Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Reader

Dr Emily Zobel Marshall


Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall’s research is informed by Postcolonial theory and spans a broad range of concerns, including examinations of constructions of identity (in particular hybrid and liminal identities), race and racial politics and Caribbean carnival cultures. She is particularly interested in forms of cultural resistance and cross-cultural fertilisation in the face of colonialism. Her work also often focuses on the ways in which hybrid identities, languages and literatures challenge and modify existing social and cultural structures.

Emily is also an expert in the role of trickster figures in the literatures and cultures of Africa and its Diaspora and has published widely in this area.

Current Teaching

Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall's has been a full-time Lecturer at the School of Cultural Studies since 2007. at undergraduate level, she teaches three modules on the English Literature Degree: Contemporary Literature Studies (Level 1); Postcolonial Writing (Level 2); Cultural Crossings: Race, Writing and Resistance (Level 3).. At postgraduate level, as part of the Contemporary Literatures MA programme she offers the module Translating Tricksters: Literatures of the Black Atlantic. She is also a PhD supervisor to several students within the school. 

She has a great deal of experience in supervising undergraduate students writing dissertations on migrant and postcolonial literatures and welcomes research students interested in many areas of contemporary literature, especially topics related to African, Caribbean, African-American and Black British literatures and cultures, postcolonial theory and interdisciplinary approaches to postcolonial writing.

Research Interests

Emily's research specialisms are Caribbean literature and Caribbean carnival cultures. She is an expert on the trickster figure in the folklore, oral cultures and literature of the African Diaspora and has published widely in these fields. She has also established a Caribbean Carnival Cultures research platform and network that aims to bring the critical, creative, academic and artistic aspects of carnival into dialogue with one another.

Emily regularly hosts and chairs literary events and has organised international conferences on the literature and cultures of the African diaspora. She is a regular contributor to BBC radio discussions on racial politics and Caribbean culture. Her books focus on the role of the trickster in Caribbean and African American cultures; her first book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance (2012) was published by the University of the West Indies Press and her second book, American Trickster: Trauma Tradition and Brer Rabbit, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019.

Emily is also a published poet.

Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Reader

Ask Me About

  1. Caribbean
  2. Literature

Selected Outputs

  • Zobel Marshall E (2021) Carnival, Calypso and Dancehall Cultures: Making the Popular Political in Contemporary Caribbean Writing’. In: Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1970–2020: Volume 3. Cambridge University Press,

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  • Zobel Marshall EJZ (2019) 'It's not all Sequins and Bikinis': Power, Performance and Play in the Leeds and Trinidad Carnival. In: Cateau H; Riggio M ed. Turning Tides: Caribbean Intersections in the Americas and Beyond. Ian Randle Publishers,

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  • Zobel Marshall EJZ (2018) (2018) ‘This is Not a Fairytale: Anansi and the Web of Narrative Power’ in Teverson, A (ed.) The Fairy Tale World (Routledge). In: Teverson A ed. Teverson, A (ed.) The Fairy Tale World (Routledge). Routledge,

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  • Marshall EJZ (2015) Harlem Tricksters: Cheating the Cycle of Trauma in the fiction of Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison and Nella Larsen. In: Ward A ed. Postcolonial Traumas: Memory, Narrative, Resistance. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 48-64.

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  • Marshall E (2010) Anansi, Eshu, and Legba: Slave Resistance and the West African Trickster. In: Hormann R; Mackenthun G ed. Human Bondage in the Cultural Contact Zone. Germany: Waxmann-Verlag, pp. 171-186.

  • Marshall EJZ (2010) And Always Anancy Changes: An Exploration of Andrew Salkey's Anancy Stories. In: The Caribbean Short Story: Critical Perspectives. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press,

  • Riggio M; Farrar M; Hall T; Marshall E (2019) (2019) (Edited by Emily Zobel Marshall) ‘Power, Performance and Play: Caribbean Carnival and the Cultural Politics of Emancipation’. Caribbean Quarterly, Dec 2019. (Taylor and Francis). Caribbean Quarterly

  • Marshall EZ (2019) “I Stole the Torturer’s Tongue”: Caribbean Carnival Speaks Back to the Canon. Caribbean Quarterly, 65 (4), pp. 621-645.


