Dr Frances Hemsley

Dr Frances Hemsley


I joined the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in 2022 as a Research Fellow working with Professor Richard Beardsworth on the international politics of climate change diplomacy, focuing on the politics of energy transitions in African countries. Prior to joining POLIS, I worked in the School of English at the University of Leeds as an Early Career Research Fellow with funding from the Wellcome Trust, investigating global African literatures and their multi-scalar imaginaries of global public health, from postgenomic embodiment to climate health risks. I was also a Teaching Associate at the University of Bristol (2018-2020) where I co-designed new curricula on decolonising English Literary Studies. 

Research interests

My research interests are in African literary studies, energy and health humanities, with a particular focus on political ecologies of health and resource politics. 

I am currently completing my first book, Postcolonial Health in African Literatures: Environmental and Epidemiological Fictions, which will be published with the University of Liverpool Press (‘Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines’ series). It it, I explore how African writers negotiate and subvert globally-circulating imaginaries of public health in African contexts, and construct politically nuanced and aesthetically rich accounts of postcolonial health across multiple sites and scales, from the embodied to the planetary.

In my current research on the international politics of climate change, I am particularly interested in the vexed issue of African gas in energy transitions and the energy actornesss of the EU towards African countries. I am also tracking the emergence of new climatological and geopolitical imaginaries concerned with “power” in both its political and energetic senses in contemporary global African literatures. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (University of Leeds)
  • MA Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (University of Leeds)
  • BA (Hons) English and Related Literatures (University of York)