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Stephen Clingman

Distinguished Professor

picture of Stephen Clingman

(413) 545-3474

E451 South College

Stephen Clingman is Distinguished Professor of English and  former Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute. He received his BA Hons. from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He has taught at the University of Massachusetts since 1989, and was Chair of the English Department from 1994-2000. His fellowships include the Southern African Research Program (Yale University), the African Studies Institute (University of the Witwatersrand), the Society for the Humanities (Cornell University), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington, D.C.), and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (University of Stellenbosch).

Stephen’s work has ranged from South African literature and biography to postcolonial and transnational fiction. Books include The Novels Of Nadine Gordimer: History From The Inside (1986; 2nd edn, Bloomsbury/UMass Press, 1992), and an edited collection of essays by Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics And Places (Jonathan Cape/Knopf, 1988), translated into a number of languages. Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary, his biography of the white Afrikaner who led Nelson Mandela's legal defense at the Rivonia Trial, won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award, South Africa’s premier prize for non-fiction, and was recently republished in a new edition (Jacana Media, 2013). The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary (Oxford University Press, 2009) was released in paperback in 2012. Stephen has published articles and interviews in a variety of journals such as Modern Fiction StudiesSafundi,Salmagundi, and Transition, and he has written reviews for the New York Times and the Boston Globe. He regularly teaches courses on South African literature and politics, twentieth-century fiction, contemporary British fiction, and transnational fiction.  Stephen's most recent book, a memoir entitled Birthmark, was published by Jacana Media in 2015.

Awards and Accolades

  • 2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer
  • Chancellor’s Medal