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Esthie Hugo

Gender, Race and World-Ecological Literature: Plotting Women’s Work from the Plantation to the Present

I am a PhD student in Comparative Literature at Warwick University, Coventry. I am currently working on a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which investigates World Literature through the commodity frontiers of the 20th century (see more here: My PhD project investigates the histories of women's work in the sugar and palm oil and coal industries, as mediated in Nigerian, British and Caribbean fiction.


  1. "Pain, Pleasure, and the World-Food-System: Plotting the Afterlife of the Plantation in the Poetry of Grace Nichols", Plotting the Crisis: World-Ecology, World-Culture and the World-Food-System, forthcoming, Routledge.
  2. "Looking forward, looking back: animating magic, modernity and the African city-future in Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon", Social Dynamics, 43, 1 (2017): pp. 46-58,

Conference Papers:

  1. 'Terrors of the House and Field: Reading for Social Reproduction in Marlon James' The Book of Night Women', Floods and Flows: Changing Environments and Cultures, University of Warwick, 22 February 2020.
  2. “It is Us Who Groom and Weed Him”: The Gendered Ecology of Sugarcane in the Poetry of Grace Nichols', Postcolonial Studies Association Convention, University of Manchester, 11-13 September 2019.
  3. 'The Literature of the World-Ecology: Reading for Palm Oil in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart', New Postcolonial Concerns, Postgraduate Symposium, University of Cambridge, 15 June 2019.
  4. 'Commodity Frontiers and World-Ecological Fiction', The South West and the World-System,: Writing, the Environment and the Archives, University of Exeter, 5 June 2019.
  5. ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back: animating Magic, Modernity and the African City-Future in Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon’, 17th Triennial Conference of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Stellenbosch University, July 2016
  6. 'Hide and Sick: Gothic Pop Culture in the Contemporary South African Moment’, Locating the Gothic Conference, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, October 2014.
  7. ‘Sinister Surfaces: Contemporary South African Horror On Stage and Off’, Writing South Africa Now Postgraduate Conference, University of York, June 2014.


2016: Masters in Language, Literature and Modernity, University of Cape Town, Distinction (examined by Prof Jennifer Wenzel and Prof Sarah Nuttall)

2013: Honours in English Studies, University of Cape Town, First Class

Significant Awards:

2019: Oppenheimer International Scholarship, PhD study

2018: PhD Studentship, “World Literature and Commodity Frontiers”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at the University of Warwick’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

2014: South African National Research Fund Scarce Skills Research Bursary for Masters in English Literature, based at the University of Cape Town's Department of English Language and Literature.

Academic Editorial Work:

1.Young. S. Shakespeare in the Global South: Stories of Oceans Crossed in Contemporary Adaptation. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019,

2. Pather, J & Boulle C. Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2019,


I currently teach on the Modes of Reading module for first year English students at Warwick.

Link to my page: