Panelist Bio's A-G

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Welcome to the Abstracts and Bios section!

Click on the letter range to find the Abstract or Panelist you desire.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G

Jessica Achberger

Working to Erase Misconceptions: The New Literature of AIDS in Africa

Undergraduate Student at the University of Central Florida
13837 Old Dock Road
Orlando, Florida 32828
(239) 994-5377

Jessica Achberger is an undergraduate student in the department of history at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She is currently writing her undergraduate honors thesis on Western influences on the Belgian Congo and hopes to attend graduate school in the fall to continue her studies in twentieth century African history. Her research interests include European colonialism in Africa, education and its relation to African independence movements, the history of the United Nations and public health policy on the continent. In addition to her academic interests, she also is passionate about volunteering, traveling and learning about different cultures.


Temitope Adefarakan

Outlaw Orisa: Cosmological Imperialism and the Re-Making of Esu

PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)
252 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, ON Canada  M5S 1V6


Arinpe Adejumo, Ph.D

Family Health Awareness as Conceptualised in Selected Yoruba Electronic Drama

Department of Linguistic and African Languages
University of Ibadan

Arinpe Gbekelolu Adejumo, a poet, playwright and literary critic is a  Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan. She obtained a Ph. D in Yoruba Language and Literature from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Her academic background and research interest include studies in satirical genre, gender studies and folklore studies. She has over 25 publications to her credit. Her publications articulate the interdisciplinary interface between Literature and other cognate disciplines vis-a-vis the function of literature in the society growth and development.


Christopher O. Adejumo

Symbolic Representations in the Visual and Material Cultures of Africa and
their influences on African American Cultural Dispositions

Christopher O. Adejumo is an Associate Professor of Visual Art Studies/Art Education at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published over 25 book chapters, articles, and instructional guides on visual art and art education. Professor Adejumo has given over 40 lectures on art education and contemporary/traditional visual art practices. Adejumo is a practicing artist, and his relief prints, low-relief sculptures, and paintings have been shown in 30 local, state, national, and international exhibitions, of which 12 were solo exhibitions. He has conducted over 28 visual art workshops at highly regarded venues, including the Dallas Museum of Art. He collaborated with the Dallas Museum of Art to produce a documentary on the Yoruba ibeji or twin figures. Adejumo founded and directs the Greater Tomorrow Youth Art Program in Austin and the Youth Summer Art Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the recipient of the 2004 J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. National Award for outstanding and continuous contributions to multiethnic art education, given by the National Art Education Association.


Gabriel Kolawole Afolabi, Ph.D

Popular Culture in Mutual: Aid in Contemporary West Nigeria

Faculty of Management and Social Sciences
Babcock University

    Dr. Afolabi is a 2-term Dean, Faculty of Management
    and Social Sciences Babcock University, Nigeria. (1999 – 2003; July 2006 to date).

    He was concurrently Head of Business and Marketing Department of same University between 1999 and 2002.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the reputable Babcock Journal of Management and Social Sciences (BJMASS), and contributing Editor of International Review of Politics and Development (IRPAD), both published at Babcock University, Nigeria.


Anthony Attah Agbali

Reconstituting Institutions, Ritual and Spiritual Community:
Popular Religiosity, Cultural Resilience and Memory among St. Louis’ African Immigrants

ANTHONY AGBALI is a PhD candidate in anthropology, at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, where he also obtained master
degrees in anthropology and sociology. Presently, engaged as a Certified Hospital Chaplain at the renowned Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO, he is finalizing his ethnographic research and dissertation on "African Immigrants' Experiences in Urban America: Construction of Social Identity, Religion, and Integration in St. Louis [Missouri]." An ordained Catholic priest, he studied philosophy, religious studies, and theology at the St. Augustine's Major Seminary, Jos, Nigeria, with degrees from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria,
and the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy.  His academic and personal interests are diverse. He enjoys music, poetry, photography, meditation, spirituality and religion, prolific writing and reading, and horticulture. His scholarly contributions appear in various volumes edited by Toyin Falola, including Nigeria in the Twentieth Century; The Dark Web: Perspectives on Colonialism in Africa; Urbanization and African Culture (co-edited with Steve Salm); and Orisa: Yoruba Gods and Spiritual Identity in Africa and the Diaspora (co-edited with Ann Genova).


Abiodun Ifafolarin Agboola, Ph.D

Ifa Belief System from its Spiritual Realm to the World Popular Culture Domain

Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology
Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

African Studies Center
270 Bay State Road
Boston, Massachusetts 02215.

