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Abioseh Porter, Professor of English, Department of English and Philosophy, Drexel University

Abioseh Porter, PhD

Director, Africana Studies
Professor of English
Department of English and Philosophy
Center for Interdisciplinary Study
Africana Studies
Office: 5016 MacAlister


  • PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Alberta, 1984
  • BA, English & French/Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Fourah Bay College

Curriculum Vitae:

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I was born and raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I am a Professor of English at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. I am currently Director of Africana Studies. I served as Department Head of the Department of English & Philosophy at Drexel from May 2002-December 2015 and as the founding editor of the Journal of the African Literature Association (JALA) from 2007-2017. I was also editor of JALA’s predecessor, the ALA Bulletin from 1998-2007.
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 several areas in both the western and non-western literary traditions.
I recently was awarded a 2019-2020 Fulbright research fellowship in France (Université Paul-Valéry III) and also received the 2019 “Harold M. Myers Award for Distinguished Service” at Drexel. These awards follow others, such as the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1991, ”the most dedicated professor" for the year 2002 by the Drexel Undergraduate Student body, and the Faculty Member of the Year for 2002-2003 by The Drexel Minority Achievement Program.
The African Literature Association also honored me not only by naming me the Association’s “Distinguished Member of the Year” in 2017 but also inaugurated the “Abioseh Porter Award for Best Essay Published in The Journal of the African Literature Association (JALA).

Selected Publications:

  • “Post-Civil War Literary Fiction: A Catalyst for Understanding Sierra Leone’s Recent Past, Present, and Future” in a special issue of African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 12, No 2 (Spring 2023), 129-148.
  • “Pourquoi l’uzège ? propos d’Olympe Bhêly-Quenum,” Recueillis par Abioseh Michael Porter, in La Nouvelle Cigale Uzégeoise, Uzes, France, numéro vingt-trois ,juin 2021, 40-45
  • “Paying Tribute to One of Africa’s [Genuine] Literary Heavyweights: Eustace James Taiwo Palmer,” JALA (Journal of the African Literature Association, 15.1, 152-160 (2021) Abioseh Porter (2021) “Paying tribute to one of Africa’s [genuine] literary heavyweights: Eustace James Taiwo Palmer”, Journal of the African Literature Association, 15:2, 152-160, DOI: 10.1080/21674736.2021.1900267
  • Knowledge is more than mere words. Wey Dehn Sey? Dehn Sey Kapu Sehns Nor Kapu Word: A Critical Introduction to Sierra Leonean Literature (edited with Eustace Palmer)Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2008.
  • "Non-Conventional Literary Media: New Poetic Voices on the Internet," in Knowledge is more than mere words.Wey Dehn Sey? Dehn Sey Kapu Sehns Nor Kapu Word: A Critical Introduction to Sierra Leonean Literature (with Eustace Palmer) (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2008), 315-338 
  • "Fictional Worlds, Symbolism and Struggles of (Under-)Development: Kolawole Omotoso's 'The Combat,'" West African Worlds Paths Through Socio-Economic Change, Livelihoods and Development Harlow, UK: Pearson,/Prentice Hall, 2005, 87-108. 
  • "Revitalizing an Existing Cultural Phenomenon: Treatment of the Abiku in La Naissance d'abikou and Les Appels du voudou by Olympe Bhêly Quénum" in, and published in Melanges offerts à Olympe Bhêly-Quénum (Paris: Gallimard, 2002).
  • "Un anglophone et la francophonie" in Autrement memes: Homages à Roger Little Cass, London, 2002. 
  • "The 'New' New Jerusalem in Contemporary West African Fiction,"  Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Vol. 4, No. 2, Winter 2000 (, 21 pp (North Carolina State University) (republished in Emerging Perspectives on Syl Cheney Coker , Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2014).