Christopher N. Okonkwo

Christopher N. Okonkwo
Associate Professor
324 Tate

PhD 2001, Florida State University

Research and Teaching

Christopher N. Okonkwo received his doctorate from Florida State University, his master's from Florida A & M University, and his bachelor's degree (with Honors) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A comparatist, his research, scholarship and teaching address the intersecting histories, cultures, and literary productions of Anglophone Africa and the African Diaspora, with particular emphasis on 20th through 21st century African and African American fiction and nonfiction prose; classic and neo-slave narratives and their contemporary permutations and circulations; post-colonial theory and criticism; modernity and literary modernism; migration, diaspora, and transnational studies; the interplays of music and literature; and major authors Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Jesmyn Ward.

Selected Publications

Kindred Spirits: Chinua Achebe and Toni Morrison (February 2022, University of Virginia Press)

A Spirit of Dialogue: Incarnations of Ợgbañje, the Born-to-Die, in African American Literature. University of Tennessee Press, 2008

"Sound Statements and Counterpoints: Ike Oguine's Channeling of Music, Highlife and Jazz, in A Squatter's Tale." College Literature 46.3 (Summer 2019). 628-658.

"Migration Blues in Jazz Styling: Spinning Them Overlooked Jazz and Blues Numbers in Brian Chikwava's Fiction." Research in African Literatures 47.4 (Spring 2017). 152-170.

"Chinua Achebe's Blue Notes: Toward a Critical Recording of Things Fall Apart's Blues and Jazz Sensibility." Research in African Literatures 47.1 (Spring 2016). 109-127.

"'Coming to America': Ike Oguine's A Squatter's Tale and the Nigerian/African Immigrant's Narrative." African Literature Today (27) on "New Novels in Africa" (November 2009). 130-144.

"'It Was Like Meeting an Old Friend': An Interview with John Edgar Wideman." Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters 29.2 (2006). 347-360.

"Of Caul and Response: Baby of the Family, Ansa's Neglected Metafiction of the Veil of Blackness." CLA Journal XLIX. 2 (December 2005). 144-167.

"A Critical Divination: Reading Sula as Ogbanje-Abiku." African American Review 38.4 (Winter 2004). 651-668.

"Space Matters: Form and Narrative in Tsitsi Dangaremgba's Nervous Conditions." Research in African Literatures 34.2 (Summer 2003). 53-74.

"Suicide or Messianic Self-Sacrifice?: Exhuming Willa's Body in Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills." African American Review 35.1 (2001). 117-131.

"Of Repression, Assertion, and the Speakerly Dress: Anzia Yezierska's Salome of the Tenements" MELUS 25.1 (Spring 2000). 129-145.