in the Humanities, University of Lincoln, Aug. 2012.
  • "(Re)-cognition: Reading Affinity in J.M. Coetzee's Foe." Cognitive Cultural Criticism Conference, University of Vienna, Oct. 4-5, 2012.
  • "Reading Time(s) in Three Contemporary South African Novels." AISCLI Summer School, University of Torino, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • "Traumatic Entanglements in Post-Apartheid Literature." Writing the 'Rainbow Nation'?, University of Regensburg, April 2014.
  • "Trauma and the Psychic Economy of Wealth in Damon Galgut's The Impostor." EACLALS Conference: Uncommon Wealths, University of Innsbruck, April 2014.
  • "New Ethical 'Vibrant Matters': The Stories Things Tell." AISCLI Summer School, University of Torino, September 2014.
  • "Theorizing Trauma Through the South African Laboratory: Questions of Affinity and Time." International Conference: Between Politics and Healing, University of Cologne, Nov. 20-21, 2014.
  • "Re-opening the Apartheid Archive: Questions of Affinity and Lived Time."  AAUTE Conference, University of Salzburg,  8-9 May, 2015.
  • "Re-Opening the Archive: Questions of Futurity and Horizons of Hope under Apartheid." 41st ALA Conference: African Futures and Beyond, University of Bayreuth, June 3-6, 2015.
  • "Peering into the Epistolary: The 'Letterness' of J.M. Coetzee's Fiction, the Stamps and Seals of His Life Writing." IABA (International AutoBiography Association) - Asia Pacific Conference: Locating Lives, Flinders University, Adelaide (Australia), Dec. 1-3, 2015. (forthcoming)
  • "Trauma Matters: Postcolonial Archives of Pain and the Eloquence of Things" Annual GAPS Conference "The Postcolonial and the Material", University of Augsburg, May 5-7, 2016. 
  • "Africa as Laboratory: Human Rights from the Belly" AISCLI Summer School, University of Torino, September 24, 2016.
  • "A World of Camps: New Precarious Urban Lives", EACLALS Conference, Performing the Urban, University of Oviedo, April 3-7 April, 2017.


  • since 2014 Lecturer and research assistant, English Department (Vienna)
  • 2011–2012 University assistant, English Department (Vienna)
  • 2008–2012 Researcher in the FWF project "Trauma, Memory, and Narrative in the South African Novel" (E. Mengel) (Project website)
  • 2004 Mag.phil. University of Salzburg (Cum Laude)
  • 2000-2001 University of Stellenbosch 
  • 1998-1999 Queen's University of Belfast


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Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik /
Department of English
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