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Helen Cousins

Helen Cousins is Reader in Postcolonial Literature at Newman University, Birmingham, UK. Her current research focuses on the novels of Helen Oyeyemi, a Black British author of Nigerian descent. She studies Oyeyemi’s use of canonical genre forms, and her engagement with a British (neo-imperialistic) multicultural rhetoric, to explore the impact of a colonial past on present ‘English’ national identity. This work is published in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 47(1) (2012) (‘Helen Oyeyemi and the Yoruba Gothic: White is for Witching’) and also in Postcolonial Text (forthcoming December 2012: ‘Unplaced/Invaded: Multiculturalism in Helen Oyeyemi's The Opposite House’). She is developing broader research from this work which will incorporate texts by writers such as Bernadine Evaristo and Diana Evans: her interest is in the assertions of Englishness made within literature commonly designated as ‘Black British’ through the study of form, genre and theme. This will form the basis of her next publications including a monograph study into Black British women’s writing.