Dr Riaan Oppelt

MA in English and Cultural Studies, cum laude (UWC), PhD (Stellenbosch)
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Violence studies; Film and Media studies; theatre; South African literature; modernity/modernism; life writing


Film studies; detective fiction; Fabulism; magic realism; modernity/modernism; 21st Century South African literature; absurd theatre


  • “Cinematic Representations of South African Gang Violence: Enclosed Spaces and Turf Wars”, Violence in the Postcolonial and Neocolonial World, Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures 4.4, 2020
  • “C. Louis Leipoldt’s The Mask: Lost Opportunities and Cautions from the Past”, English Academy Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2019
  • “English Studies in South Africa” in Smith, Matthew and Somerset, Richard (eds.), Mapping Fields of Study: The Cultural and Institutional Space of English Studies, 2018, Presses Universitaires de Nancy
  • “Injustice at both ends: pre-and-post-apartheid literary approaches to injustice, sentiment and humanism” in African, American and European Trajectories of Modernity—Past Oppression, Future Justice?, Annual of European and Global Studies, Vol. 2 2015
  • “Dialogues Between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ in South African Theatre”. Listening to Africa: Anglophone African Literatures and Cultures Anglistik & Englischunterricht Vol. 80 (2012/13)
  • “Between Good Hope and a Hard Rock Place”, Categories of Persons (2013)
  • “C. Louis Leipoldt and the Role of the ‘Cape Malay’ in South African Cookery”. Journal of Literary Studies 28.1: 51-68.


  • Davis, T.  Zombie Politics: Science Fiction, Political Criticism and Consumption in Lily Herne’s Deadlands Series. MA Thesis 2016
  • Rochat, N. Fearful Spheres and Domestic Rebellion: Reading the Intersections between the Female Gothic and Domesticity in Selected Twentieth Century Literary Texts. MA Thesis 2016
  • Gagiano, V. An analysis of narratology in mainstream film through the application of gender equity critical assessment. MA Thesis 2018
  • Bernhardt, L. The fantasy of female sexual freedom in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and in John Logan’s Penny Dreadful. MA Thesis 2018
  • Jeftha, C. Considering coloureds : detangling representations of coloured women in Post-Apartheid South Africa. MA Thesis 2019
  • Stander, D. Reza de Wet (1952-2012) : life and works. PhD Thesis, co-supervision 2019


  • Inaugural Mandela Rhodes Scholar 2005
  • Mandela Rhodes Ten-Year Fellow 2015