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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

African Studies Faculty

Dr. Christopher Adejumo

is an Associate Professor. He received his BA degree in Fine Arts (Graphic Design) in 1983 from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He earned an MFA in Visual Design (Printmaking) at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, 1993. Adejumo received his Ph.D. in Art Education from the Ohio State University in 1997.

Dr. Adejumo’s current research interests are in the areas of community-based art education, visual and material culture art education, studio art as visual research, and service-learning in art education. His recent publications include “Migration and Slavery as Paradigms in the Aesthetic Transformation of Yoruba Art in the Americas,” in Toyin Falola, Niyi Afolabi, Aderonke A. Adesanya (Eds.). Movements, Migrations and Creative Expressions in Africa and the African Diaspora. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press; “Understanding Yoruba Art and Culture through Ethnography,” in Toyin Falola and Ann Genova (Eds.). Yoruba Creativity: Fiction, Language, Life and Songs. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc.; and “Apprenticeship, Continuity and Patronage in Traditional Yoruba Art” in TRIBAL Magazine, No. 34, pp. 86-94.

Dr. Adejumo’s relief prints, low-relief sculptures, and paintings have been shown in over thirty state, national, and international exhibitions, of which twelve were solo exhibitions. He has also conducted over thirty visual art workshops at reputable venues, including the Dallas Museum of Art. In 2006, he collaborated with the Dallas Museum of Art in the production of a documentary on the Yoruba Ibeji or twin figures.  Adejumo is the founder and Director of the Greater Tomorrow Youth Art Program in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2004, he received the Eugene Grigsby Jr. national award for “outstanding contributions to community-based art education,” given by the National Art Education Association.


Dr. Omoniyi Afolabi

is an Assistant Professor who teaches Lusophone  and Yoruba Studies in the Department African and African Diaspora Studies and the Department Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin.  He holds a doctorate in Portuguese and Africana Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Golden Cage: Regeneration in Lusophone African Literature and Culture, editor of Marvels of the African World: African Cultural Patrimony, New World Connections and Identities, and co-editor of The Afro-Brazilian Mind / A Mente Afro-Brasileira: Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Literary and Cultural Criticism. His current research project focuses on the Brazilian manifestation of Yoruba identity.

Courses:

  • Second Year Yoruba I
  • Second Year Yoruba II
  • Lusophone Africa Literature(s) & Culture(s)
  • Afro-Luso-Brazilian Worlds
  • Yoruba Mythologies/Cosmologies
  • Yoruba (Diaspora) Literature and Film
  • Afro-Brazilian Diaspora
  • Africana Autobiographies 

Sponsored Activities:

  • Director of Yoruba Studies
  • Annual Yoruba Day Celebration  


Dr. Catherine Boone

specializes in comparative politics, with an emphasis on theories of political economy and economic development. She has conducted research on industrial, commercial, and land tenure policies in West Africa, where her work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright, the World Bank, and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Her current research focuses on territorial politics and rural property rights in contemporary Africa, with particular emphasis on the role of property rights in shaping electoral and political dynamics. She teaches courses on globalization, comparative political economy, qualitative research methods in Political Science, and African politics.

Professor Boone has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), as well as review boards for the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and the Social Science Research Council. She is a member of the Africa Regional Advisory Panel of the Social Science Research Council; Secretary of the African Politics Conference Group, an APSA-affiliated research network; Vice Chair of APSA’s Comparative Democratization Section; and an elected member of the APSA Executive Council (2005-7 term). Professor Boone was also Treasurer, Board Member, and President of the West Africa Research Association (2005 -6), which overseas the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal. She has been Visiting Fulbright Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University, People’s Republic of China; Visiting Professor and Researcher, Centro de Investigación y Docencias Economicas (CIDE), Mexico City, Mexico; Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Centre Ivoirien de Recherche Economique et Sociale, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; and Visiting Researcher at the Centre Des Etudes Superieures en Gestion, Dakar, Senegal.

