Dr Hassana Moosa



Hassana Moosa is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Cape Town. Her research is in premodern critical race studies, and focusses particularly on the racial formation that occurs in early modern English theatre, and in premodern European literature more broadly. She completed her MA (awarded with distinction) at the University of Cape Town. Her MA thesis explored the racialisation of Muslims in the works of early modern playwrights, in the context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century encounters between Europeans and Muslim powers, including the Ottoman empire and the Sa’di dynasty.

She received a Commonwealth Scholarship from the UK government to undertake her doctoral studies in English Literature at King’s College London. She is awaiting the examination of her PhD thesis, which uncovers the racialised conceptions of slavery that emerge from performances of bondage in early modern English theatres, in the century before the Royal African Company was formed.

Before joining UCT as a lecturer, she worked across a range of teaching and administrative roles, including as a Humanities EDU TA for the UCT Department of English Literature; Research Administrator for the Shakespeare Centre London (King’s College London, and Shakespeare’s Globe); and Project Administrator for the KCL/Globe Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022.

She is an editor on the digital project Medieval and Early Modern Orients, and is a founding member on the Early Modern Scholars of Colour Network steering committee.

Research Interests

Premodern Critical Race Studies (especially Late Medieval and Early Modern)

Early Modern Literature and Theatre (including Shakespeare)

Premodern Literatures of Euro-Islamic Encounter

Histories and Literatures of Slavery

Islamophobia Studies

Theatre and Performance

Orientalism and Colonialism

Race and Animal Studies

Selected Publications


‘Marking Muslims: The Prince of Morocco and the Racialisation of Islam in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice’ in Global Shakespeare and Social Injustice ed. by Chris Thurman and Sandra Young, (London: Arden Bloomsbury, 2023)

‘White Skin, White Mask: Constructing Whiteness in Thomas Kyd’s The Tragedy of Soliman and Perseda’, Renaissance Studies (accepted, 2023)

‘Review of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Directed by Neil Coppen, Presented by The Centre for Creative Arts, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Daniel Galloway Consulting, in partnership with VR Theatrical, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK), and the Tsikinya-Chaka Center)’, Shakespeare Bulletin 40.1 (2022), 139-143. DOI: 10.1353/shb.2022.0006

‘Belief & Religion’ in A Cultural History of Gender in The Age of Globalisation (1400-1750), ed. by Kit Heyam (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming)


‘British Empire in The Tempest’, Programme Notes for The Tempest, staged as part of Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank at Shakespeare’s Globe, April 2023, available at:


‘Picturing Muslims: Gentile Bellini’s “The Sultan Mehmet II”’. Medieval and Early Modern Orients, 18 April 2022, available at: <https://memorients.com/articles/picturing-muslims-gentile-bellinis-the-sultan-mehmet-ii>

Race and Religion in Robert Daborne's A Christian Turn'd Turk’, Medieval and Early Modern Orients, 20 October 2020, available at: <https://memorients.com/articles/race-and-religion-in-robert-dabornes-a-christian-turnd-turk>