I was born and raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I am now a Professor of English at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. After earning a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, Canada, I received a "Society for the Humanities" postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University and was also a senior postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Prior to coming to Drexel, I taught at the University of Alberta and at Grambling State University, Louisiana. I have published mainly on African authors while my teaching interests span quite a number of areas in both the western and non-western literary traditions. At Drexel, I received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1991 and was designated "most dedicated professor" for the year 2002 by the Drexel Undergraduate Student body. The Drexel Minority Achievement Program also honored me by naming me Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2002-2003. I am the editor of the Journal of the African Literature Association (JALA).
Favorite Authors and/or Books: Achebe, Adichie, Armah, Beyala, Bhely-Quénum, Emily Bronte, Cheney-Coker, Dickens, Emecheta, George Eliot, Ellison, Flaubert, Aminatta Forna, Hardy, Mallarmé, Marquez, McEwan, Morrison, Alexander Pope, Proust, Rimbaud, Rushdie, Shakespeare, Soyinka, Mark Twain, Yvonne Vera, The Bible, The Gita, among others.
Personal Interests and Hobbies: Reading (365 days a year); photography; travel; technological gadgetry; music, especially old school reggae; African; classical; Jazz.
Favorite TV Shows: Link TV; House Hunters International; Some public TV, especially Brit coms.
One thing that makes me smile is: Being with "la merveille."
Two Pet Peeves: Smoking around me (it's a real health issue for me folks); witnessing mean behavior.
One reason I like my job is: After all these years, I know the vast majority of my students and colleagues respect me for what I do.
- November, 26-28, 2015. “'Expats,' 'Immigrants,' 'Illegals,' 'Nationals,' and Alterity in Recent West African Fiction: Narrating West Africa, Europe, and the US in our Contemporary World,” to be presented at 40e Congrès de la société française de littérature générale et comparée, Université Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens), France.
- June 3-6, 2015. Chair of Panel on “Narrations of/and Aesthetics” and Presenter of Paper on “Narrating West Africa, Europe, and the US in Modern Ways: Examples of New West African Fiction in the 21st Century,” ALA Annual Conference, University of Bayreuth, Germany.
- September 9-11, 2014. "Something Truly Interesting Coming From Sierra Leone: Fiction During the Past Decade," African Studies Association, United Kingdom (ASAUK), Conference, University of Sussex, UK.
- July 28-31, 2014. “Turning Alterity Upside Down: Some Examples from New West African Fiction, Plenary Address at “Representing Alterity in society in crisis: The Construction and Representation of the Other in Society and in Texts” Conference, University of Genoa, Italy.
- “Being in Africa and in Europe: Consequences on the Self as Foreigner,” BCLA/Spanish Comp Lit Assoc. Conference, University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, September 8-10, 2011
- “The Specter of the Author in the West African Short Story,” IJAS Conference, Aix-en Provence, France, June 2-6, 2011
- “Othello’s Countryman (Eldred Jones) and the Contemporary African Literary Environment,” St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, September 16-19, 2010
- “Literary Reception and Censorship,” University of Rennes 2, France, May 27-28, 2010
- “More Than Mere Dislocation: Translocation in the Poetry of Syl Cheney Coker and J.P. Clark,” ASNEL Conference, University of Munster, Germany, May 21-24, 2009.