Professor Tejumola Olaniyan has been named Wole Soyinka Professor of the Humanities, effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024. Funding for this professorship comes from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) which provides recognition for distinguished research contributions of the UW–Madison faculty. The awards are intended to honor those faculty who have made major contributions to the advancement of knowledge, primarily through their research endeavors, but also as a result of their teaching and service activities.
Olaniyan studies the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora in America and the Caribbean. His current work focuses on popular visual art and democratic struggles, histories of emotion in African and African diaspora music, and cultural forms and practices of urbanization in Africa.
The WARF Named Professorship awards are made possible by the impressive research efforts of UW–Madison faculty and staff. Technology arising from these research efforts is licensed by the patent management organization, WARF, to industry. Income from successful licenses is returned to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education to fund a variety of research activities throughout the divisions on campus, including these awards.