Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Peter Nazareth

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Name  Peter Nazareth

Role  Critic
Peter Nazareth englishuiowaedufilesenglishstylesmediumpubl
Books  The General Is Up, In the trickster tradition, An African View of Literature
Education  University of London, Makerere University

One of a Kind: Peter Nazareth

Peter Nazareth (born 27 April 1940) is a Ugandan-born critic and writer of fiction and drama.



Peter Nazareth was born in Uganda of Goan and Malaysian ancestry, and was educated at Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda), where he received his BA in English Literature in 1962, and at the universities of London and Leeds in England.

While residing in Africa, he simultaneously served as senior finance officer in Idi Amin's finance ministry until 1973, when he accepted a fellowship at Yale University (United States) and emigrated from Uganda.

He is professor of English and African-American World Studies at the University of Iowa (United States), where he is also a consultant to the International Writing Program. Nazareth taught that university's course "Elvis as Anthology," which explores the deep mythological roots of Elvis Presley's roles in popular culture.

His literary criticisms have often involved observations of the fate of diverse global economic and academic migrants, spanning the Asian, African and black American cultural histories. This includes the Goan diaspora settled in Western countries, the post-Idi Amin Asian emigration from Eastern Africa, and the cultural superstitions of the pre-Obama presidency of American politics.

He has been married to Mary Nazareth for more than 50 years. They have two daughters.


  • In a Brown Mantle, East African Literature Bureau, 1972; Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1981.
  • Literature and Society in Modern Africa, East African Literature Bureau, 1972; Kenya Literature Bureau, 1980; published as An African View of Literature, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974.
  • Two Radio Plays, East African Literature Bureau, 1976.
  • The Third World Writer: His Social Responsibility, Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1978.
  • Literature of the African Peoples, Study Guide for Independent Study with audiotape/CD, Center for Credit Programs, The University of Iowa, 1983.
  • A Feny Fele, Budapest: Europa Publishing House, 1984 (selected essays in Hungarian translation)
  • The General is Up, Toronto: TSAR Books, 1991
  • In the Trickster Tradition: The Novels of Andrew Salkey, Francis Ebejer and Ishmael Reed, London: Bogle-L'Ouverture Press, 1994.
  • Edwin Thumboo: Creating a Nation Through Poetry, Singapore: Interlogue Series Vol. 7, Ethos Books, 2008.
  • Edited anthologies

  • African Writing Today, special issue of Pacific Quarterly Moana, Hamilton, New Zealand: Outrigger Publishers, Vol. 6, No. 3/4, 1981.
  • Goan Literature: A Modern Reader, issue of the Journal of South Asian Literature, East Lansing: Michigan State University, 1983.
  • Critical Essays on Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, New York: G.K. Hall, 2000
  • Uganda South Asians Exodus: Kololian Perspectives (co-edited), University of Toronto, 2002.
  • Significant essays

  • "Waiting for Amin: Two Decades of Ugandan Literature", The Writing of East & Central Africa, ed. G.D. Killam, London Nairobi / Ibadan : Heinemann, 1984 pages 1–35.
  • "Bibliyongraphy, or Six Tabans in Search of an Author," ibid., pages 159–172.
  • "The Narrator as Artist and the Reader as Critic in Season of Migration to the North," Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the North: A Casebook, ed. Mona Takieddine Amyuni, Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1985, pages 123–134.
  • "Out of Darkness: Conrad and Other Third World Writers", Joseph Conrad: Third World Perspectives, ed. Robert Hamner, Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1990, pages 217–231.
  • "Elvis as Anthology," In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion, ed. Vernon Chadwick, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997, pages 37–72 plus Endnotes 253–258.
  • "The True Fantasies of Grace Ogot, Storyteller", Meditations on African Literature, ed. Dubem Okafor, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2001, pages 101–117.
  • "Dark Heart or Trickster?", The Journal of The Korean Society Nineteenth Century Literature in English, Vol. 9-3, 2005, pages 291–321 (on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness).
  • "Path of Thunder: Meeting Bessie Head", Research in African Literatures, ed. John Conteh-Morgan, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Vol. 37, No. 4, Winter 2006, pages 211–229.
  • "Heading Them Off at the Pass," The Critical Response to Ishmael Reed, ed. Bruce Allen Dick, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999, pages 140–148.
  • References

    Peter Nazareth Wikipedia