Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of the Witwatersrand
Website URL
Asia, India, Pakistan, Africa, Mozambique, Brazil, Migration, Diaspora, gender, identity, literature, belonging, culture
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Personal Info

About Me

Nafeesah is a writer and independent researcher with a particular interest in literature, gender identity, and diaspora studies within the global South.

In 2019, Nafeesah Allen completed her Ph.D. in Forced Migration from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2013, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Folklore & Cultural Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi, India. She received IGNOU’s Gold Medal for meritorious academic performance for her ethnographic thesis on women of the Indian Diaspora. She completed a Masters of International Affairs at Columbia University in 2009 and graduated cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University in 2006. Her specializations included Latin American languages and literature, as well as race and social policy; she was granted an Institute of Latin American Studies fellowship to pursue research on the cultural and political representation of Brazil’s African Diaspora in the late 20th century.

For more information on her recent work:

Her publications are available here:

She is a native of New Jersey, USA and has lived in India, Mozambique & Spain.

Recent Publications

“Remembering the Camps: Portuguese De-Colonization, Competing Colonialisms in Mozambique, and Deportation to India.” The Oxford Monitor vol. 8, n 2 (2020). Online.

“The (Indian female) Search for Love: Black Feminist Theory as a Paradigm to Deconstruct the Importance of Romantic Love in the Domestic Lives of Women of Color Abroad.” Disrupted (Winter 2019) The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy. Online.

“National Belonging and Social Integration: Race and Migration in Mozambique.” The Republic vol. 3, n. 1 (2019). Online.

Indo-Mozambican Interactions with the State (1947-1992): Civic and Religious Institutions in Lourenço Marques/Maputo as sites of ethnic identity affirmation and migratory contestation.” “Espaços transnacionais: narrativas do Oceano Índico” Remate de Males (UNICAMP) vol. 38, n. 1 (2018), Brazil

“Negotiating with the Diaspora. An Interview with Ama Ata Aidoo.” Scholar & Feminist Online Journal 7.2 (Spring 2009).

Review of Gangs, Politics and Dignity in Cape Town by Steffen Jensen. The Journal of International Affairs 62:2 (Spring/Summer 2009). Print.

Let the Photo be Taken: A Conversation with Mozambican Photojournalist Naita Ussene” The Republic vol. 3, n. 3 (2020) Online.

When Afro-Jazz is the call, African Jazz is the response: A Dialogue with Xisseve Langa” Africa in Dialogue. April 2019. Web only.

Book Review. “Neatly packaged snapshots of often inaccessible headlines: A Review of the Hamburger that Killed Jorge” Africa in Words. Nov 2017. Web only.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Mozambique, India, Pakistan, Brazil
Expertise by Geography
Africa, Asia, Latin America
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Diplomacy, Gender, Local & Regional, Migration & Immigration, Politics, Public History, Race, Slavery, Urban History, Women