Rebecca Duncan is Researcher in the Department of Languages, and member of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, where she co-ordinates the research cluster "Aesthetics of Empire".
Rebecca holds degrees from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and Justus-Liebig University Giessen (Germany). She works in postcolonial- and world-literature, with a focus on Southern Africa, and particular interests in world-ecological approaches, the body and embodiment, and speculative forms.
Her current project is generously funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and examines how world-literature mediates emerging generational politics in the context of planeary emergency. Her previous project, “Materialising Violence: Speculative Fiction and New Cultures of Resistance from Sub-Saharan Africa", was funded by the Craafoord Foundation, and concluded in 2021.
At LNU, Rebecca is Coordinator for the MA Course "Theory and Criticism: Current Debates in the Humanities", and teaches more generally on topics related to postcolonial studies and political ecology. She has supervised theses in post- and decolonial literature, ecocriticism and literature and millennial politics.
Rebecca has published widely on speculative genres in global contexts. She is the author of South African Gothic (University of Wales/University of Chicago Press 2018), which was shortlisted for the 2019 Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize. Her work features in a number of edited volumes, including The Routledge Handbook of African Literature (Routledge 2019), Twenty-First-Century Gothic (Edinburgh UP 2019), The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story (2017), and Neoliberal Gothic (Manchester UP 2017).
Rebecca’s recent research on world-ecology and South African literature and cinema appears in ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Science Fiction Film and Television, and the collection Gothic in the Anthropocene (forthcoming U. of Minnesota Press). With Dr Matt Foley, she is co-editor of Patrick McGrath and his Worlds: Madness and the Transnational Gothic (Routledge 2020), and, with Dr Rebekah Cumpsty, “The Body Now” (2020), a special issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.
Rebecca's Guest Edited Special Issue of Gothic Studies, entitled "Decolonising Gothic", is forthcoming in November 2022
Rebecca sits on the advisory board for Cambridge University Press' "Elements of the Gothic" series, and between 2017 and 2021, she was General Editor at Fantastika Journal. She is a member of the International Gothic Association and the Postcolonial Studies Association, and a former member of the International Centre for the Gothic at Stirling University. She has served as peer reviewer for a number of publications, including English Studies in Africa, the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Feminist Theory and Gothic Studies.
My research groups
My ongoing research projects
Project: Materialising Violence: Speculative Fiction and New Cultures of Resistance from Sub-Saharan Africa This project considers representations of socio-economic and -ecological violence in…
Project: Young Southern Speculatives: New Decolonialisms in the Capitalocene This project identifies a new eco-speculative strand of world literature written by young authors from the Global South –…
Article in journal (Refereed)
Duncan, R. (2022). Decolonial Gothic : Beyond the Postcolonial in Gothic Studies. Gothic Studies. 24 (3). 304-322.
Duncan, R., Höglund, J. (2021). Decolonising the COVID-19 pandemic : On Being in this Together. Approaching Religion. 11 (2). 115-131.
Duncan, R. (2020). Writing Ecological Revolution from Millennial South Africa : History, Nature and the Postapartheid Present. Ariel : A Review of International English Literature. 51 (4). 65-97.
Duncan, R. (2018). From Cheap Labour to Surplus Humanity : World-Ecology and the Postapartheid Speculative in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. Science Fiction Film and Television. 11 (1). 45-72.
Duncan, R. (2014). Contemporary South African Horror : On Meat, Neoliberalism and the Postcolonial Politics of a Global Form. Horror Studies. 5 (1). 85-106.
Duncan, R. (2013). 'My Skin, a Parchment of Tales' : Trauma, Wounding and the Postapartheid Gothic in Terry Westby-Nunn's Sea of Wise Insects. Current Writing : Text and Reception in Southern Africa. 25 (1). 76-87.
Duncan, R. Fiction from the Data Frontier. Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.
- Duncan, R. (2018). South African Gothic : Anxiety and Creative Dissent in the Post-apartheid Imagination and Beyond. Cardiff, University of Wales Press.
Chapter in book (Refereed)
- Duncan, R. (2024). Multiscalar Monsters : Towards a Speculative Geography of Terminal Crisis. Modern Monsters : A Cultural History of Monsters (vol. 6). London, Bloomsbury Academic.
- Duncan, R. (2023). Coda : Planetary Gothic: An Invitation. The Edinburgh Companion to Globalgothic. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 485-494.
- Duncan, R. (2023). Anthropocene Gothic, Capitalocene Gothic : The Politics of Ecohorror. The Edinburgh Companion to Globalgothic. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 114-130.
- Duncan, R. (2023). Introduction : Globalgothic Beyond Globalisation’. The Edinburgh Companion to Globalgothic. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 1-22.
- Duncan, R. (2022). De/Zombification as Decolonial Critique : Beyond Man, Nature and the Posthuman in Folklore and Fiction from South Africa. Decolonizing the Undead : Rethinking Zombies in World-Literature, Film, and Media. Bloomsbury Academic. 141-158.
- Duncan, R. (2022). Gothic in the Capitalocene : Imagining World-Ecological Crisis from the South African Postcolony. Dark Scenes from Damaged Earth : The Gothic Anthropocene. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. 175-194.
- Duncan, R. (2021). Haunted Technonature : Anthropocene Coloniality in Ng Yi-Sheng’s Lion City. Haunted Nature : Entanglements of the Human and the Non-Human. Palgrave Macmillan. 135-158.
- Foley, M., Duncan, R. (2020). Patrick McGrath and Passion : the Gothic modernism of Asylum and Beyond. Patrick McGrath and his Worlds : Madness and the Transnational Gothic. London, Routledge. 103-115.
- Duncan, R., Foley, M. (2019). Introduction : McGrath in the World: Gothic, Madness and Transnational Consciousness. Patrick McGrath and his Worlds : Madness and the Transnational Gothic. London, Routledge. 1-18.
- Duncan, R. (2019). Gothic Supernaturalism in the African Imagination : Locating an Emerging Form. The Routledge Handbook of African Literature. Routledge.
- Duncan, R. (2019). South African Gothic. Twenty-First-Century Gothic : An Edinburgh Companion. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 233-248.
- Duncan, R. (2017). Shades of Dissent : Notes on Haunting in South African Literary History. Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story. London, Routledge.
- Duncan, R. (2017). Gothic Vulnerability : Affect and Ethics in Fiction from Neoliberal South Africa. Neoliberal Gothic : International Gothic in the Neoliberal Age. Manchester, Manchester University Press. 122-141.
Collection (editor) (Refereed)
- Duncan, R., Cumpsty, R. (2025). The Cambridge Companion to World Gothic Literature. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
- Duncan, R. (2023). The Edinburgh Companion to Globalgothic. Edinburgh University Press.
- Duncan, R. (2022). Decolonising Gothic : Special Issue of Gothic Studies Volume 24, Issue 3, November, 2022. Edinburgh University Press.
- Duncan, R., Cumpsty, R. (2020). Interventions, Volume 22, Issue 5 (2020) : The Body Now. Taylor & Francis.
- Foley, M., Duncan, R. (2020). Patrick McGrath and his Worlds : Madness and the Transnational Gothic. London, Routledge. 196.
Article in journal (Other academic)
Duncan, R. (2022). Introduction : Decolonising Gothic. Gothic Studies. 24 (3). 219-227.
Duncan, R., Cumpsty, R. (2020). Introduction : The Body in Postcolonial Fiction after the Millennium. Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 22 (5). 587-605.