Ashlee Neser

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Ashlee received her MA in Literature from the University of Natal, Durban, and her PhD, in 2005, from the University of London, where she studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2011, her first book, Stranger at Home: The Praise Poet in Apartheid South Africa, appeared with Wits University Press. It examines the case of a much-neglected but prolific and gifted South African poet; the book asks questions about performance, failure and literary convention in constraining and inhospitable contexts. Since joining WISER in 2008, Ashlee's research has centred on the writing of illness and dying in memoir, fiction and poetry. She is also interested in the history of metaphors associated with disease, medicine, and the body. She has written several papers on South African AIDS memoirs, and is presently working on the novels, memoirs, medical handbooks, and social tracts written by Dr Christiaan Barnard. Ashlee has recently published on the subject of heart transplant memoir, and is working towards a book about the non-specialist writings of medical doctors in Southern Africa. She also maintains a keen interest in post-Apartheid literary culture, and served for four years on the UJ literary award panel, and for three years as an Associate Editor of the journal English Studies in Africa. She continues to publish on contemporary South African writing in addition to her work in the Medical Humanities.