Agboola, A.F., university teacher, rural sociologist and Ifá priest, received his B. Agric., M. Phil. and Ph.D. Degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he has been teaching and doing research works since 1993 on Indigenous knowledge for Agricultural and Rural Development. He is currently a Visiting Scholar in Boston University, Massachusetts (January 2007 – January 2008) conducting research on the Yoruba and Native American indigenous knowledge for soil and crop protection. Dr. Agboola was born and raised in Oyo, the relic of old Oyo Empire, Nigeria, an avid practitioner of Ifá religion. He is also currently an Executive Director of Ifá Research Institute, Oyo.


Augustine Agwuele, Ph.D

Interaction of English with Yoruba Language: Case study in culture change

    Department of Anthropology
    Texas State University
    601 University Drive San Marcos, TX. 78666
    Phone: 512-245-4726
    Fax: 512-245-8076

Dr. Augustine Agwuele is an Assistant professor of Linguistics at Texas State University San Marcos. His scholarly interests concern with the physical properties of speech, its acquisition, and its complex interaction with culture. His research efforts seek to make sense of the variations inherent in speech signals as well as to understand the complex interactions of language with culture.

    Ayandiji Daniel Aina, PhD

Popular Culture and Political Behaviour in
Post-Colonial South-West Nigeria

Dr. Aina, an Associate Professor of Political Science was Head
of the Department of Political Science, Babcock University Nigeria (1999-2003);
Dean Faculty of Management and Social Sciences(2003-2006). 
He is the editor of International Review of Politics and Development and
a consulting Editor to the American Biographical Institute.

Ayandiji Daniel Aina is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Babcock University in Nigeria. He was for 10 years a Jouranalist with Nigeria's National Daily, Daily Times and Adjunct Lecturer at Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos where he taught courses in Investigative Journalism, News Reporting Nigerian Government and Politics and International Communication. He was foundation Head Of Department of Political Science and Sociology 1999-2003 and Dean Faculty of Management and Social Sciences 2003-2006 at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is the editor of the International Review of Politics and Development and a Contributing Editor to the American Biographical Institute and Babcock Journal of Management and Social Sciences. He is widely travelled and well published. He is a member of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), African Association of Political Science (AAPS) and the International Political Science Association (IPSA). His areas of research interest include Political Behaviour, Communication and Strategic Studies. A budding University administrator for eight years in a row, and a devout christian of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith, Aina is married to Racheal Folashade and is blessed with three boys-Ezekiel Oluwaniran, Philemon Oluwanifemi and Titus Oluwaseun.

Elizabeth Adenike Ajayi and Kola Aderoju Sekinat

Myths, Reality and Relevance of A Popular Culture:
Tribal Marks Among The Oyo Yoruba Of South Western Nigeria In The 21st Century

Elizabeth Adenike Ajayi
Adeniran Ogunsanya College Of Education
Kola Aderoju Sekinat
Oyo State College Of Education
Oyo, Nigeria

Ajayi, Adenike Elizabeth, is a Chief Lecturer in History at the Adeniran Ogunsany Coleleg of Education,Otto/Ijanikin,lagos.Nigeria.Se is ammried with  four children and an ordaninde Pastor of The RooT of David Assembly in Otto/Ijaninikn,Lagos.Nigeria.She has prenseted papers at Natioanl and Internatioanl conferences.Her reserach interest include the Hostory of the Awori of South West Nigeria,teaching methodology and church history.She also co-edited the Awori of Lagos Stte inn 1998.A publication of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education,Otto/Ijanikin,Lagos.Curently, she is MPhil/PhD student in History at the University of Ibadan and area of focus is transformation in women'spartiipatory  role in church worhip and adminisitration


Yemi Akinwumi

Perception of Representations of Rituals and
Religions in Nigerian Movies

Professor of History 
  Nasarawa State University 
  Keffi, Nasarawa State 

Olufunke Akiyode

Our Culture, Our Crime? The Impact of Myth and
culture on HIV/AIDS transmission in Africa

Strayer University
Washington DC

David Otieno Akombo

Reconstructing Africa’s Popular Culture through music

University of Florida
130 MUB P.O Box 117900
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 219-8301

David Otieno Akombo, Ph.D. Intrigued by the peculiarities of medical and psychological practices and the arts in healing, Dr. Akombo is a visiting assistant professor of music in Utah. Besides interests in popular culture, he has researched the healing power of the arts as both scholar and performer. As a music educator, ethnomusicologist, musician, composer and drummer, Dr. Akombo has worked with the University of Florida Shands Hospital Arts in Medicine program, where John Graham-Pole, a leading Hematology Oncologist directs the Arts in Medicine Program. Dr. Akombo has also given workshops at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida where both patients and staff were engaged in a music-making process for their wellbeing.

