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Mayowa Ajibade

I study and teach 20th and 21st century African literature-in-English and African American literature. My other research and teaching interests include literary experimentalism, African cinema, African Studies, and Black Diaspora Studies. 

My dissertation is titled "Uses of the Eccentric: Reading the Political in African and African American Experimental Writing." In it, I show how experimental works by Bessie Head, Carlene Hatcher Polite, Dambudzo Marechera, and Renee Gladman challenge readings of Black-authored literature that fixate on references to popular political issues and, as a result, narrow the perception of what can be said to be political about this literature. The dissertation contributes to recently revived conversations within African and African American cultural studies, and within U.S. English-language literary studies, about the relationship between art and politics. 

Before coming to Penn, I received a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an M.St. in World Literatures in English from the University of Oxford, where I was an Ertegun Scholar.  

My writing has been published in the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry and is forthcoming in Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism.

Articles and Book Chapters

"Johannesburg Drift: Variations of the Uncanny in Ivan Vladislavić’s The Exploded View" Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry (2021)

Courses Taught

fall 2021

ENGL 081.401 African-American Literature  

fall 2020

fall 2018