Nathan Suhr-Sytsma, Assistant Professor
Primary Office: Callaway N313
At Emory Since: 2012
Nathan Suhr-Sytsma specializes in the intersections of postcolonial literary studies with twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry. He is Interim Director of the Institute of African Studies and a core faculty member of Irish Studies at Emory.
His first book, Poetry, Print, and the Making of Postcolonial Literature, was published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press. Drawing on research in Emory's own archival collections, it reveals an intriguing history of relationships among poets and editors from Ireland and Nigeria, Britain and the Caribbean, during the mid-twentieth-century era of decolonization. The book examines work by such leading anglophone poets as Seamus Heaney, Christopher Okigbo, and Derek Walcott in print, often the pages on which poems first appeared, in order to chart the transformation of the anglophone literary world. It argues that these poets’ achievements cannot be extricated from the transnational networks through which their poems circulated—and which they in turn remade. Essays related to this project appear in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Research in African Literatures, and The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry. He has also published essays on Irish poetry.
He served as co-convener of the 2016 African Literature Association conference, held in Atlanta, and co-editor of a special section of Research in African Literatures (Summer 2017), “Religion, Secularity, and African Writing.” His most recent research explores such topics as literary prizes, new Nigerian publishers, and contemporary African poetry.