Professor Boone is author of Political Topographies of the African State: Rural Authority and Institutional Choice (Cambridge, 2003), which was winner of the Society for Comparative Research Mattei Dogan Award in 2005, as well as a finalist for the African Studies Association Herskovitz award in 2004, and a runner-up for the Comparative Politics section of the American Political Science Association’s Luebbert Award in 2004. Professor Boone is also author of Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930 -1985 (Cambridge, 1992), a finalist for the Herskovitz award in 1993. She is also the author of articles on economic development, institutional reform, HIV/AIDS, and political transitions that have appeared in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Development Studies, World Development, African Economic History, Africa Today, American Anthropologist, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, and the Journal of Modern African Studies.

Prof. Boone received her B.A. from the University of California at San Diego and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Courses:

  • Politics in African Global Change
  • Regional Responses: Comparative Responses to Globalization
  • Modern Africa: Trials of the Nation State
  • Comparative Political Economy
  • Research Colloquium in Political Science


Dr. Toyin Falola

is Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria, a Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of numerous books, including Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies and Nationalism and African Intellectuals, both from the University of Rochester Press. He is the co-editor of the Journal of African Economic History, Series Editor of Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, Series Editor of the Culture and Customs of Africa by Greenwood Press, and Series Editor of Classic Authors and Texts on Africa by Africa World Press.

Dr. Falola has received various awards and honors, including the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, The Texas Exes Teaching Award, the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, the Cecil B Currey Award for his book, Economic Reforms and Modernization in Nigeria. He is the 2006 recipient of the Felix E. Udogu Africa Award, the 2006 Cheikh Anta Diop Award, the 2007 Amistad Award, and the 2007 SIRAS Award for Outstanding Contribution to African Studies. For his distinguished contribution to the study of Africa, his students and colleagues have presented him with a set of three Festschriften, two edited by Adebayo Oyebade, The Transformation of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola and The Foundations of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola, and one by Akin Ogundiran, Precolonial Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. His memoir, A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt, captures his childhood and received various awards. He has an honorary doctorate from Monmouth University, USA.

Courses:

  • Introduction to Africa
  • USA and Africa
  • Epistemologies of Black Studies
  • Modern Africa

Sponsored Activities:

  • Founder and Coordinator of the Africa Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Founder and Coordinator of the Annual Conference on Africa  


Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

is the former Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African-American Studies, and an Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. She is an artist/scholar who is currently engaged in performance ethnography around the Yoruba divinity Osun. While on a Fulbright Fellowship in Nigeria (1997-98), Dr. Jones taught at Obafemi Awolowo University and contributed to Theatre for Social Change workshops for the Forum on Governance and Democracy in Ile-Ife.  Her articles on performance and identity have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, The Drama Review, Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, and Black Theatre News. Her performance ethnography includes “Searching for Osun,” “sista docta,” and “Broken Circles:  A Journey Through Africa and the Self.” She is the founder of the Austin Project—a collaboration of women of color artists, scholars, and activists who use art for re-imagining society, and a regular participant with the Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). Her most recent publication is Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (2010), co-edited with Lisa Moore and Sharon Bridgforth (UT Press 2010).

Courses:

  • Performing Race
  • Yoruba Performance Traditions
  • African American Theatre History

Sponsored Activities:

  • African Feminisms Seminar
  • Workshop in African Studies  


Dr. Jossianna Arroyo Martínez

is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Center for African and African American Studies. Dr. Arroyo Martinez’s interests are in Latin American, Carribean, Luso-Brazilian, Afro-Diasporic literatures and cultures, race, gender and sexuality in colonial and postcolonial societes, as well as Latin American discourses in literature, ethnography and sociology.

