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Prof Michael Green


Department: Humanities

Michael GreenMichael was born and raised in Natal, South Africa. He spent a year in California as an exchange student and then supported his undergraduate studies at the University of Natal in Durban as a fireman on the railways. He completed his studies on a range of scholarships which took him to Stanford for his Masters and then York University where he completed his D.Phil.

He lectured in Johannesburg before being appointed to the Department of English at the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal). As a student and lecturer he performed regularly as a singer songwriter, drawing more attention from the apartheid-era Security police than the music industry; an album of original songs, White Eyes, was banned from air play.

He spent a year at the School of Oriental and African Studies as a Commonwealth Fellow, and was an Exchange Professor at the University of Texas in Austin. He has twice won the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Distinguished Teacher Award – the second award being for the initiation and implementation of an undergraduate and postgraduate study track in creative writing - and was awarded the University Book Prize for his first novel, Sinking. He has served as the chair of the UKZN Press committee, is on the board of several journals, and is a reader for several publishing houses. One of the founders of the international Poetry Africa and Time of the Writer Festivals held annually in Durban, he initiated the creative writing programme in Westville Prison linked to these festivals. He served two terms as Chair of the Association of University English Teachers of Southern Africa.

Michael was promoted to Professor and Head of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, then Senior Professor, before being appointed as Head of the university’s School of Literary Studies, Media, and Creative Arts. He held this position until joining Northumbria University with the aim of returning to researching, teaching, and writing. In February 2009 he was inducted into the Society of the Fellows of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in recognition of distinguished academic achievements. This honour is conferred for life.  In 2010 his second novel, For the Sake of Silence, won the Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose, awarded by the English Academy of Southern Africa in recognition of the radical late nineteenth and early twentieth-century liberal and pacifist who opposed racism, campaigned for women’s rights and was an advocate of literature as a vehicle for engagement in broader social issues.

Michael serves as an external examiner for Research Masters and Doctorates at a range of national and international universities. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College and a project evaluator and individual ratings referee for the South African National Research Foundation. 

He has recently been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship for a practice-led research project (completing a new novel) and has been instrumental in winning funding bids to support the university’s engagement with the creative industries. This includes a partnership with the regional writing agency, New Writing North, which will help support the Northern Writers Awards and various literary events in the North East.  Michael was recently appointed the Business and Engagement Lead for the Department of Humanities.

Campus Address

Northumbria University
Lipman 417A
Newcastle upon Tyne


  • Philosophy PhD June 30 1993
  • Full Member Society of Authors 2010

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Coetzee, the archive and practice research: on Reflection, Green, M. 25 Mar 2021, J.M. Coetzee and the Archive, London, Bloomsbury
  • Ghosting Through Our Ruins, Green, M. 14 Jun 2019, In: Matatu
  • The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong, Green, M. 2 Apr 2019
  • On reflection: The role, mode and medium of the reflective component in practice as research, Green, M., Williams, T. 30 Apr 2018, In: TEXT
  • Reflection and Reflexivity, Green, M. 31 Oct 2018, In: TEXT
  • Ghosting Through: Commemorating George Elliott Benson, Green, M. 2014, In: Hexham Historian
  • Professing Silence: Imaginative Writing and the Academy (Inaugural lecture as Professor of Creative Writing), Green, M. 2012, In: New Writing
  • The experimental line in fiction, Green, M. Jan 2012, The Cambridge History of South African Literature, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
  • ‘The Politics of Loving’: Fugard and the Metropolis, Green, M. 10 Jul 2012, In: English Academy Review: Southern African Journal of English Studies
  • For the sake of silence, Green, M. 2010

PGR Supervision

  • Mark Holmes Start: 01/10/2018
  • Andrew Hankinson Start: 01/10/2017
  • Adam Clyde Sharp Start: 24/10/2018
  • David Spain Does the Representation of Politics Present a Specific Challenge to Creative Prose Fiction? Start: 01/10/2015
  • Jane Alexander The contemporary uncanny: an exploration through practice and reflection Start: 07/10/2014

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