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  • Marshall EZ (2018) Writing the Woman’s Voice: On the Verandah with Jean “Binta” Breeze. Contemporary Women's Writing, 12 (1), pp. 1-10.


  • Zobel Marshall EJZ (2018) “‘Nothing but Pleasant Memories of the Discipline of Slavery”: The Trickster and the Dynamics of Racial Representation.’. Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, 32 (1),


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  • Zobel Marshall EJZ; Farrar M; Farrar G (2017) Popular Political Culture and the Caribbean Carnival. Soundings: a journal of politics and culture, (67), pp. 34-49.


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  • Zobel Marshall EJZ; Zobel J (2017) ‘Comme si c’etait Chez Moi’: Joseph Zobel a Paris a Travers Ses Lettres (As If I Were at Home: Joseph Zobel Letters from Paris). Continents Manuscrit


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  • Marshall EJZ (2016) Resistance through ‘Robber-Talk’: Storytelling Strategies and the Carnival trickster. Caribbean Quarterly, 62 (2), pp. 210-226.


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  • Marshall EZ (2016) ‘Is Who Send We Up In This Place?’ Threshold Paralysis and Postponed Arrivals in Sam Selvon’s Lonely Londoners and George Lamming’s The Emigrants. Literary London Journal, 13 (1),


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  • Zobel Marshall E; Zobel J (2013) ‘Dans Cette Immensité Tumultueuse’ (In This Vast Tumult). Wasafiri, 28 (1), pp. 27-35.


  • Marshall EJZ (2011) Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing. Contemporary Women's Writing, 5 (2), pp. 164-166.


  • Zobel J; Marshall EJZ (2011) Lorsque Je Vais Dans Mon Village (When I Return to My Village): Zobel's Visions of Home and Exile. Wasafiri: Caribbean, African, Asian and Associated Literatures in English, 26 (3), pp. 1-8.


  • Marshall EJZ (2009) Performing Anansi in Plantation Jamaica: Matthew Lewis' Record of Trickery. Wadabegi A Journal of The Caribbean and its Diaspora, 12 (3),

  • Marshall EJZ (2008) “The Anansi syndrome”: A debate concerning Anansi's influence on Jamaican culture. World Literature Written in English, 39 (1), pp. 127-136.


  • Marshall EJZ (2008) From Messenger of the Gods to Muse of the People: The Shifting Contexts of Anansi's Metamorphosis. Jamaica Journal, 29

  • Marshall EJZ (2007) Liminal Anansi: Symbol of Order and Chaos An Exploration of Anansi's Roots Amongst the Asante of Ghana. Caribbean Quarterly, 53 (3),

  • Marshall EJZ (2007) Tracking Anansi. Caribbean Beat, (88),

  • Marshall EJZ (2006) Byd o Addysg. Barn (World of Education, Welsh Language Publication), pp. 18-19.

  • Zobel Marshall EJZ (2016) Carnival of the north.

  • Marshall EZ (2019) American Trickster: Trauma, Tradition and Brer Rabbit. Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Marshall EZ (2011) Anansi's Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance. University of the West Indies Press.

News & Blog Posts


Leeds Beckett hosting special event celebrating the role of women in carnivals

  • 24 Aug 2022
Mama Dread playing the 'All Ah We Migrants' Mas in Leeds West Indian Carnival 2017 © Max Farrar

Yinka Shonibare in conversation with Emily Zobel Marshall: identity, history and honouring the legacy of David Oluwale

  • 15 Oct 2021
David Oluwale Sculpture

Black Abolitionists in Yorkshire: Cunning Better Than Strong

  • 04 Oct 2021
Henry Box Brown

Funding Success: Exploring Women in Caribbean Carnival

  • 17 Sep 2021
a woman in a sequin carnival outfit