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Dr Eleanor K. Jones BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Portuguese and Lusophone Studies

Dr Eleanor K. Jones's photo

Following a BA and MA focused on Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking cultures, I specialised in one of the countries of Portuguese-speaking Africa – Mozambique – for my doctoral research, completed at the University of Manchester. My thesis explored the myriad representations and uses of the body in Mozambican cultural history and literature. Before joining Southampton in September 2016, I taught various courses on Portuguese-speaking cultures at the Universities of Sheffield, Birmingham, and Manchester.

I published the book Battleground Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Mozambican Literature, in 2017. My current research focus is on the roles of disability, psychopathology, colonial and decolonial psychiatry and eugenics in Portuguese- and English-speaking Africa. In general, my research interests lie in themes relating to the body and mind, including gender and sex, race, disability, mental disorder, violence, health, disease and mortality.

I am always keen to hear from prospective postgraduate students looking for supervision along these thematic lines.

Research interests

My research interests range across the literatures, cultures and social histories of Portuguese- and English-speaking Africa and the Portuguese-speaking world more broadly, with a particular focus on subjects relating to the body and mind. These have included gender and sex, race, violence, health, and mortality; more recently, I have focused on disability, psychopathology, colonial and decolonial psychiatry and eugenics. A large part of my work is concerned with the critical theorisation of those themes, both within my regions of specialisation and beyond.

My 2017 monograph, Battleground Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Mozambican Literature, drew on theory from a range of disciplines to explore and compare the myriad representations and uses of the body in Mozambican cultural history, through poetry and prose by six Mozambican authors: José Craveirinha, Noémia de Sousa, Lília Momplé, Paulina Chiziane, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa and Suleiman Cassamo. I have also worked on uses of ‘deviant’ sexuality in Portuguese modernist literature, and on the use of pathologisation as a means to marginalise political dissent in post-independence Mozambique.

My current focus is on the discursive construction and use of ‘insanity' in southern Africa through the long twentieth century. The understandings of ‘insanity’ that emerged in the late nineteenth century played a pivotal, yet overlooked, role in sustaining the Portuguese and British colonial states in southern Africa. Our understanding of mental illness and intellectual and neurological disabilities in the region demands analysis of this role and its legacy. I seek to explore how understandings and uses of insanity shaped cultural dynamics in colonial and decolonial Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, working from a diverse corpus of medical, political and literary texts.

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I convene and teach the three Portuguese content modules, which are all concerned with the histories, cultures and theorisations of the Portuguese-speaking world – PORT1001 ‘Introduction to the Portuguese-speaking World’; PORT2001 ‘Culture, Power and Resistance in the Portuguese-speaking World’; and PORT3006 ‘Encounters with Bodies in Lusophone Cultural Narrative.’ I contribute to LANG1004 ‘Reading Culture,’ and coordinate the final-year Modern Languages and Linguistics dissertation module, LANG3003.

In addition, I convene our interdisciplinary MA Transnational Studies programme, which offers a global perspective on world cultures and societies. Within the programme, I co-convene and teach the cultural and critical theory module TRAN6015 ‘Understanding Transnational Studies: Key Concepts,’ and contribute to the cultural studies module TRAN6012 ‘Cultural Flows.'

Dr Eleanor K. Jones
Room 3037
Avenue Campus
Building 65
SO17 1BF

Room Number: 65/3037

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