African Cultural Studies

College of Letters & Science
HomeTejumola Olaniyan

Tejumola Olaniyan

Louise Durham Mead Professor
Department Chair

.Office: 1470 Van Hise
Phone: (608) 263-2848

E-mail: Tejumola Olaniyan


PhD, Cornell University, 1991
MA, Cornell University, 1989
M. A., University of Ife, Nigeria, 1985
BA, University of Ife, Nigeria, 1982

Selected Publications

Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (co-edited with Ronald Radano; Duke University Press, 2016)

African Diaspora and the Disciplines (co-edited with James H. Sweet, 2010)

African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory (co-edited with Ato Quayson; Blackwell 2007)

Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (Indiana UP, 2004; New & Expanded Edition, BookCraft, 2009; nominated for Best Research in World Music by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2005) 

Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African American and Caribbean Drama (Oxford UP, 1995) 

African Drama and Performance (co-edited with John Conteh Morgan, Indiana UP, 2004) 

Editor, "On 'Post-Colonial Discourse': A Special Issue," Callaloo 16.4 (Fall 1993) 

several book chapters and articles in journals such as Cultural Critique, Transition, Research in African Literatures, Theatre Journal, African American Review, Social Dynamics, Callaloo, etc.

Research Interests

African, African American, and Caribbean literatures; postcolonial cultural studies; genre studieshistory, theory, and sociology of drama; popular culture studiesart, music, and architecture.

Personal Statement

My deep interest is transdisciplinary teaching and research; my goal is the cultivation of critical self-reflexivity about our expressions and their many contexts.

Recent Books

Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique

Ronald Radano & Tejumola Olaniyan, Eds.

Duke University Press


These fifteen interdisciplinary essays cover large swaths of genre, time, politics, and geography, and include topics such as the affective relationship between jazz and cigarettes in interwar China; the sonic landscape of the U.S.– Mexico border; the critiques of post-9/11 U.S. empire by desi rappers; and the role of tonality in the colonization of Africa.

The African Diaspora and the Disciplines

Tejumola Olaniyan & James H. Sweet, Eds.

Indiana University Press


Focusing on the problems and conflicts of doing African diaspora research from various disciplinary perspectives, these essays situate, describe, and reflect on the current practice of diaspora scholarship. Tejumola Olaniyan, James H. Sweet, and the international group of contributors assembled here seek to enlarge understanding of how the diaspora is conceived and explore possibilities for the future of its study.

African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory

Tejumola Olaniyan & Ato Quayson, Eds.



This is the first anthology to bring together the key texts of African literary theory and criticism.

African Drama and Performance

Tejumola Olaniyan & John Conteh-Morgan, Eds.

Indiana University Press


African Drama and Performance is a collection of innovative and wide-ranging essays that bring conceptually fresh perspectives, from both renowned and emerging voices, to the study of drama, theatre, and performance in Africa. Topics range from studies of major dramatic authors and formal literary dramas to improvisational theatre and popular video films.

Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Music

Tejumola Olaniyan

Indiana University Press


finalist, 2005 ARSC award

Looking at the social context, instrumentation, lyrics, visual art, people, and organizations through which Fela produced his music, Tejumola Olaniyan offers a wider, more suggestive perspective on Fela and his impact on listeners in all parts of the world.

Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African-American, and Caribbean Drama

Tejumola Olaniyan

Oxford University Press


This original work redefines and broadens our understanding of the drama of the English-speaking African diaspora. Looking closely at the work of Amiri Baraka, Nobel prize-winners Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott, and Ntozake Shange, the author contends that the refashioning of the collective cultural self in black drama originates from the complex intersection of three discourses: Eurocentric, Afrocentric, and Post-Afrocentric.