His book Music and Healing Across Cultures (Ames, Iowa: Culicidae Press, 2006) unfolds the mechanics of the relationship between music, healing, and the cosmos. It shows the organizing power of this tradition in its ability to promote mind/body coordination in chizophrenics. This systematic, scientific approach to ethnomusicology and medical anthropology stands as a beacon light to those researchers who wish to make use of an ancient time when drums and restraints were preempted by creative energy and inner calm. Those incapable of feeling happiness are found dancing with joy. Those who cannot speak are heard singing. Dr. Akombo has spoken or conducted clinics in many countries and is an active member in the American Music Therapy Association, the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, the Society for Ethnomusicology and World Federation of Music Therapy.



Akin Alao, Ph.D.

MAMA Put: Why Men Eat Out in Contemporary Nigeria

Department of History
Obafemi Awolowo University

Akin Alao holds a Ph.D. in Legal History and is currently teaching history at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. His main academic publication, Statesmanship on the Bench: The Judicial Career of Sir Adetokunbo Ademola is being published by Africa World Press.


Ann Albuyeh, Ph.D.

Alive and Well in the Caribbean: How African Popular Culture is
Reflected in Language and Culture in Puerto Rico

Professor English Linguistics
University of Puerto Rico


Nahrain Al-Mousawi

The Diamond Pipeline and Literary Production:
Conceptions of “Lineage” and Afro-Arab Transnational Alliances

Doctoral Student


Charles Ambler

Popular Culture and Reading for Pleasure 

Professor of History
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, TX 79968

Charles (Chuck) Ambler is Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Recipient of the PhD in African history from Yale University, he has authored or edited two books, Kenyan Communities in the Age of Imperialism (Yale Press, 1988) and (with Jon Crush) Liquor and Labor in Southern Africa (Ohio U. Press, 1992).   His most recent publications include a study of “Popular Films and Colonial Audiences” in The American Historical Review (2001, reprinted in Hollywood Abroad:  Audiences and Cultural Exchange, The British Film Institute, 2004) and a special issue (with Emmanuel Akyeampong) of the International Journal of African Historical Studies on leisure in colonial Africa (2003).  He is currently working on a study of “Alcohol and Empire” and has contracted to write a book on Mass Media and Popular Culture in Modern Africa for the Ohio University Press, Africa in the Modern World Series.


Maurice N. Amutabi, PhD

Neither Bold nor Beautiful nor Young and Restless:
Interrogating the Impact of Western Soap Operas on Africa

Assistant Professor of History,
Department of History,
Central Washington University,
400 University Way,
Language and Literature Building, 100T,
Ellensburg, WA 98926,

Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi is an Assistant Professor of History at Central Washington University, USA where he teaches the history of Africa and the Middle East. Amutabi holds a Ph.D in History (Africa) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He received his B.A (Honors) and M.A degrees from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Amutabi is the author of The NGO Factor in Africa: The Case of Arrested Development in Kenya (New York: Routledge, 2006). Amutabi is co-author (with E.M. Were) of Nationalism and Democracy for People-Centered Development in Africa (Moi University Press, 2000). He has also co-authored (with F. Nafukho & R. Otunga), Foundations of Adult Education in Africa (Cape Town/Hamburg: Pearson/UNESCO, 2005. His book, Islam and Underdevelopment of Africa, is forthcoming 2007). He has written two novels, Fatima (a novel on Islam in Kenya) and These Good People (a novel on corruption in Africa). He is also the author of Nakhamuma Stories (a collection of short stories from the Abaluyia community of western Kenya). His chapters have appeared in over a dozen books. His articles have appeared in several refereed and reputable journals such as African Studies Review, Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Journal of Educational Development; and Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. Amutabi taught at Moi University, Kenya between 1992 and 2000. He has made presentations at over one hundred national and international conferences.


