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Peter Nazareth (born April 27, 1940) is a major critic and writer of fiction and drama. He was born in Uganda of Goan and Malaysian ancestry, and was educated at Makerere University (Uganda) and at the universities of London and Leeds in England.

While residing in Africa, he simultaneously served as senior finance officer in Idi Amin's finance ministry until 1973, when he accepted a fellowship at Yale University (United States) and emigrated from Uganda. He is currently professor of English and African-American World Studies at the University of Iowa (United States). Nazareth attracted major media attention for teaching that university's popular course "Elvis as Anthology," which explores the deep mythological roots of Elvis Presley's roles in popular culture.

His literary criticisms have been enriched by his trenchant observations of the fate of diverse global economic and academic migrants, spanning the Asian, African and black American cultural histories. This includes specifically, the Goan diaspora settled in Western countries, the post Idi Amin Asian emigration from Eastern Africa and of the cultural superstitions of the pre Obama presidency of American politics.


  • Edwin Thumboo: Creating a Nation Through Poetry, Singapore: Interlogue Series Vol. 7, Ethos Books, 2008.
  • In the Trickster Tradition: The Novels of Andrew Salkey, Francis Ebejer and Ishmael Reed, London: Bogle-L'Ouverture Press, 1994.
  • The General is Up, Toronto: TSAR Books, 1991
  • A Feny Fele, Budapest: Europa Publishing House, 1984 (selected essays in Hungarian translation)
  • Literature of the African Peoples, Study Guide for Independent Study with audiotape/CD, Center for Credit Programs, The University of Iowa, 1983.
  • In a Brown Mantle, East African Literature Bureau, 1972; Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1981.
  • The Third World Writer: His Social Responsibility, Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1978.
  • Two Radio Plays, East African Literature Bureau, 1976.
  • Literature and Society in Modern Africa, East African Literature Bureau, 1972; Kenya Literature Bureau, 1980; published as An African View of *Literature, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974.

Anthologies Edited

  • Uganda South Asians Exodus: Kololian Perspectives (co-edited), University of Toronto, 2002.
  • Critical Essays on Ngugi wa Thiong'o, New York: G.K. Hall, 2000
  • Goan Literature: A Modern Reader, issue of the Journal of South Asian Literature, East Lansing: Michigan State University, 1983.
  • African Writing Today, special issue of Pacific Quarterly Moana, Hamilton, New Zealand: Outrigger Publishers, Vol. 6, No. 3/4, 1981.

Significant Essays

  • "Path of Thunder: Meeting Bessie Head," Research in African Literatures, ed. John Conteh-Morgan, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Vol. 37, No. 4, Winter 2006, pages 211-229.
  • "Dark Heart or Trickster?" The Journal of The Korean Society Nineteenth Century Literature in English, Vol. 9-3, 2005, pages 291-321 on Conrad's Heart of Darkness).
  • "The True Fantasies of Grace Ogot, Storyteller," Meditations on African Literature, ed. Dubem Okafor, Westport, Connecticut: London, Meditatios on African Literature, 2001, pages 101-117.
  • "Elvis as Anthology," In Search of Elvis: Music, Race, Art, Religion, ed. Vernon Chadwick, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997, pages 37-72 plus Endnotes 253-258.
  • "Out of Darkness: Conrad and Other Third World Writers", Joseph Conrad: Third World Perspectives, ed. Robert Hamner, Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1990, pages 217-131.
  • "Waiting for Amin: Two Decades of Ugandan Literature", The Writing of East & Central Africa, ed. G.D. Killam, London Nairobi / Ibadan : Heinemann, 1984 pages 1-35.
  • "Bibliyongraphy, or Six Tabans in Search of an Author," ibid., pages 159-172.
  • "The Narrator as Artist and the Reader as Critic in Season of Migration to the North," Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the North: A Casebook, ed. Mona Takieddine Amyuni, Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1985, pages 123-134.
  • "Heading Them Off at the Pass," The Critical Response to Ishmael Reed, ed. Bruce Allen Dick, pages 140-148.


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