TEJUMOLA OLANIYAN READING GROUP
Is a PhD candidate in the department of History at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses generally on the history of (global) health, infectious diseases, and environmental and social change in Africa. His work examines the contributions of African medical experts to the politics and science of disease control through case studies of neglected tropical diseases and emerging and re-emerging diseases that span colonial and postcolonial histories of Africa. He uses these case studies to trace the genealogy of recent calls to decolonize global health in the age of CoVID19 while attending also to the place of Africa in the Anthropocene. Ayodeji received his bachelor’s degree in History and International studies from University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in 2014. He also acquired a master’s degree in Peace and Development Studies at the Center for Peace and Strategic Studies, the University of Ilorin. At UW-Madison, he received a master’s degree in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. He has taught Global Environmental Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is interested in a multi-genre study of Lagos as a capital of Black urban studies. Through close readings of literary texts, filmic and visual texts, and ethnographic readings of bodily performances of belonging to the city with attention to the ubiquitous Lagos buses. He seeks to show Lagos as a city not only bearing wounds and scars but also bearing a tenacious hope not just for itself but also for the Black Atlantic. Posing Lagos thus, his project seeks to rethink other cities, from Accra to Kingston to Chicago, in ways that provincialize European cultural and geographical studies. His research draws impulse from cultural and critical geography, global Black literatures, cultural studies, critical theory, and spatiality.
Is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their work examines how the figure of the healer negotiates a paradoxical relationship to power as both a marginalized figure and knowledge curator/creator. The project operates at the intersection of African Literatures, Black Studies, Feminist Studies, and Indigenous Knowledges. Dyer attends to postcolonial discourse to articulate a more expansive reading of literature through an engaged tracing of the figure of the healer in genres of writing and imaginative expression by women. They received their bachelor's degree in African Literature and International Relations in 2011 from The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Between 2014 and 2017, Unifier undertook research on the moral philosophy Ubuntu with the Centre for Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria and co-edited the critical anthology, Ubuntu and the Everyday (2019). At UW- Madison, Dyer has taught Introduction to African Literature and served as lead instructor for The African Storyteller for four semesters. Dyer is the 2021-22 Public Humanities Communications Fellow for the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.
Astou Fall Gueye
Is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her MA in Literary Studies at Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Senegal. Her current research investigates the intersections of gender, language, and sexuality in diasporic interpretations and performances of jongé, a set of embodied and discursive practices revolving around womanhood, femininity, and sexuality in Senegal. Gueye has taught Wolof at various levels and worked as the Assistant Director of the Language Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also served as a teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses in the same department.
Is a doctoral student (ABD) in the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, University of California, Riverside, where she is a Dean Distinguished Fellow. She completed her B.A. at University of Uyo, Nigeria, and her M.A. at University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Her doctoral research examines how visual and spatial signifiers interface to inscribe subjectivity in contemporary African Anglophone literature and how spatial environments and lifeworlds define forms of literary production that emerge from them. Her research interests include African Literature, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Theory, Global Anglophone Literatures, Spatial Literary Studies and Digital Humanities. She is fluent in Efik, Ibibio and English.
Is a Kenyan graduate student in the Department of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His scholarly interests lie in the intersections of Blackness, Africanness, and multilingualism within a diasporic context. Having resided in the United States for over two decades, Kiiru’s concern is with how the new diaspora (African immigrants) negotiate Blackness, immigration, and language as they navigate insider/outsider locations in their new and former homes. Kiiru is the African Studies Program Community Engagement Coordinator for the Mandela Washington Fellowship’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). He is also a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate courses in the Department of African Cultural Studies: Introduction to African Cultural Expression and Introduction to African Literature. As a justice and equity practitioner, Kiiru is a Leadership Institute facilitator, hosted by the Learning Communities for Institutional Change & Excellence (LCICE), a unit in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA). His role is to help participants (faculty, staff, students, and community members) develop leadership capacities through cross-race dialogue in the creation of equitable working, teaching, and learning spaces across the university.
Is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at The Ohio State University. His current project explores the history of political solidarity and social movements between Africans and African Americans since the mid-twentieth century (the heydays of the anticolonial struggle and the civil rights movement) till present (in the age of #BlackLivesMatter and #ENDSARS).
Chinaza Amaeze Okoli
Is a PhD candidate at the University of Mississippi’s Department of English. His research considers the intersections of vernacular cultures and African American writing since the eighteenth century. He has co-edited two poetry anthologies and is Editor of African Writer Magazine.
Is a PhD student at the African Cultural Studies Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA and MA degrees in English from Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, respectively. Her research interests include popular culture, literary studies, and gender studies. In 2018, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the African Cultural Studies Department.
Studies the intersections of Cultural Memory and Genocide Studies, Visual Cultures and Postcolonial literature. He is graduate student in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Is currently a PhD student in the Literatures in English Department at Cornell University, where he specializes in African Literature, Black Studies, Ecocriticism, and Memory Studies. Before coming to Cornell, he has studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Goethe University of Frankfurt, Utrecht University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His ongoing research focuses on the emergence of #BringBackOurGirls as a global activism that bears witness to Boko Haram terrorism across the world. For his dissertation, he hopes to explore the (Bio)Politics of Disposability in Africa.
Is a PhD student in the African Cultural Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Oshindoro is interested in representations of identity in non-static visual art forms like animation. He earned a master’s degree at Bowling Green State University in 2020 and was a Fulbright Scholar at Fayetteville State University in 2017.