Kayode Animasaun PhD. Min FCAI

NoSRA Model: The tool for normalizing image problems in Nigerian Video Movies

General Studies Department 
  The Federal Polytechnic 
  Niger State 


Kayode Animasaun, PhD. FCAI

Bloom to Gloom and Grime to Crime: Fate of Migrants
as Depicted in Journey Motifs by two Nigerian Movies

General Studies Department
The Federal Polytechnic
  Bida, Niger State

Kayode Animasaun a gender and development researcher is the founder and National Coordinator of the Gender Empowerment Network Through Literacy Exercises, [GENTLE]  an NGO that works with the rural community on health and education, and publishes the Nigerian Journal of Gender and Development. A Principal Lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State Nigeria, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Drama from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; with Gaze and Representations in Nigerian video movies as his study focus. One of the two papers presented at this conference is an elaboration on his NoSRA proposition which is the thrust of his Ph.D dissertation. The editor-in-Chief of the GENTLE journal, his other published works are, The great challenge, [Biography]; Cursed blessing, [novel];  Communication for Empowerment [ a general studies material] and his new play on the effects of HIV on women, The will to live is to be released early 2007 by Spectrum Books. A presenter with the Radio Nigeria FM, Bida, he is a member the Actors Guild and Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria, and a Fellow of the Corporate Administration Institute of Nigeria.

Abimbola O. Asojo, AIA, IDEC

Mass Media Misrepresentations of Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria

Director and Associate Professor of Interior Design
College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma
830 Van Vleet Oval Rm 162, Norman, Ok 73019

Abimbola Asojo is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Interior Design Division at the College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma. She has been a professor at the University of Oklahoma since 1997. She received her Bachelors and Masters in Architecture from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a Masters in Architecture specializing in Computing and Design  from University of East London, England. Her teaching areas are lighting design; design and human factors; computer modeling; corporate design; and commercial design. Her research areas are cross-cultural design issues; African architecture; computing and design; lighting design; and global design issues. She has published over sixty articles in the Journal of Interior Design (JID); Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review; Designing for the 21st Century journal; Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) journal; Journal of Design Communication; Interior and Sources Magazine; Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture proceedings; Interior Design Educators Council proceedings; Diversity in Beginning Design conference proceedings; International Space Syntax Symposium proceedings; and the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environment Working paper series.  She is the author of Hybrid Forms in the Built Environment: A Case Study of African Cities featured in Migrations and Creativity in Africa and the African Diaspora edited  by  Toyin Falola, Niyi Afolabi, and Aderonke Adesanya. She is a licensed architect in the state of Oklahoma and a member of the American Institute of Architects(AIA). She is a registered Interior designer and a member of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). She has designed several buildings in the United States, Kuwait, and Nigeria. She serves on the Journal of Interior Design (JID) Review board. She recently received the 2006 University of Oklahoma Faculty Senate award for her proposal titled A Pedagogical Model of Non-Western Theory in Design Education.


Dr. Theresa T. Asojo

African Women and the Christian church their ministerial role: Myth or historical

Department of Religious studies
Olabisi Onabanjo University
P.M.B. 2002
Ago – Iwoye, Nigeria


Tokunbo A. Ayoola

Resistance and Anti-colonial Agitation:
The case of the Association of Indigenous Officers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s Newsletter

Department of History
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118

Joseph Bangura, PhD.

Temne Agency in the propagation and Africanization of Islam in colonial Freetown, 1920-1961

Director of African Studies
Assistant Professor of History
Department of History
Kalamazoo College


Derek Barker

The Postcolonial Sublime:
The No.1 Popular Detective Series and the Invention of Botswana

UNISA – University of South Africa, Pretoria
Associate member of Queen’s Postcolonial Research Forum at Queen’s University

Derek Barker (1969) received his BA degree from the University of South Africa, UNISA, Pretoria in 1995. He subsequently pursued postgraduate studies at the same university, obtaining a BA Hons (1998), electing literary theory, poetics, contemporary women’s writing, South African imaginative writing, African imaginative writing and Genre fiction as examination papers. Under Prof Pam Ryan, he completed his MA in 2002, working on the South African author, Miriam Tlali, through application primarily of Judith Butler’s theory of performativity, though also drawing on psychoanalytic and feminist theory. He has just recently completed his PhD, with Prof Leon de Kock as promoter (2006). The doctoral thesis examines literary studies in South Africa over a period of five decades, describing the trends in research on literary works, the approaches applied in academic criticism, and debates on the English studies curriculum at tertiary level. He also holds an MBA from the Open University, Milton Keynes (2000), and an LLB from the College of Law, London (2004). His publications to date examine the rise of South African literary studies, the functions of academic literary journals, and the existence of doctrinal groups within South English discourse.



