Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall specialises in Postcolonial literature, particularly African-American, Caribbean, African and Black British writing. Her research is informed by Postcolonial theory and spans a broad range of concerns, including examinations of constructions of identity (in particular hybrid and liminal identities), race and racial politics and Caribbean carnival cultures.. Her work often focuses on the ways in which hybrid identities, languages and literatures challenge and modify traditional social and cultural structures.
She is an expert in the role of trickster figures in the literatures and cultures of Africa and its Diaspora. Dr. Marshall’s book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance was published by the University of the West Indies Press in 2012. She has also published widely in journals such as World Literatures Written in English, Caribbean Quarterly, Wadabagei, Jamaica Journal and Wasafiri. She has organised international conferences on Caribbean culture and literature and is currently researching the role of trickster figures in African American literature for her next book, to be published by Rowman and Littlefield (2016).
2007 PhD Cultural Studies: Leeds Metropolitan University – ‘The Journey of Anansi: An Exploration of Jamaican Cultural Resistance’
2006 Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology
2000 MA English Literature (Pass with Merit) Leeds Metropolitan University
1999 BA (Hons) English and History, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr. Marshall grew up in the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales. Her mother, Jenny Zobel, is from the French-speaking Caribbean island Martinique and her father, Peter Marshall, a well-known philosopher and travel writer, is from Sussex. Her early schooling was conducted through the medium of Welsh and she spoke both French and English at home. After completing her A-levels in Bangor she studied her B. A. (Hons) at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she went on to complete her Masters and PhD. For her PhD on Jamaica Storytelling she spent three months in Jamaica conducting fieldwork and interviews. This research became the basis of her book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance (2012). Dr. Marshall secured a position as Senior Lecturer in the School of Cultural Studies in 2007.
Dr. Marshall is currently writing a book entitled American Trickster: Trauma, Tradition and Brer Rabbit, which will be published in 2016 by Rowman and Littlefield. The book will be an interdisciplinary study which examines the cultural significance of the North American trickster figure Brer Rabbit. It will trace the trickster rabbit from his African roots through to his influence on twentieth and twenty-first century literature and media, which is wide-ranging – from Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter’s stories to Disney’s films, Bugs Bunny cartoons and Alice Walker and Toni Morrison’s novels. As no sustained analysis of the Brer Rabbit figure has been undertaken from an in-depth, cross-cultural perspective, this investigation is dedicated to filling the deficit in our current knowledge of this fascinating folk phenomenon.