SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Sara Marzagora

BA, MA (University of Milan); MA, PhD (SOAS, University of London)
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Sara Marzagora
Dr Sara Marzagora
Email address:
21/22 Russell Square
Office No:
Office Hours:
Monday 3-5pm


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies, leading the Horn of Africa case study of the Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies research project. In 2015 I completed my PhD at SOAS on the political thought of Amharic-speaking intellectuals in Ethiopia from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1960s. The thesis looked at how the intellectuals’ philosophy of history informed both their position vis-à-vis colonialism and their notion of modernity and cultural alterity. Alongside my work on Ethiopian intellectual history, I have published on Amharic literature and edited a special issue of the Journal of African Cultural Studies on Literatures in African languages. In the summer of 2012 I was a visiting researcher at Rhodes University and in 2013 I held a research affiliation to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa. At SOAS, I have lectured on Ethiopian political philosophy, African cultural studies and Amharic literature. I am currently preparing articles on a philosophical comparison between Mängəstu Lämma’s and Ebrahim Hussein’s plays, on fukkära and qärärto (Amharic heroic recitals and war songs) as sources of Ethiopian cultural history, on the historiography of Ləjj Iyasu’s reign in Ethiopia, and on a history of the concept of zämänawinnät (‘modernity’) in Ethiopian political thought.



African intellectual history, African philosophy, African critical theory, History of African political thought, Ethiopian history, Ethiopian literatures (particularly Amharic), Intellectual history of the Horn of Africa, Literatures in African languages, Political philosophy, Philosophy of history, Cultural studies.


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Ethiopia
  • Amharic



Laachir, Karima and Marzagora, Sara and Orsini, Francesca (2018) 'Significant Geographies: in lieu of world literature'. Journal of World Literature. [Forthcoming]

Marzagora, Sara (2017) 'History in twentieth-century Ethiopia: The ‘Great Tradition’ and the counter-histories of national failure'. The Journal of African History, (58) 3, pp 425-444.

Marzagora, Sara (2016) 'The humanism of reconstruction: African intellectuals, decolonial critical theory and the opposition to the ‘posts’ (postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism)'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (28) 2, pp 161-178.

Marzagora, Sara (2015) 'Re-writing history in the literature of the Ethiopian diaspora in Italy'. African Identities, (13) 3, pp 211-225.

Marzagora, Sara (2015) 'Editorial: Literatures in African Languages'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (27) 1, pp 1-6.

Marzagora, Sara (2015) 'African-language literatures and the ‘transnational turn’ in Euro-American humanities'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (27) 1, pp 40-55.

Edited Books or Journals

Marzagora, Sara, (ed.), (2015) Journal of African Cultural Studies vol. 27, no.1 - special issue on Literatures in African Languages. London: Taylor and Francis.

Book Chapters

Marzagora, Sara (2015) '‘We proceed following Japan’: the role of the Japanese model in early 20th century Ethiopian political philosophy'. In: Sonderegger, Arno, (ed.), African Thoughts on Colonial and Neo-colonial Worlds: Facets of an Intellectual History of Africa. Berlin: Neofelis Verlag, pp 17-32.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 21st April 2018, 14:50 Europe/London.