She studies African religions in the diaspora, performance, and the politics of culture, representation and political agency of Afrodescendants in the Americas. She has published Travestismos culturales: literatura y etnografía en Cuba y Brasil (Pittsburgh: Iberoamericana, 2003) and is currently finishing her second book entitled Fin de siglo: Secrecy and Technologies of the Word in Caribbean Freemasonry.

Courses:

  • African Diasporas in the Americas
  • African Diasporas in Latin America
  • Afro-Caribbean Diasporas

Sponsored Activities:

  • Coordinated the Performance in Africa and the African Diasporas (along with Prof. Christen Smith)
  • Coordination of Diaspora Talk guest, Dr. Frieda Ekotto
  • Organized the Afro-Latin American research cluster at LILLAS (Latin American Studies)  


Dr. Fehintola Mosadomi

holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Linguistics with a minor in Francophone Studiesfrom Tulane University, with a specialization in Yoruba phonology.  She also earned a Masters in languages and literature and a Masters in linguistics.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Mosadomi is a poet and linguist who has authored several articles in books and journals on Creole Studies, Language and Gender, African Linguistics, and Pedagogy. Her interests include poetry in French, English and Yoruba, as well as studies in Yoruba language and linguistics, French language and literature (including Francophone), Creole studies, language pedagogy, language and power, and language and gender. She has won numerous awards including the John Warfield Excellence in Teaching (2007).

Courses:

  • Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • Gender course on Yoruba Women
  • African Film
  • First Year Yoruba I
  • First Year Yoruba II  

Dr. Moyo Okediji

is an art historian, artist, and curator. He studied fine arts at the University of Ife, before proceeding to the University of Benin, where he received an MFA in African art criticism, poetry, and painting. At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he received a Ph.D. in African arts and Diaspora visual cultures.  He has apprenticed with several indigenous African artists working in both sacred and secular mediums including mat weaving, textile designs, terra cotta, shrine painting, and sculpture.

After teaching for several years in Nigeria, Okediji relocated to the United States in 1992. For ten years he was the curator of African and Oceanic arts at the Denver Art Museum. He has taught at various colleges in the United States, including Wellesley College, Gettysburg College, university of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Colorado at Denver. He has also exhibited at various places including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, the Corcoran Center, London, and the National Museum Gallery, Lagos Nigeria.  He is the author of books and exhibition catalogues including African Renaissance, Old Forms, New Images in Nigerian Art, and The Shattered Gourd: Yoruba Forms in Twentieth Century American Art.

Courses:

  • Museums and African Art: The Case of the Egungun Masquerade  
  • Diaspora Visions
  • Africana Women's Art
  • Yoruba Art and Mythologies  


Dr. Hélène Tissières

is an Associate Professor of Francophone African Literatures in the Department of French and Italian. Her book Écritures en transhumance entre Maghreb et Afrique subsaharienne was published by L’Harmattan in 2007. In 2003 she received a Fulbright research / lecturer grant and taught for nearly two years at the University Cheick Anta Diop in Dakar. She also holds a degree in painting. Her interests in visual arts have brought her to closely follow the Dakar biennial, on which she has published several articles in Éthiopiques and Research in African Literatures. Dr. Tissieres was the editor of a special issue of Présence Francophone on the contemporary Senegalese art scene, which appeared in 2008.  She has published articles on African writers, filmmakers and artists and is presently working on her second book examining the works of key Senegalese figures.

Courses:

  • Contemporary French and African Literatures: Self/Otherness
  • Contemporary North and sub-Saharan ‘Francophone’ African Literatures
  • African ‘Francophone’ Literatures: Rise of Pan-African Struggles
  • African Literatures, Visual Images and Music: Intertwinements of Art Forms
  • Contemporary ‘Francophone’ African Literatures
  • Caribbean and African ‘Francophone’ Literatures: Transatlantic Links and Differences
  • North and sub-Saharan Theatre and Music Developments
  • North and sub-Saharan Autobiography/Novel
  • (Re)Presentation of Women through Contemporary African Works
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