Robert Baum

Alinesitoue: From a Diola Woman Prophet to Casamancais and Senegalese Cultural Icons


Nirit Ben-Ari

Bringing You The World? Representation of Africa in the United Nations Guided Tour

Ph.D. student
Department of Political Science
Graduate and University Center
City University of New York

NIRIT BEN-ARI is a Ph.D. student of Political Science in the City University of New York, and an adjunct lecturer in Lehman College and Hunter College, CUNY.  She studies the representations of Africa and the African diaspora in the Western world.  She has worked in the United Nations, Department of Public Information, 1999-2004, as a Tour Guide and Researcher at the Africa Section, and has been a spokeperson for activist groups in the Palestine Solidarity Movement.  She studies Haitian dance.


Ndiouga Benga

The Rhyme pays Senegal: Money, Politics, and Religion in Hip Hop

History Department
University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar
B.P. 5005 Dakar-Fann

Ndiouga Benga is a senior lecturer with the Department of History, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal. He received his Ph. D in African History from University Paris 7 Denis-Diderot. He has taught courses and researched into urban contemporary processes in a long perspective. His scholarly works appeared in various publishers like Karthala, L’Harmattan, IRD (French Institute for Research and Development), The Nordic Africa Institute and recently in a co-edited book by Toyin Falola and Steven Salm, Urbanization and African Cultures, Carolina Academic Press, 2005. His present research interest is on urban cultures (music, fashion, theater). Dr Benga was a Visiting Fellow of Five College African Scholars Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Spring 2005.


Farai Wonderful Bere

"Infectious Beats: Appropriation of Hip Hop into a State Propaganda Tool in Zimbabwe"

New York University, Department of Performance Studies

FARAI WONDERFUL BERE aka 3Percent aka Fafi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University, and is in the final stages of writing his dissertation titled Urban Grooves: The Performance of Politics in Zimbabwe's Hip Hop Music. In the last two years he has been Teaching Assistant for the university's Tisch Special Programs course, Topics in South African Culture. He taught theater for four years at the University of Zimbabwe before leaving for New York University where his special areas are African and Afro-Diasporic Music and Orature. A man of diverse persuits, he is an African Hip Hop musician, fusing Hip Hop, reggaeton and dancehall beats with African traditional mbira rhythms, a filmmaker and theater practitioner. He is working on a documentary film Toyi Toyi Hip Hop: Politics in Urban Music in Zimbabwe, a project which has become a site of intersection for his academic and music pursuits. For more information on his artistic pursuits see his webpage


Marco Boggero and Hala Nassar

Omar El Mukhtar: cultural memory in Libya and
Palestine and the insurrection group that bear this name

Marco Boggero, Political Science (Yale)
Hala Nassar, Language and Literature (Yale)


Benjamin Bruhwiler

Blackface in Africa: the Emergence of the Diaspora consciousness in
Cape Town and the Gold Coast.

MA student of African Studies at the University of Basel
Klybeckstrasse 78
4057 Basel
phone: 01141612222232

BENJAMIN BRUHWILER is pursuing a master’s degree in African Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. The interdisciplinary master’s program has allowed him to study one semester at the University of Ghana, Accra, and to do a two-month internship with the African News Digest, a community newspaper for African migrants living in Houston, Texas. He is currently working on his master’s thesis, which is concerned with men and masculinities in Dar es Salaam in the late 1980s when Nyerere’s resignation as president virtually ended the government's African socialist Ujamaa-policy. Three months of fieldwork in Tanzania's economic capital at the end of 2006 allowed him to collect useful primary sources. He has research interests in gender, popular cultures and urbanities.


Patricia G. Clark

Popular Fiction in Apartheid South Africa

Westminster College
Department of Religion, History, Philosophy, & Classics
319 S. Market St.
New Wilmington, PA  16172  USA


Dr. Nicholas M. Creary

Literary Cultural Nationalists as Ambassadors across the Diaspora

Department of History
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Nicholas Creary is an assistant professor of African history at Ohio University. His principal intellectual interest is to study the degree to
which and the means by which Africans and peoples of African descent forged elements of their pre-colonial past and/or transformed European or hybrid (ìcreoleî) institutions into cultural tools for their struggles to liberate themselves from colonial domination. His dissertation, ìDomesticating a Foreign Import? African Cultures and the Catholic Church at Jesuit Missions in Zimbabwe, 1879-1980,î which is under review at Michigan State University Press, examines African Christiansí efforts to adapt the Catholic church to their cultures at Jesuit missions in Zimbabwe from the beginning of the modern Jesuit missions in 1879 until Zimbabweís political independence in 1980. His current project compares eight literary movements among people of color who experienced racialized forms of colonial oppression in the Atlantic basin in the 1920s and 1930s, including: the Harlem Renaissance in the U.S., Negritude in French colonies, Claridade in the Cape Verde Islands, Afro-Cubanismo, the Engage writers of Haiti, Afro-Brazilian modernist writers, the New African
Movement among Black South Africans, and the Creole Proto-Nationalist Movement in Belize. This study explores the ways the artists who formed these literary movements used their art to create cultural identities, and how those identities were used as tools for liberation.


