Aaron Bartels-Swindells holds an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and an M.Phil. in Criticism and Culture from the University of Cambridge. Prior to coming to Penn, he was a Fox International Fellow in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. He is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellow in the Humanities, Urbanism and Design (H+U+D) Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in postcolonial studies and global Anglophone literatures, specifically those from Sub-Saharan Africa, with additional interests in critical race studies, Marxism, and theories of the novel. His research has appeared in Representations, African Identities, and Post45: Contemporaries. Aaron is currently working on a dissertation about the development of realist fiction in South Africa.
He has co-coordinated both the Latitudes graduate working group in the Penn English department (2015-2018), and the African Visual Media Group at Harrison College House (2015-17), the latter of which he co-founded. He has also been a Graduate Associate at Harrison College House (2015-17), as well as the Treasurer (2016-17), SASGov Representative (2015-16), and First-Year Representative (2014-15) for the Graduate English Association (GEA).
Whilst at Penn, Aaron has received Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) awards to study Afrikaans and isiZulu, and participated in a Fulbright-Hayes Group Project Abroad to South Africa.