Dr Zalfa Feghali

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision

Lecturer in American Literature

zalfa feghali.jpg

Department: English and Centre for American Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1068

Email: zf31@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 1305, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am a lecturer in American literature, specializing in US and Canadian contemporary literature and cultural studies. I joined the Centre for American Studies and School of Arts in January 2016, having previously worked as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in American literature at Canterbury Christ Church University. I have also taught at the University of Birmingham, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, and the American University of Beirut. My work in contemporary North American writing lies in border studies, reader studies, and citizenship studies.

At Leicester, I am Director of Admissions for the School of Arts, and Admissions Tutor for degrees in American Studies and English.


  • BA, Political Studies, American University of Beirut
  • MA, English Literature, American University of Beirut
  • PhD, American Studies, University of Nottingham
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy



  • Crossing Borders and Queering Citizenship: Civic Reading Practice and Contemporary American and Canadian Literature (forthcoming with Manchester University Press, 2018)

Journal articles and book chapters

  • '"We have to get along with others": Cosmopolitanism and Cross-Border Literary History.' In Reading between the Borderlines: Cultural Production and Consumption Across the 49th Parallel. Ed. Gillian Roberts (forthcoming with McGill-Queens University Press, 2018)
  • “Conversations that never happened: Gloria Anzaldúa, Maria Campbell, and Howard Adams.” In Parallel Encounters: Tensions at the 49th Parallel. Eds. Gillian Roberts and David F. Stirrup (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013): 335-55
  • “Hemispheric Studies and Indigenous Peoples: Considering a New Approach.” In Beyond the Border: Tensions Across the 49th Parallel. Eds. Kyle Conway and Timothy Pasch (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013): 153-169
  • “Thinking Through the New Mestiza.” Journal of International Women's Studies. 12.2 (2011): 61-74


My research is in North American border studies, citizenship studies, and reader studies. My first book, Crossing Borders and Queering Citizenship: Civic Reading Practice and Contemporary American and Canadian Writing theorises reading as an act of citizenship. Drawing on queer theory, studies of citizenship, postcolonial theory, active reading, and border studies, this book closely reads the work of American, Canadian, and Indigenous authors including Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, Gregory Scofield, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Erín Moure, and Yann Martel to offer new ways of thinking about citizenship in the United States and Canada.

My current project, World Leaders and Citizen Readers: Private Reading, Public Policy examines the personal reading choices of world leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada since 1945. It maps the reading practices of these government leaders onto developments in national cultural policy during the same period and theorises the relationship between personal reading by public figures onto their literary and cultural advocacy, as they manifest in cultural policies and legislation.

I was the Postgraduate and then Early Career Representative on the Executive Committee of the British Association for American Studies from 2010-2012 and then 2013-2015. I was the Editorial Assistant with the Journal of American Studies from 2013-2016. From January 2019 I will be an Associate Editor of the Journal of American Studies.


  • AM2010 American Literary Figures from the Settler to the Hipster
  • AM3020 Blood, Terror, and Belonging: Culture at American Borders
  • AM3021 Literatures of Protest: Reading and Political Action

I have previously taught on:

  • EN2060 Concepts in Criticism
  • EN3040 Postwar to Postmodern Literature

I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and contribute to other modules in American Studies and English, including:

  • AM1002 Classic US Texts
  • AM1005 Modern American Writing
  • AM2011 The American West
  • AM2012 The American City
  • AM2013 Ethnicity and Diversity in American Literature
  • EN7031/32 Modern Literature and Theory I & 2


I have supervised doctoral and MRes projects on American musicals, 1990s US literature, Australian drama, and Caribbean women’s writing.

I am currently supervising Hannah Spruce, 'Destabilising Psychopathy Discourse Through North American Women's Writing'

I would be interested in supervising PhD projects on the following broad topics:

  • Contemporary North American literature and culture
  • Cross-border literature and culture (for example USA, Canada, Mexico)
  • Literary and cultural representations of borders, citizenship, and belonging in the North American context
  • Queer writing
  • Cultures and communities of reading

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