Dr. Ademola Omobewaji Dasylva

Old Wine in a New Wineskin: Ademola Dasylva’s Songs of Odamolugbe
and the Quest for a Survival Model for African Oral Poetry

Co-Coordinator, Ibadan Cultural Studies Group
Faculty of Arts
Department of English
University of Ibadan

Ademola O. Dasylva, Reader/Associate Professor, a literary critic, a poet,a Human Rights activist, teaches Drama, Poetry, the African Novel, and Oral Literature/Folklore Studies in the Department of English, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is Co-coordinator of Ibadan Cultural Studies Group, and Chairman of the University of Ibadan Scholarly Publication and Global Access Committee. He was a visiting Associate Professor (2001/2002) to Babcock University, Ilishan, Ogun State of Nigeria, where he assisted in establishing the Literature in English unit of the Department of Languages and Communication. Some of Dr. Dasylva’s published books include “Understanding Wole Soyinka: Death and the King’s Horseman”; “Studies in Drama”; “Classificatory Paradigms in African Oral Narrative” (a monograph); he co-edited (with Prof. Kola Owolabi) “Forms and Functions of English and Indigenous Languages in Nigeria” a Festschrift in honour of Professor Ayo Banjo; co-author of “Studies in Poetry”. Dr. Dasylva’s collection of poems titled “Songs of Odamolugbe” won the 2006ANA/Cadbury Poetry Award. He is widely published in local and international scholarly journals.


Naminata Diabate

Black Modernism, Africa, and the Limits of Alliance

PhD Candidate
Program in Comparative Literature

The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station B5003
Austin, TX 78712

NAMINATA DIABATE, Fulbright Alumnus, is a Ph.D Candidate in the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Naminata’s academic interests focus on twentieth-century Francophone, Anglophone West African women writers, twentieth-century African American and Afro-Latino women writers, feminist theories, and postcolonial theories. Her dissertation explores the commonalities and differences between black feminist theories and is tentatively entitled “Stiwanist, Feminist, Womanist: A Comparative Study of Sub-Saharan Francophone African, Anglophone African, and African American Feminist Theories”. Presently, an essay in the pipeline “Through Missionary Eyes: Nineteenth-Century Boloki Women of the Congo in John H. Weeks’ Among Congo Cannibals (1913)” is under consideration for a journal. Her personal interests include digital photography, video taping, and photo collages.


Dr. Juliana Braz Dias

Popular music in Cape Verde: resistance or conciliation?

Department of Anthropology
Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT)
Av. Fernando Corrêa da Costa, s/n
Cuiabá - MT, Brazil

Juliana Braz Dias is Professor of Anthropology at Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT), Brazil. Head of the Department of Anthropology at UFMT, she is also the leader of a group especially devoted to the study of popular culture (Núcleo de Estudos de Cultura Popular). Her research interest relates to the process of creolization in Cape Verde. Her earliest research focused on Capeverdean family organization, developed in the international migration context which characterizes life at the archipelago. When a doctorate candidate in Anthropology, she launched research on Capeverdean popular music and the construction of social identities. The study resulted in the dissertation named Mornas e Coladeiras de Cabo Verde: versões musicais de uma nação (Mornas and Coladeiras from Cape Verde: musical versions of a nation). Her reflections on creole reality in Cape Verde also led to the publication of the article Language and Power: Transcribing the national question, which may be accessed at <>. More recently, she has joined with Ana Lúcia Braz Dias, PhD in Mathematics Education and Professor at Central Michigan University, to venture on the new field of Ethnomathematics, studying the practice of uril, a Capeverdean board game. The research is still in progress and it promises interesting results on the acts of sociability created around the game, as well as on the mathematical thoughts involved in the practice of uril.


