Dr. Tanaka Chidora


Tanaka is a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow researching on violence, memory and literature in Zimbabwe. He holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Zimbabwe and a doctoral degree in English from the University of the Free State, South Africa. His doctoral thesis, ‘Out of Crisis: Discourses of enabling and disabling spaces in post-2000 Zimbabwean literary texts in English’, explored issues of space, belonging and mobility in literary texts from Zimbabwe. Tanaka is a published poet and short story writer. His first poetry collection, Because Sadness is Beautiful? (2019) was published to critical acclaim in Zimbabwe. Tanaka’s debut novel, Carrying a Country on Your Forehead, is set to be published in 2023.

Research Interests

  • Zimbabwean Literature
  • Afrodiasporic Writing
  • African Literature
  • Memory Studies
  • World Literature
  • Transcultural Studies
  • Popular Culture

Current research

'Armed Peace: Violence, Memory and Literature in Zimbabwe’, Humboldt postdoctoral monograph.

Selected publications

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Chidora, T. and Mandizvidza, S. 2023. ‘The Literary Legitimation of Zimbabwe’s Sell-out Discourse.’ In M. Nyakudya, W. Mwatwara and J. Mujere, eds. Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle: Revolutionaries and sellouts. London: Routledge.
  • Chidora T. 2021. ‘Heroes and Heroines in Zimbabwean Fiction.’ Journal of African Languages and Literary Studies, 2 (2), pp 13-31.  
  • Fingson, K. and Chidora, T. 2020. ‘Was Robert Mugabe the Re-incarnation of Nehanda’s Bones? An Analysis of Chenjerai Hove’s Bones.’ In E. Chitando, ed. Politics and Religion in Zimbabwe: The Deification of Robert G. Mugabe. London: Routledge.  
  • Chidora, T., Mandizvidza, S., Chibvamushure, B. 2019. ‘The Feminine and the Subaltern in Literary Imaginations: An Ecofeminist Reading of Chenjerai Hove’s Bones.’ In Gendered Perspectives, Zambezia Special Issue.
  • Kufakurinani U., Kazembe, P., Mandizvidza, S. and Chidora, T. 2019. ‘Perspectives on Gender in Zimbabwe.’ In Gendered Perspectives,’ Zambezia Special Issue.
  • Kufakurinani U., Kazembe, P., Mandizvidza, S. and Chidora, T. 2019, eds. Gendered Perspectives,’ Zambezia Special Issue.
  • Chidora, T. and Ngara, K. 2019. ‘Harare (in the) North: the metaphor of an irresolvable exile dialectic.’ Kairos: A Journal of Critical Symposium, vol. 4, no. 1.  
  • Chidora, T. and Mandizvidza, S. 2019. ‘Exilic Consciousness and the Ambivalent Fate of the Exiled in Zimbabwean Fiction with Special Reference to Brian Chikwava’s Harare North (2009)’. Zambezia, vol. 45, no. 1.
  • Chidora, T. 2018. ‘Beyond the Cultural and Nationalist Imaginary: Zimdancehall and the Subversion of Female Objectification’. In B. Chinouriri, U. Kufakurinani and M. Nyakudya, eds. Victors, Victims and Villains: Women and Musical Arts in Zimbabwe’s Past and Present. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications.
  • Chidora, T. and Mandizvidza, S. 2017. ‘Dystopian and Utopian Homecomings in Shimmer Chinodya’s Harvest of Thorns and Olley Maruma’s Coming Home’. Pivot, vol. 6, no. 1.
  • Mandizvidza S. and Chidora, T. 2016. ‘Listening to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness Speaking to Africa: An Open-Minded Approach’. In R. Magosvongwe, O. Mlambo and E. Ndlovu, eds. Africa’s Intangible Heritage and Land: Emerging Perspectives. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications.
  • Mandizvidza S. and Chidora, T. 2015. ‘From Farm Labourer to Farm Owner: The legitimacy of the Black Farm Labourer as an Owner of Land’. In Z. Makwavarara, R. Magosvongwe and O. Mlambo, eds. Dialoguing Land Indigenisation in Zimbabwe and other Developing Countries: Emerging perspectives. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications.


  • Chidora, T. 2022. ‘Searching for the Silenced Memory’, in Perspectives on Africa, Goethe University Science Magazine.

