Olla, 2022Nasrin Olla is a South African scholar who specializes in African and African diasporic literature, postcolonial theory, and continental philosophy. Nasrin completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town and her PhD in the Literatures in English Department at Cornell University. Nasrin is currently an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in English and African American & African Studies at the University of Virginia. She is working on her first book project, The Right to Opacity, which engages anew with the theme of alterity across a range of contemporary African and African diasporic literature. In 2020, The Right to 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 & Francophone African Thought

Critical Theory & Continental Philosophy 

Gender Studies & Queer Theory