About

IMG_0783Nasrin Olla is a South African scholar who specializes in African and African diasporic literature, postcolonial theory, and critical race studies. Nasrin completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town and her PhD in English literature and languages at Cornell University. Nasrin is currently the Peters Rushton Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Virginia where she is working on her first book project, Reaching for Opacity, which engages anew with the theme of alterity across a range of contemporary African and African diasporic literature. In 2020, Reaching for Opacity was awarded Cornell University’s Guilford Prize for the best dissertation of the year. Nasrin’s research has been supported by the Mellon Mays Fellowship, the A.W. Mellon Fellowship at the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Completion Fellowship. In 2021, Nasrin was named one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail & Guardian.

Research and Teaching Interests

African Diasporic & African Literature

Anglophone and Francophone African Thought

Ethics/Critical Theory

Gender Studies/Queer Theory