Forthcoming Books, Book Chapters and Articles

  • The Zimdancehall Revolution: Critical Perspectives (ed.), forthcoming, Palgrave.
  • Subversion, Contestation and Resistance: The politics of names and naming in Zimbabwe (ed.), forthcoming, Brill.
  • Chidora, T. ‘On Global Transculturality: Ngugi meets Sculze-Engler’, in Sylvia Anastasijevic, Karsten Levihn-Kutzler, Magdalena Pfalzgraf and Hanna Teichler, eds. The Many Worlds of Anglophone Literature: Transcultural Engagements, Global Frictions: Festschrift to Frank Schulze-Engler. Forthcoming.
  • Chidora, T. ‘Towards Shonglish? An analysis of Chenjerai Hove’s Ancestors (1996).’ In: Schulze-Engler, Frank and Malreddy, Pavan, eds. English in the World of Strangers, Mapping World Anglophone Studies Series, Routledge. Forthcoming.
  • Chidora, T. and Ngara, K. ‘And Now the Poets Do Not Speak: The schizophrenias of writing in Zimbabwe.’ In Muwati, I, ed. Dariro: Theory of Participation and Performance. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications. Forthcoming.


  • "Speculative Fiction from Anglophone Africa”, Summer 2023, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • “‘Trends in African Literary Fiction”, Winter 2022/23, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • "Afrodiasporic Writing in English" Winter 2020/21, Goethe University Frankfurt

Conferences and Presentations

  • Guest Speaker, ‘And Now the Poets Do Not Speak: The politics of representation in Zimbabwean Writing (1953—2023)’, NELK Literary Workshop, 2 February, 2023.
  • Panelist, Roundtable with Michael Rothberg, Theses on Differentiated Solidarity and the Implicated Subject, GAPS Conference, Contested Solidarities, Goethe University, Frankfurt, 26-29 May, 2022-06-23
  • Panelist, ‘The Parenticide of NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names’, GAPS Conference, Contested Solidarities, Goethe University, Frankfurt, 26-29 May, 2022
  • Speaker, “Writing out of Crisis? A writer and academic’s reflections on the state of writing in Zimbabwe.” University of the Free State, Department of English Speaker Series, 26 August, 2021.
  • Panelist, ‘The Antinomy of Exile in Tendai Huchu’s The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician.’ Memories in Transit Conference, 15-16 April, 2021, University of Cambridge.
  • Panelist, ‘The Confession of a Book Reviewer and Writer,’ at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Indaba, 29 July-3 August, 2019.
  • Panelist with Kudzayi Ngara, ‘And now the Poets do not Speak: The Schizophrenias of Writing in Zimbabwe,’ African Literature Association Conference, 15-18 May, 2019, Columbus.
  • Panelist, ‘Harare (in the) North: The Metaphor of an Irresolvable Exile Dialectic,’ at the Postcolonial Narrations Conference, 10-12 October, 2018, Goethe University, Germany.         
  • Panelist, ‘Turning Points in the History of Literary Criticism: From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe,’ at the Fourth Annual Zimbabwe Historical Association Conference, University of Zimbabwe, 16-18 August 2018.
  • Panelist with Letricia Munyoro, ‘A Queered Post-Cyber Space: The Case of Zimbabwe’s Transwoman, Tatelicious,’ at the University of Zimbabwe Social Media Conference, 11-13 July, 2018.
  • Panlist, ‘Circulating in Geographies of Non-Belonging: An Analysis of We Need New Names,’ at the Zimbabwe Historical Association 2nd Annual Conference, 2-3 September, 2016, University of Zimbabwe.
  • Panelist, ‘The Missing Link in Zimbabwean Literature,’ at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Writers’ Workshop, National Arts Gallery, Harare, 31 July 2016.
  • Panelist with Sheunesu Mandizvidza and Tsiidzai Matsika, ‘Is “Post” a Reasonable Prefix for Afrocentricity?’ at the Afrocentricity International Conference, 29 April, 2016, Great Zimbabwe University.
  • Panelist with Sheunesu Mandizvidza, ‘The Intellectual Legitimation of Zimbabwe’s Sell-out Discourse,’ First Annual Zimbabwe Historical Association National Conference, Ancient City, Masvingo, 11-12 September, 2015.
  • Panelist, ‘Beyond Conformity: King Pinn and subversive rap in post-2000 Zimbabwe,’ Hip hop Caravan, University of Zimbabwe, 14 November 2014.

Awards / Grants

  • Humboldt Georg Forster Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 

Professional Memberships

  • Member of GAPS
  • Member of Zimbabwe Historical Association (ZHA)
  • Member of Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA)