Prof Sally-Ann Murray

Sally-Ann Murray

MA (cum laude, University of Natal), PhD (UND): Professor
Send e-mail
Tel: +2721 808 2044


Autobiography, identity, autoethnography; Writing cultural margins and mainstreams; (Southern) African Identities in literary, visual and material cultures; Citiness, place, space; Writing and gender; Creative writing as/and academic research.


  • 2018 (forthcoming) “Queerying the South African Short Story” (special issue of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature).
  • 2014. “Writing like life? ‘Life-like’ relation, femaleness and generic instability in Small Moving Parts.” Special issue of Agenda on Auto/biography and life writing.
  • 2013. “Locating Abdulrazak Gurnah: Margins, Mainstreams, Mobilities.” English Studies in Africa 56(1): 141 – 156.
  • 2011.”Lyric↔L/language. Essaying the poetics of contemporary women’s poetry.” scrutiny2 16(2): 12 – 31.
  • 2011. “Feet Also Feature: the Paintings of Andries Gouws” In: Gouws, A (ed.) Pedestrian Paintings. Durban: HardPressd.
  • 2011. “On Ivan Vladislavić, on Willem Boshoff, on Conceptual Art.” In: Gaylard, G (ed.) Marginal Spaces. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
  • 2011. “On the Street with Vladislavić, Mhlongo, Moele and Others.” In: Chapman, M and M Lenta (eds.) SA Lit Beyond 2000. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press: 69 – 96.
  • 2010. “Ivan Vladislavić and What-What: Among Writers, Readers and ‘other odds, sods and marginals’.” South African Literature Today. Current Writing 21(1&2): 138-163.
  • 2009. (with R Courau). “Of Funeral Rites and Community Memory: Ways of Living in Ways of Dying.” In: Bell, D and JU Jacobs (eds). Ways of Writing: Critical Essays on Zakes Mda. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press: 91-114.
  • 2008. “Awfully Pretty: Female Embodiment in Dis-Location/Re-location.” In: Law-Viljoen, B (ed.) Dis-Location/Re-location: Exploring Alienation and Identity in South Africa. Johannesburg: David Krut Publishing: 49-58.
  • 2008. “Indigenous Gardening, Belonging, and Bewilderment: On Becoming South African.” In: Chapman, M and Robert E Young (eds). Postcolonialism: South/African Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford Scholars Publishing: 40-60.
  • 2006. “En fuite, on foot, in thought: Making the Metropolis Elusive.” Current Writing 17(2): 102-124.
  • 2005.  “Working for Water’s ‘Alien Busters’: Material and metaphoric campaigns against ‘alien invaders’.” Critical Arts: a Journal of South-North Cultural Studies. 19(1 & 2): 127-149.
  • 2005. “Some Very Nervous Conditions: Culture and Commodity in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Novel”. Journal of the African Literature Association: 97-114.
  • 2002. “Ideas en Route: Texts, Travel, Tourism”. Current Writing 14(1): i-xx.
  • 1998. “An Academic Milling Around the Mall.” Critical Arts 11(1 & 2):153-176.
LITERARY AWARDS (for Small Moving Parts, and Shifting)
  • 2013 Winner UKZN Book Prize (Open Category)
  • 2010 Winner of the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in English
  • 2010 Winner of the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for Best Publication Media 24
  • 2010 Shortlisted: University of Johannesburg Prize for Creative Writing
  • 2010 Shortlisted: Sunday Times Fiction Prize
  • 2009 Nominated as a Sunday Independent ‘Book of the Year 2009’
  • 1991 Sanlam Award for Literature (poetry)
  • 1989 Winner Arthur Nortje/Vita Award (poetry)
  • 2017. “Clippings”, short story, Trade Secrets. Short Sharp Stories Competition Anthology. (Ed Joanne Hichens.) Tattoo Press: Cape Town.
  • 2017. “Nuts”, flash fiction, FunnyBone. (Ed Peter Blair). Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, University of Chester.
  • 2015. “How to Carry On” , short story, The Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You. Short Sharp Stories Competition Anthology. (Ed Joanne Hichens.) Mercury Books: Cape Town.
  • 2014. “Mine and Others” (long poem on the women of Marikana), The McGregor Poetry Festival Anthology. Cape Town: African Sun Press.
  • 2012. “Terms & Conditions Apply”, short story, AfroSciFi.  (Ed Ivor Hartmann)
  • 2012. “Dream City”, short story, English Studies in Africa 55(1): 126 – 134.
  • 2011. “Turtles”, short story, Africa Inside Out. Ed Bregin and Chapman. Pmb: UKZN Press.
  • 2009. Small Moving Parts, novel, (2009/2010). Cape Town: Kwela.
  • 2006 open season, poetry, HardPressd, Durban.
  • 1992. Shifting, poetry, Carrefour Press, Cape Town)
  • Cities in Flux: South African Cities, Literature and Place: June–December 2012; staff/student exchanges and conference participation with the University of Basel, Switzerland. Invited keynote participant in the Basel conference.
  • Dis/Location Re/Location . (2008  – 2009). Research group and publication cluster on artist Leora Farber’s travelling  installation/exhibition.
  • Premonitions: (2007 – 8) Epic poem to accompany dance choreography and videography for a creative project with the Flatfoot Dance Company. (Premiered at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in May 2007. Subsequently selected for the 2008 Vita Dance Umbrella.)
  • Circumstanzas. (2006). Assemblage of hand-made containers exploring the materiality of poetry as found object/crafted artefact, narrative/image. Exhibited in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre precinct as part of Poetry Africa.
  • The Postcolonial Project (2006 – 2008) NRF publication project co-directed by southern African literature scholar Michael Chapman (UKZN) and Robert Young (New York University).


  • Asante Mtenje “Contemporary Fictional Representations of Sexualities from Authoritarian African Contexts” (graduated 2016)
  • Francine Simon “Experimental Explorations: a Study of Selected Contemporary Women’s Innovative Poetry in English with a Focus on the Gurlesque” (graduated 2017)
  • Sabine Binder “Women in Crime: Victims, Perpetrators and Detectives in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction” (graduated 2017)

  • the experimental eco-novel (cum laude)
  • poetry of Ingrid de Kok (cum laude)
  • gender, genre and Margie Orford’s krimi novels (cum laude)
  • the short fiction of Mbulelo Mzamane
  • the novels of Zakes Mda (MA summa cum laude)
  • the poetry of Indian diaspora (MA cum laude)
  • Sylvia Plath and ‘IMAX authorship’ (MA summa cum laude)
  • Gender and Diaspora in the Poetry of Meena Alexander (MA summa cum laude
  • the Short Story Cycle: Writing Durban as/and Regional Identity (MA cum laude)
  • Experimental South African fiction and history (MA cum laude)