Roy Doron

Dick Tiger, Hogan Bassey and the Golden Age of Boxing in Nigeria


David Eaton

Speaking to AIDS through public lives: legacies of Luambo Makiadi and Sony Labou Tansi

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
 California State University

David Eaton is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the California State University, Chico.  He taught high school biology and English in Kenya in the early 1980s, and subsequently pursued studies in Kiswahili and Lingala in Tanzania and the former Zaire.  He received his M.P.H. in International Population and Family Health from UCLA in 1991, and his Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from UC Berkeley in 2001.  His research on AIDS outreach, awareness, and prevention has focused on men's lives in Rwanda, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo.  His interests include the life sciences, narrative and personal history, and Congolese music.


Kalenda Eaton

“What is Africa to Me?:” Hip Hop, Teen Dreams, and
Cross-Cultural Discontent in Mama Africa

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department of English
202 Andrews Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0333

Kalenda Eaton is Assistant Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in English and Spanish from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and her Master's and Doctorate degrees in English from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Eaton teaches courses in 20th Century African American Literature, African Literature, and Black Women Authors.  Her research interests include post-Civil Rights Movement literature, Womanist literary theory, and Africana Women's writing. Currently, she is working on a literary analysis of African American fiction set in the American West.



Ainehi Edoro

Metaphors of Modernity: The Urban Woman in Onitsha Market Literature

University of Kansas

Ainehi Edoro is a second-year M.A student of the English department at the University of Kansas.   Her focus of study is African Literature and Postcolonial Theory.  She has schooled both in Nigeria and Baltimore, MD where she received a B.A in English Literature and Language Arts from Morgan State University.  She hopes to use her conference paper titled, “Metaphors of Modernity: The Urban Woman in Onitsha Market Literature,” as an opening for inquiry that may eventually lead to an M.A thesis.  She is also in interested in the construction and performance of creative identities amidst political oppression and poverty in the works of Nigerian writer such as Helon Habila, Akin Adesokan, Chris Abani, etc, who lived under Sani Abacha's retrograde military regime.


Cyril Ngbede Ejaidu

Popular Culture, Religiosity, and Symbolic Meaning: Christianity and Healthcare among the Idoma

Fr. Cyril Ejaidu is a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.He was ordained in 1995 and has since then worked in various Parishes and institutions in the Diocese. Presently, he coordinates and supervises the Health Services Programme of the Diocese of Otukpo. He is well travelled and has attended various international seminars and conferences; the latest one being the seminar on "Catholic Physicians and globalization" held in Barcelona, Spain in May, 2006. He likes reading, travelling, writing and making friends.


Kwame Essien and Saheed Aderinto

“Cutting the Head of the Roaring Monster”:
Homosexuality and State Repression in Ghana

PhD Students
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin

Kwame Essien is a PhD Student in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He focus on African and African Diaspora history and works on two areas: African American returnee communities in Ghana and “Tabom” people, the descendants of Afro-Brazilians in Ghana. Essien received his MA in African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BA in history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Saheed Aderinto is a PhD student at the Department of History, University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the Department of History, University of Ibadan where he won The Oba Lipede Prize in History. A Patrice Lumumba Research Fellow in History, Aderinto’s research interests include social and urban history with an emphasis on the history of prostitution, sexuality and inter-group relations. Some of his most recent publication include; “Prostitution and Urban Social Relations” and “Policing Urban Prostitution: Prostitutes, Crime, Law and Reformers in Colonial Nigeria” in Nigeria’s Urban History: Past and Present (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2006) and “Discrimination in an Urban Setting: The Experience of Ijebu Settlers in Colonial Ibadan, 1893-1960” in Inter-group Relations in Nigeria during the 19th & 20th Centuries (Makurdi: Aboki Publishers, 2006). His writings have also appeared in IFRA Special Research Review, Ethnic and Third World Review of Books, African and Asian Studies Journal and The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006).



Professor Ayo Fadahunsi Ph.D

Metaphysics and the Existence of God: An African Perspective

Department of Philosophy
Olabisi Onabanjo University
P.M.B. 2002, Ago – Iwoye, Nigeria.


Alassane Fall

Culture, Communication, Business, and Politics in Senegal

African & African American studies
University of Kansas,1440 Jayhawk Blvd # 09

Alassane received a Master’s degree in Political science from the Université Gaston Berger de Saint Louis, Senegal, School of Law and Political Science in 2000. In addition, he has a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Kansas (KU), Lawrence which he received in 2004. He also earned a Certificate of International Humanitarian Law from the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Italy-Switzerland). His research interests include North- South Cooperation between sub-Saharan Africa (particularly francophone) and North America.

