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About the Reading Group

Stack of Books

An “informal” collective of young scholars doing interdisciplinary studies in Global Black Literatures and Cultures and wanting to vigorously engage the works and thoughts of the late Professor Tejumola Olaniyan. This group is conceived as a peer colloquium of sorts, where participants can cultivate a sense of collegiality to carry on into the future. It is “informal” only in the sense that it is not meant to function in the manner of such formal organizations as the African Literature Association. It is, on the contrary, an avenue that will be so fluid as to allow for fruitful collaborations among participants.

Aims of the reading group

  1. To serve as avenue for engaging Olaniyan’s oeuvre.

  2. To provide a collegial space for peer collaborations.

  3. To cultivate a scholarly network that carries on into the future.

Old Study

Importance of the group

Olaniyan’s vast interdisciplinarity demands continuous, serious engagement. This sort of interaction with his work should deservedly carry on to the next generation of scholars that he labored to train, sometimes from afar. Certainly, the vastness of his scholarship in Global Black Cultures provides a rallying point for young scholars interested in his kind of scholarship. Olaniyan sorely lamented very often that Black cultural criticism still does not match up with the amount of Black cultural productions. A collective of this kind will very likely be poised to bridge much of the intellectual gap that Olaniyan pointed out, replicate his sense of academic conviviality, and partially fulfil his commitment to the advancement of young scholars.

Operations of the group

The group will be a monthly hybrid gathering of young scholars physically at the Olaniyans and virtually though Zoom or any other platform agreed upon. Proximity to the expectedly vast personal library of the late Wole Soyinka Professor of the Humanities which houses no less than 4,000 books, hundreds of films, music records, academic journals, various art works, and very many more archival materials will provide ambience for what will be cogent discussions of one another’s works.

Current Members

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Ayodeji Adegbite

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. Read more.

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Unifier Dyer

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. Read more.

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Utitofon Inyang 

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. Read more.

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Kayode Odumboni

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... Read more.

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Omotola Okunlola

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. Read more.

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Chijioke Onah

PhD student in the Literatures in English Department at Cornell University, where he specializes in African Literature, Black Studies, Ecocriticism, and Memory Studies. Read more.

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Tolulope Akinwole

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. Read more.

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Astou Fall Gueye

 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. Read more.

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Harry Kiiru

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. Read more.

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Chinaza Amaeze Okoli

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. Read more.

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Theophilus Okunlola

Graduate student in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies the intersections of Cultural Memory and Genocide Studies, Visual Cultures and Postcolonial literature. Read more.

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Michael Oshindoro

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. Read more.

Join the reading group today

Submit your information to join the reading group today.

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