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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, Black diaspora studies, and African cinema. 

My dissertation is titled "Uses of the Eccentric: Artistic Value and Politics 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 is artistically valuable and 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 of art and criticism to 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.  


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