Melissa Levin

Project Development Officer


Melissa Levin is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the African Studies Programme at the University of Toronto and the Project Development Officer for the Elite Africa Project. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an African Studies MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and an Honours BA in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research focuses on questions of coloniality, nationalism, state transformation, and the politics of memorialization with a view to understanding political change, institutions, and social solidarities. She has published her work in academic and popular journals, books, and blogs. Her most recent co-edited book, “Domains of Freedom: Justice, Citizenship and Social Change” received stellar reviews. Prior to returning to the academy, Melissa was a political strategist and advised political organizations on elections strategy in, among others, South Africa, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, and Venezuela. She was also director of Strategy and Research at the ANC where she wrote speeches for leadership, including Nelson Mandela. Currently, Melissa is carrying out a comparative project on place and street names in the (post)colony funded by the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg. She is also working on a collaborative project on “mnemonic capital” in South Africa, Poland, and Northern Ireland and a book project on the notorious Dr. Shock who left South Africa after the TRC to settle in Canada.

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