Jonathan Bishop Highfield Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Jonathan Bishop Highfield

Rhode Island School of Design

Jonathan Bishop Highfield is Professor of Literary Arts and Studies at Rhode Island School of Design is and the author of Food and Foodways in African Narratives: Community, Culture, and Heritage (Routledge) and Imagined Topographies: From Colonial Resource to Postcolonial Homeland (Peter Lang). His writing on postcolonial ecocriticism and foodways has appeared in numerous book and journals. He teaches courses on postcolonial literature and food studies and enjoys cooking.


Jonathan Bishop Highfield is professor of Literary Arts and Studies at Rhode Island School of Design. He is the author of Imagined Topographies: From Colonial Resource to Postcolonial Homeland (Peter Lang, 2012). His recent publications include“‘The cartography of dreams’ and lessons of the heron: An ecocritical reading of Ben Okri’s Starbook” in Critique and Commitment; “Food and Foodways in African Narratives” in Décentrement et travail de la culture;“‘Here is some baobab leaf!’: Sunjata, foodways and biopiracy in Natures of Africa: Ecocriticism and Animal Studies in Contemporary Cultural Forms; “Obscured by History: Language, Culture, and Conflict in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun” in Critical Insights: Cultural Encounters; “No Longer Praying on Borrowed Wine: Agroforesty and Food Sovereignty in Ben Okri’s Famished Road Cycle” in Environment at the Margins; “Driving the Devil into the Ground: Settler Myth in André Brink’s Devil’s Valley” in Trauma, Resistance, Reconstruction in Post-1994 South African Writing; and “‘Relations with Food’: Agriculture, Colonialism, and Foodways in the Writing of Bessie Head” in Postcolonial Green. Journals he has published essays in include Antipodes, Atlantic Studies, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Kunapipi, Passages, and Rupkatha. He is the co-editor (with Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang and Dora Edu Buandoh) of The State of the Art(s): African Studies and American Studies in Comparative Perspective. His poems have appeared in Hiram Poetry Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The New Review, and Kudzu Review.


    B.A Transylvania University, 1988
    Ph.D University of Iowa, 1995

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    postcolonial literatures, ecocriticism, food studies


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Food and Foodways in African Narratives - 1st Edition book cover


Jonestown Report

“Hell that springs from the grave of memory”: Sacrifice, Whiteness...

Published: Feb 16, 2017 by Jonestown Report
Authors: Jonathan Bishop Highfield

Wilson Harris’ 1996 novel Jonestown charts the attempt of a survivor of the mass suicide and killings at Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, to come to terms with his survival and the others’ deaths.[1] While the events of November 18, 1978 form the background of the novel, Harris is not writing a history of Jonestown, Jim Jones, or even the fictional survivor, Francisco Bone. Instead, he is looking through what the narrator calls a Dream-book.


“Refusing to be fat Llamas: Resisting violence through food...

Published: Feb 16, 2017 by Kunapipi
Authors: Jonathan Bishop Highfield

Food and foodways are among the most potent of cultural expressions. The food people eat and the way it is prepared speaks volumes about their relationship to their culture, their place in society, and their interaction with the environment. On a most basic level, though, food has the ability to remember home, to reconstruct cultural memory from the integration of ingredients, seasonings, and preparations.


“Suckling from the Crocodile’s Tit: Wildlife and Nation Formation in Australian

Published: Feb 16, 2017 by Antipodes
Authors: Jonathan Bishop Highfield

The recognition that there were animals in Australia unlike those found anywhere else in the world gave way gradually to an understanding that those animals were excellently adapted to life on the Australian continent. Turning to the fauna of Australia bypassed the precolonial human inhabitants, but ironically it also refigured the totemic connections between the various Aboriginal peoples and the animal inhabitants of Australia.

Atlantic Studies

The dreaming quipucamayoq: Myth and landscape in Wilson Harris' The Dark Jester

Published: Feb 16, 2017 by Atlantic Studies
Authors: Jonathan Bishop Highfield

In Wilson Harris' novel The Dark Jester conquistador history in the Americas and Andean and Buddhist myths are circulated in a type of quipu, a pre-colonial Incan narrative constructed from knotted strings. Exploring these ideas, Harris' narrator uncovers an architectural passage into alternate histories through the motif of the Lost City.