Ruth S. Wenske

Ruth S. Wenske

Ruth S. Wenske

Contemporary African literature

Contemporary African literature, particularly Anglophone literature and Realism
Postcolonial Theory and World Literature
Self-writing and the construction of collective identities through literary production
Critical Pedagogy, education, and conceptions of literacy in Africa
Oral culture as part of the educational system, esp. in the digital age
Discourse Ecologies: textual representations in the public sphere


Current Projects: 

Evaluating Education in Africa between Theory and Practice: A Case Study of Uganda. This project examines evaluations of the educational system in Uganda over the last decade through a dual perspective of discursive analysis and critical pedagogy.

Literature and Literacy as Modes of Education: an African Literary Perspective. This project approaches the duality of literacy/literature through the exchange between literary theory and educational practice, by examining the ways in which textual representations relate to oral practices in the public sphere – from novels to spoken word poetry to classroom decorations

Curriculum Vitae: 


  • 2017-2018: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Glocal International Development Program / Davis Institute for International Relations, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

  • 2016: Ph.D. in English Language and Literature, University of Haifa. Dissertation title: “"Maybe We Are Not Just Failing": Unknowability in the Self-Writing of African Realism.”

  • 2008: M.A. in English Language and Literature, University of Haifa. Thesis title: "Balancing Dualities into a New World: Tradition and Change in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God."


  • "Adichie in Dialogue with Achebe: Balancing Dualities in Half of a Yellow Sun". Research in African Literatures vol. 47, no .3, 2016, 70-87. 

  • "Beyond the Single Story of African Realism: Narrative Embedding in Half of a Yellow Sun." ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature (forthcoming).

  • With Manya Kagan. "The Work of Educational NGOs in Africa from the Perspective of Critical Pedagogy: A Case Study of Teacher Training in Burundi". International Development in Africa: Between Theory and Practice. Editors: Yonatan N. Gez, Reut Barak-Weekes and Manya Kagan. Jerusalem: Pardes Publishing House, 2019. In Hebrew.

  • "Is Ethiopia in Africa?"  Haartez: The Social History Workshop (4 August 2019).

  • Book Review: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, That Thing Around Your Neck, in Haaretz Books (23 March 2011).  

Work in Progress:

  • Book manuscript: Unknowable Things Unknown: African Realism between Fictionality and Referentiality

  • "Performative Diglossia: Modes of Orature in the Works of Safia Elhillo."

  • "Oral Pedagogy: A Literary Perspective on Uganda’s Thematic Curriculum Reform."    

  • "'I am a Creole, and Have Good Scotch Blood': Constructing Commonalities in The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

  • "'Creative Thinking, Bold Idea-ing, Do-it-yourselfing': Literature and Literacy in the Life and Work of Binyavanga Wainaina."