Elisabeth Bekers is Lecturer of British and Postcolonial
Literature at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (since 2006) and guest professor in the interuniversity Master Programme in American Studies. She studied at the universities of London, Antwerp,
Louvain and Hull. She was a Fulbright Lecturer at Hollins University (1995-1996) and has taught literature in English at the University
of Antwerp (1996-2008) and the Erasmushogeschool Brussel
Her research focuses on literature from the African continent and its diaspora and she is currently working on a research project on Black British Women’s Writing and Criticism funded by the Flemish research council (FWO-Vlaanderen). She is the author of a comparative study of literature on female genital excision by writers of African descent (Rising Anthills: African and African American Writing on Female Genital Excision, 1960–2000, University of Wisconsin Press, 2010) and co-editor of Transcultural Modernities: Narrating Africa in Europe (Matatu: Journal of African Culture and Society, Rodopi, 2009). She has published various articles on literary explorations of female genital excision, the fiction of Nawal El Saadawi and Alice Walker, postcolonial rewritings of Robinson Crusoe, Black British Writing, and literature by authors of African descent in Flanders.
She colloborates on various external and internal projects. As co-director of the international project Imaginary Europes (with colleagues at the universities of Frankfurt, Portsmouth and Eastern Finland), she is organizing symposia & publications that explore how 20th- and 21st-century literary authors and visual artists have imagined Europe from afar. With Ole Laursen she has organized an Expert Seminar on Black British Women’s Writing (VUB, 2013) and manages an international network of scholars working in the field. At the VUB she is collaborating on two conference & publication projects: Brussels in Literature (with Daniel Acke and Hans Vandevoorde) examines how Brussels has inspired authors writing in various languages; Creativity & Captivity (with Inge Arteel en Eva Schandevyl) explores the aesthetic, theoretical and methodological questions raised at the intersection of (various modes of) creativity and captivity.
In her classes she focuses on the development of literatures in English in the British isles and colonies since the Anglo-Saxon period, and, at upper levels, on contemporary British prose and on postcolonial literatures, in particular rewritings of classical British texts such as The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe and Jane Eyre. She supervises theses exploring aspects of Postcolonial Literatures, Black British Writing, 'migrant' literature, and women's writing.
She is co-director of the international project Imaginary Europes (symposia & publications), co-director
of the Platform for Postcolonial Readings for junior researchers in the field, co-founder of the Postcolonial
Literatures Research Group at the University
of Antwerp, and member of the Human Rights Committee of the African
Literature Association. At the VUB she is Chair of the
Public Relations Commission of the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, member
of the Centre for Diversity and Gender (RHEA) and the Centre for Literature,
Intermediality and Culture (CLIC).
(see homepage for more information)