Ph.D., University of Birmingham
My research focuses on media audiences in colonial West Africa and creative writing as articulated through local print cultures, including newspapers, pamphlets, novels, and magazines. I am especially interested in the cultural histories of printing and reading in Africa, and the spaces for local creativity and subversive resistance in colonial-era newspapers. My current book project, Newsprint Worlds: Local Literary Creativity in Colonial West Africa, focuses on the central role of African-owned newspapers in creating platforms and publics for the earliest West African creative writers in English.
- Histories of Dirt in West Africa: Media and Urban Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos (Duke University Press, 2020).
- The Power to Name: A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa. Ohio University Press, October 2013 (Finalist for the Herskovits Award, 2014).
- The Forger’s Tale: The Search for Odeziaku, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2006.
- West African Literatures: Ways of Reading, Oxford Postcolonial Studies Series, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Literary Culture in Colonial Ghana, Manchester and Indiana: Manchester U. P. and Indiana U.P, 2002.
- Ghanaian Popular Fiction: ‘Thrilling Discoveries in Conjugal Life’, Oxford and Ohio: James Currey and Ohio University Press, 2000.
Recent Book Chapters
- “Disconnecting the ’Phone: Anglo-Scribes and Anglo-Literates in Early Twentieth-Century West African Newspapers.” In Grace Musila (ed.), Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture. Forthcoming, 2021.
- “Henry Ofori, Interviewed by Stephanie Newell.” Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora 44 (2), pp. 154-160, 2018.
- ‘Narrative,’ in Critical Terms for the Study of Africa, eds. Guarav Desai and Adeline Masquelier. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2018, pp. 245-259.
- Stephanie Newell et al., ‘Dirty Methods as Ethical Methods? In the Field with “The Cultural Politics of Dirt in Africa, 1880-present”.’ Routledge International Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, eds. Celia Lury et al. London and NY: Routledge, 2018, pp. 248-265.
- ‘Researching the Cultural Politics of Dirt in Lagos,’ Theorizing Fieldwork in the Humanities: Undisciplined Approaches to the Global South, eds. Shalini Puri and Debra A. Castillo, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 193-211, 2016.
- ‘Afterword,’ African Print Cultures, eds. Derek Peterson et al., Ann Arbor: Michigan UP, pp. 425-433, 2016.
- ‘From Corpse to Corpus: The Printing of Death in Colonial West Africa,’ African Print Cultures, eds. Derek Peterson et al., Ann Arbor: Michigan UP, pp. 389-424, 2016.
- ‘Dirty Familiars: Colonial Encounters in African Cities,’ Global Garbage: Urban Imaginaries of Excess, Waste and Abandonment in the Contemporary City, eds. Christoph Lindner and Miriam Meissner. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 44-64, 2015.
- Karin Barber & Stephanie Newell, ‘Speaking Out: Dissent and Creativity in the Colonial Era and Beyond,’ West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song, eds. Gus Casely-Hayford, Janet Topp-Fargion and Marion Wallace, London: The British Library, pp. 100-131, 2015.
- ‘African Literary Histories and History in African Literatures,’ Oxford Companion to Modern African History, eds. Richard Reid and John Parker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 475-491, 2013.
- ‘Remembering J. M. Stuart-Young of Onitsha, Colonial Nigeria,’ Onitsha at the Millenium, ed. Uwecha Nzegwu. New York: Africa Resource Press, pp. 221-233, 2013.
- ‘African Popular Literature and the Postcolonial Literary Imagination,’ The History of Postcolonial Literature, ed. Ato Quayson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 106-23, 2012.
- ‘West African Literature,’ The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, ed. Brian Shaffer. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
- “Newsprint Worlds and Reading Publics in Colonial Contexts.” Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions (Special Issue on Colonial Public Spheres and the Worlds of Print), forthcoming, 2020.
- “Graphic Fictions: Reader Research and the Making of a Comic Strip in 1950s ‘British West Africa.’” Research in African Literatures, forthcoming, 2020.
- ‘Introduction: Interview with Henri Ofori,’ Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora (1,600 words), 2018.
- ‘Screening Dirt: Colonial Film Audiences and the Problem of Spectatorship,’ Social Dynamics (7,500 words), Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 6-20, 2018.
- ‘The Last Laugh: African Audience Responses to Colonial Health Propaganda Films,’ Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, Vol. 4, No.3, pp. 347-361, 2017.
- ‘Life Writing in the Colonial Archives: The Case of Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-96) of Colonial Nigeria’, Life Writing, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 307-321, 2016.
- ‘Paradoxes of Press Freedom in Colonial West Africa,’ Journal of Media History, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 101-112, 2016.
- ‘Articulating Empire: Newspaper Readerships in Colonial West Africa,’ New Formations, Vol. 73, pp. 26-42, 2011.
- ‘Local Cosmopolitans in Colonial West Africa,’ Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 103-117, 2011.
South African Writing After Apartheid (Freshman Seminar); Postcolonial World Literatures, 1945-present (Junior Seminar); Contemporary African Fiction: Challenges to Realism (Senior Seminar); African Urban Cultures: Mediations of the City (Graduate Seminar).