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Elisabeth Bekers Portrait Elisabeth Bekers with tea

Elisabeth Bekers

Professor of British and Postcolonial Literature, Academic staff


Prof. dr. Elisabeth Bekers is Senior Lecturer of British and Postcolonial Literature in the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She teaches literatures in English in the BA and MA programmes in Linguistics and Literary Studies at VUB, in the MA in African Studies at the University of Ghent and in the interuniversity MA in Gender and Diversity. She studied at the universities of London, Antwerp, Louvain and Hull. She has been a Fulbright Lecturer at Hollins University (Virginia) and previously taught literature in English in the Flemish interuniversity Master in American Studies and at the University of Antwerp (as assistant) and at the Erasmushogeschool Brussel (as guest lecturer).

Her research focuses on literature from the African continent and its diaspora, with a particular interest in image and knowledge production, canon formation and intersectionality. Currently she is working on Black British women’s literature and, as part of an international network, on the ways in which Europe has been imagined in literature from across the globe. She is the author of Rising Anthills: African and African American Writing on Female Genital Excision, 1960–2000 (University of Wisconsin Press 2010) and co-editor of several volumes and special issues, including Legacies of Robinson Crusoe (JLIC 2021), Critical Interrogations of the Interrelation of Creativity and Captivity (Life Writing, Taylor and Francis 2018), a bilingual book on Brussels and literature entitled Brussel schrijven/ Écrire Bruxelles (ASP-VUB Press 2016), Imaginary Europes (Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Taylor and Francis 2015; selected as SPIB by Routledge (2016) and a Matatu volume on Transcultural Modernities: Narrating Africa in Europe (Rodopi/Brill 2009).

In her classes she focuses on the development of literatures in English in the British isles and (former) colonies since the Anglo-Saxon period, and, at upper levels, on contemporary Black British prose and on postcolonial literatures, in particular on rewritings of classical British texts such as The TempestRobinson Crusoe and Jane Eyre. She supervises theses and research projects (BA, MA, PhD and postdoc) that explore aspects of Postcolonial Literatures, Black British Writing, literature of migration, and women's writing.

At VUB she is co-Chair of the Public Relations Commission of the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, member of the Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (RHEA) and the Centre for Literary and Intermedial Crossings (CLIC). She is co-director of the international research project Imaginary Europes and sits on the international steering committees of the Transnational Life Writing Network and the Platform for Postcolonial Readings for junior researchers in the field. She is member of the Advisory board of the Database for African languages and Literatures and manages the Black British Women Writers network and website.

Visit for information on individual Black British women writers.


Building B
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels