Robert Colson

Associate Professor, Comparative Arts & Letters

3036 JFSB


Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I appreciate the opportunity to teach the caliber of students that BYU attracts. Classroom discussions and other student interactions are among the most rewarding aspects of the academic life. As someone who teaches global literatures, I am particularly grateful that so many of our students have international experience or significant experience with global cultures and languages, which they draw on to the benefit of all of us in the classroom.


My scholarly work focuses on the British Empire, its dissolution in the twentieth century, and the lingering after-effects of colonization into the present. More precisely, I address British and Irish modernism and postcolonial literature from Africa and India. In my research and writing about modernist and postcolonial topics I am most frequently engaged with questions that intersect with narrative form.

Selected Publications

  • “David Mitchell’s Fictions of Collapse and the Ends of the Anthropocene.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 27.4 (Autumn 2020): 1-22.
  • “Narrative Arrangements in Superposition and the Critique of Nationalism in ‘Cyclops.’” James Joyce Quarterly 53.1-2 (Fall 2015-Winter 2016): 75-93.
  • “The Performance of Madness as Resistance in Nuruddin Farah’s Close Sesame.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 46.4 (October 2015): 1-35.
  • “Arresting Time, Resisting Arrest: Narrative Time and the African Dictator in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Wizard of the Crow.” Research in African Literatures 42.1 (Spring 2011): 133-153.


Since joining the faculty here at BYU I’ve had the great opportunity to work with the Africana Studies program, which is the best minor on campus that not enough students know about. In my department I get to serve in ways that benefit our students, both the undergraduates and the graduate students.

Citizenship assignments

  •  Africana Studies Executive Committee
  • Black Music Faculty Research Group
  • Comparative Studies Graduate Committee
  •  IHum Advisor for the English Emphasis