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Jade Munslow Ong and Andrew van der Vlies (eds.), Olive Schreiner: Writing Networks and Global Contexts (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming)

 This edited collection of essays will consider the relevance and importance of writer, activist and thinker, Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), in international and multidisciplinary contexts —literary, intellectual, political and cultural — in her own time and in ours. The fifteen chapters that comprise the collection draw on evidence from Schreiner’s friendships, networks, letters, and political and literary writings, to demonstrate distinct, situated understandings of the significance of Schreiner’s politics and aesthetics for diverse individuals, coteries and communities globally, across a range of fields, and in a variety of forms.


Topics include: Schreiner and/on labour, race, eco-/feminism, anarchism, religion and modernism; Schreiner’s networks (including in the UK, USA, South Africa, India and beyond, and involving figures such as Edward Carpenter, Sol Plaatje, Amy Levy, John Tengo Jabavu and others); Schreiner in translation; Schreiner in the world (South Africa, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia); Schreiner in the museum; and Schreiner’s influence on later Southern African writers J. M. Coetzee, Bessie Head, and Zoë Wicomb.

The collection will comprise chapters authored by the following contributors: Barnita Bagchi; Heidi Barends; Emma Barnes; Dorothy Driver; Małgorzata Drwal; Jeremy Fogg and Paul Walters; Clare Gill; Nicholas Jose, Alex Sutcliffe and Mandy Treagus; Jade Munslow Ong; Sanja Nivesjö; Janet Remmington; Mark Sanders; Liz Stanley; Andrew van der Vlies; and Dan Wylie.


Jade Munslow Ong, ‘“Too uncompromising a figure to be so disposed of”: Virginia Woolf and/on Olive Schreiner’, English Studies in Africa, 65.1 (2022), 31-45.

In her 1925 review of an edited collection of Olive Schreiner’s letters, Virginia Woolf described Schreiner as ‘too uncompromising a figure to be so disposed of’. Prompted by this intriguing comment, this article brings Woolf’s late-1920s writings into conversation with Schreiner’s novels and letters in order to trace personal and textual connections between the two authors. Comparative analysis of Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883) and Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928) reveals similarities and confluences in their novelistic structures, experimental temporalities, allegorical representations, use of natural imagery, and in the central and unifying linear motifs that are used to hold together the novel forms. Additional modernist aesthetic and political links are provided by depictions of sex- and gender-crossing characters in Orlando, The Story of an African Farm and Schreiner’s From Man to Man (1926), as well as by the feminist arguments and role of ‘Shakespeare’s sister’ in From Man to Man and Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929). The article concludes by arguing that Woolf and/on Schreiner provides evidence towards a claim for South Africa as a pioneering site of modernist innovation, and thereby contributes to new understandings of the development of global modernisms.  

Jade Munslow Ong, ‘Decolonising the English Literature GCE A-Level via the South African Ex-Centric’, English: Journal of the English Association, 70.270 (Autumn 2021), 244-252.


In this snapshot article, I outline the background and context for the development of research-led teaching activities aimed at students pursuing the WJEC Eduqas GCE A-Level English Literature qualification. The aims of these activities are threefold: first, to assist students’ learning and preparation for the exam component ‘Unseen Prose’ (worth 10% of the overall qualification); second, to extend the impact of AHRC-funded research on South African literature to 16- to 18-year-old learners; and third, to mobilize the first two aims in support of decolonizing efforts in English Studies.

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[Online] 'Why Has Modernism Persisted in Africa?', Bristol Ideas (18th January 2023)

Jade Munslow Ong joins Zoe Steadman-Milne and Bristol Ideas to discuss the profound importance and contributions of Olive Schreiner, before turning to consider the work of other South African modernists.

[Radio] ‘South African Writing’, Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3 (14th June 2022)

Confronting South African history: Damon Galgut, Julia Blackburn, Jade Munslow Ong and Anne McElvoy discuss literature from the farm novel to the ongoing legacy of apartheid.


[Radio] ‘New Generation Thinkers 2022’, Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3 (31st March 2022)

From Shakespearian writing and Tudor sound to the power of song, ideas about stupidity to sea monsters and the soil - the ten academics working at UK universities who have been chosen to share their research on radio give us insights into a range of subjects. Laurence Scott - one of the first New Generation Thinkers back in 2010 is the host. Dr Ellie Chan, University of Manchester Dr Louise Creechan, University of Durham Dr Sabina Dosani, University of East Anglia Dr Shirin Hirsch, Manchester Metropolitan University and the People’s History Museum Dr Oskar Jensen, University of East Anglia Dr Jade Munslow Ong, University of Salford Dr Joan Passey, University of Bristol Dr Jim Scown, University of Cardiff and Food, Farming and Countryside Commission Dr Clare Siviter, University of Bristol Dr Emma Whipday, Newcastle University

[Radio] ‘Modernism around the World’, Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3 (2nd February 2022)


Rana Mitter and his guests Jade Munslow Ong, Devika Singh, María del Pilar Blanco and Christopher Harding put aside modernism’s Eurocentricism to look at pioneering modernist art, writing and architecture in India, South Africa, Japan and Latin America.​​


AHRC Arts Humanities
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