Melanie Otto
Assistant Professor, English


Melanie Otto received her primary degree from the Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet, Mainz, and her Ph.D from the University of Wales Swansea.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

"I'm a believer in the dance of change" - Metamorphosis and Mutation in Keri Hulme's Short Fiction in, editor(s)Ashmita Khasnabish , Postcoloniality, Diaspora and Globalization: What's Next?, New York, Rowman & LIttlefield, 2018, [Melanie Otto] Book Chapter, 2018

Caribbean Quarterly, (2018), Melanie Otto, Lee Jenkins, Kim Robinson-Walcott, [eds.] Journal, 2018

Melanie Otto, Reading the Plantation Landscape of Barbados: Kamau Brathwaite's The Namsetoura Papers and Annalee Davis's This Ground Beneath My Feet: A Chorus of Bush in Rab Lands, Journal of West Indian Literature, 25, (1), 2017, p23 - 44 Journal Article, 2017

Melanie Otto, Poet-Shamanic Aesthetics in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa and Wilson Harris: A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, CLR James Journal, 23, (1/2), 2017, p135 - 156 Journal Article, 2017

Figures in a Foreign Landscape: Aspects of Liminality in Shaun Tan's The Arrival in, editor(s)Dara Downey, Ian Kinane, Elizabeth Parker , Landscapes of Liminality: Between Space and Place, London, Rowman and Littlefield Limited , 2016, pp137 - 151, [Melanie Otto] Book Chapter, 2016

Melanie Otto, 'Geburt der Voegel', Bingen, Germany, Hildegard Forum, Rochusberg, Bingen, 2016, - Visual art production, 2016

Otto, Melanie , Critique or Ideology? Teaching Theory from the Other America, GAPS 2015 Ideology in Postcolonial Texts and Contexts, Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster, May 2015, 2015 Conference Paper, 2015

Melanie Otto, Artists and Immigrants: Surreal Environments in Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival' and Einar Turkowski's 'Der Rauhe Berg', Between Places and Spaces: Landscapes of Liminality, TCD, 5-6 June 2014, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

"'That Misty Zone Which Divides Life From Death': The Concept of the Zombi in Jean Rhys's Short Fiction." in, editor(s)Kerry Johnson and Mary Wilson , Rhys Matters: New Critical Perspectives, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp18 pp , [Melanie Otto] Book Chapter, 2013

Melanie Otto, ". . . that misty zone which divides life from death": The Concept of the Zombi in Jean Rhys's Short Fiction , School of English Staff-Postgraduate Research Seminar, TCD, January 2013, 2013, School of English Invited Talk, 2013

Melanie Otto, A Portrait of the Artist: Sam Selvon in the Work of Cyril Dabydeen and Kamau Brathwaite., Journal of West Indian Literature , 20, (2), 2012, p38 - 53 Journal Article, 2012

Jamaica Kincaid, At the Bottom of the River, The Literary Encyclopedia,, 2012, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2012

Jean Rhys, Collected Stories, The Literary Encyclopedia, The Literary Encyclopedia, 2012, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2012

Kamau Brathwaite, Barabajan Poems, The Literary Encyclopedia,, 2012, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2012

Kamau Brathwaite, The Namsetoura Papers, The Literary Encyclopedia,, 2012, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2012

Melanie Otto, Review of Khasnabish, Ashmita. Humanitarian Identity and the Political Sublime: Intervention of a Postcolonial Feminist., by Ashmita Khasnabish , CLR James Journal , 17, (1), 2011, p192-195 Review, 2011

"Wilson Harris, The Palace of the Peacock." , Cristina Sandru, The Literary Encyclopedia. , 2011, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2011 URL

"Lafcadio Hearn, Two Years in the French West Indies." , Cristina Sandru, The Literary Encyclopedia, 2011, [Melanie Otto] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2011 URL

Melanie Otto, "Tierra entre medio": Borderlands of Knowledge in the Art of Frida Kahlo, IJASonline, 2, 2010 Journal Article, 2010 URL

"Pictures of the Floating World: Keri Hulme's Post-Apocalyptic New Zealand." in, editor(s)Helen Conrad O'Briain and Julie Anne Stevens , A Ghostly Genre: Short Fiction and the Supernatural, Trinity College Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2010, pp172 - 188, [Melanie Otto] Book Chapter, 2010

Melanie Otto, A Creole Experiment: Utopian Space in Kamau Brathwaite's 'video-style' Works , Trenton, NJ/ Asmara, Eritrea, Africa World Press, 2009, 310 pp Book, 2009

Melanie Otto, 'El Mundo Zurdo: Frida Kahlo's Left-Handed World', Rethinking 'American' Literature, TCD, June 2008, 2008 Conference Paper, 2008

Melanie Otto, 'Pictures of the Floating World: Keri Hulme's Post-Apocalyptic New Zealand', A Ghostly Genre, TCD, October 2008, 2008 Conference Paper, 2008

Melanie Otto, 'The Seduction of Walking Away: Marginality and Belonging in Caryl Phillips' The Atlantic Sound and Eavan Boland's Object Lessons', Caribbean Unbound III, Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland, March 2007, 2007 Conference Paper, 2007

The Caribbean in, editor(s)John McLeod , The Routledge Companion to Postcolonial Studies , London/New York, Routledge, 2007, pp95 - 107, [Melanie Otto] Book Chapter, 2007

Melanie Otto, 'White Creole or Rebel Slave? The Discourse of Slavery in Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark', Creolising Europe, The University of Manchester, September 2007, 2007 Conference Paper, 2007

Melanie Otto, 'The Shallow Grave of the Text: African Narratives in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Pauline Melville's 'Erzulie', The Arts Journal, 2, (1), 2005, p15 Journal Article, 2005

Melanie Otto, 'The Other Side of the Mirror: Utopian and Heterotopian Space in Kamau Brathwaite's DreamStories', Utopian Studies, 16, (1), 2005, p27 - 44 Journal Article, 2005

Melanie Otto, 'Figures of Transgression in Ian McDonald's The Humming-Bird Tree', Connecting Cultures, Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (KIASH), , The University of Kent, Canterbury, April 2004, 2004 Conference Paper, 2004

Melanie Otto, '"Succumbing to the Culture of Death" - Creativity, Spirituality and the Reinvention of the Sacred in Kamau Brathwaite's The Zea Mexican Diary', Writing Europe 2001: Migrant Cartographies, University of Leiden & University of Amsterdam, March 2001, 2001 Conference Paper, 2001

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Melanie Otto, Conversations with Kamau Brathwaite, 17-18 September 2010, 2010, TCD Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2010

Research Expertise


Caribbean literature, literatures of the Americas, settler cultures


  • Summary
    • The short fiction of Keri Hulme
  • Date From
    • 2008
  • Summary
    • Lafcadio Hearn's creole poetics
  • Date From
    • 2009


20th Century New zealand and Caribbean writing; Postcoloniality and globalization



External assessor, appointment committee for a post in postcolonial literature, Maynooth 2007

Awards and Honours

Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund 2009

Trinity Book Sale Fund


International Association of Inter-American Studies 2009 – present