Alassane has worked for the following organizations: the United Nations Office in Geneva, High Commission for Human Rights, Treaties and Commission Branch - Servicing of the Sub-Commission; the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Italy; the Senegalese Foreign Ministry, Europe-America and Oceania Department. Since 2001 he has been working in the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas as a lecturer and as Outreach Coordinator for the Kansas African Studies Center.  He has also been an invited presenter at more than a dozen academic conferences focused on topics such as Africa, international politics, international public law, western African culture, and cross-cultural communication.  He is fully trilingual in Wolof, French and English.  In June 2006 he became Regional Program Manager for West Africa for Youth Impact International.  Alassane has extensive breadth of knowledge, core competence, and experience about the entire West African Region including the countries of Senegal, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, etc. As an independent consultant, He has just completed two analysis projects on Niger and Burundi for Business Plus Corporation, Ft Bragg Office, North Carolina (October and December 2006). These research projects produced country profiles and background analysis for United States’ officers (reviewed and approved by the U.S government). Currently, he is working on Cote d’ Ivoire for a Law Group.



Celeste A. Fisher

Reclaiming the Past or Assimilationist Rebellion?
Transforming the Self in Contemporary American Film

Assistant Professor
Sociology Department
106 Mueller
Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York

CELESTE A. FISHER is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at Ithaca College. She sits on the advisory board of
Inter-Cultural Studies, a journal of social change and cultural diversity. Her research interests include film audiences, race and representation, identity politics and urban studies. She has served as a special issue editor of The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (Intellect Books, 2005). Her project entitled, "Black Women’s Politics Through Cultural Expression," is an examination of the ways in which black women have creatively articulated their political views within the context of various social and cultural movements. She has recently published a book on film audiences entitled, Black on Black: Urban Youth Films and the Multicultural Audience(Scarecrow Press, 2006).


Betty F. Florey

Western Images of Africa in African American Heritage: Myth and Fact

Honors College 
The University of Alabama 
Nott Hall


Denise Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson

Sexuality in Caribbean Performance: The Blue Devils of Paramin, Trinidad

Theatre History/Criticism/Theory/Text (PPP)
Department of Theatre and Dance
The University of Texas at Austin

Denise A. Forbes-Erickson is a Ph.D. student in Theatre History (Performance as Public Practice) in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are sexuality in Caribbean performance, contemporary and medieval carnivals of the New and Old worlds, and African retentions in African-American and Caribbean performance. She presented papers
at the 30th Comparative Drama (CDC) Conference, Layola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) Annual Conference, University of Winchester, England in 2006. She holds a MA in Theatre, University of Kentucky, USA, and a BA (Hons.) in Theatre Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, England. She has
extensive professional experience in the visual arts, specializing in welded steel sculptures, and theatre design. She was the set designer for the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) National Pantomime Company of Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica, and the theatre designer for Theatre Centre Company, London, England. Her work has been exhibited in England, Canada, USA, Czechoslovakia and the Caribbean.


George W. Gathigi

Inventing East African Hip-Hop: Youth and Musical Convergence in East Africa

Doctoral Student
School of Telecommunications
Scripps College of Communication
Ohio University, Athen

George is a doctoral student in Telecommunications studies at the Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, Athens. A native of Kenya, George studied B.A in Linguistics and Political Science at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has previously worked with international non-profit organizations in behavior change communication and leadership initiatives in East Africa. His research interests are in media evolution in Africa, media and popular culture, and health communication and indigenous health practices


Solomon Addis Getahun

Reflection on Migration and Refugeeism as Depicted
in the Ethiopian Popular Culture, Music

Assistant Professor of African History
Central Michigan University
Department of History
231 Powers Hall
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859



Ryan Groves

The Role of Nigeria’s Print Media in the Fourth Republic

University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32817


Colette Guldimann

“Imported from America” or fugitive forgeries:
Drum magazine and black popular culture in 1950s apartheid South Africa

Asst. Professor of English
Dhofar University
American University of Beirut
Sultanate of Oman 

Interested in transatlantic cultural crossings, Colette Guldimann is the product of such journeys.  She has lived, studied, taught and conducted research in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and, currently, the Middle East.  She has published on South African film and media and the role of popular culture in the writing of Bessie Head.  Her Ph.D, at the University of London, examined the use of popular culture in South African Drum Magazine, and cultural exchanges between black South Africans and African-Americans, during the 1950s.  She is currently Assistant Professor of English at the first American university in the Sultanate of Oman.




































































Africa Conference 2007: Popular Cultures in Africa

Convened by Dr. Toyin Falola and Coordinated by Tyler Fleming for the Center for African and African American Studies

Webmaster: Adam Paddock