Christopher N. Okonkwo

Christopher N. Okonkwo Photo
Associate Professor
324 Tate
Areas of Study: 
African Diaspora Studies
Modern and Contemporary Literature
Research and Teaching: 

African American and African literature


PhD 2001, Florida State University

Christopher N. Okonkwo received his doctorate from the Florida State University, his master's from Florida A & M University, and his bachelor's degree (with Honors) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His research and teaching address the history, cultures, and literatures of the African Diaspora, with particular emphasis on 20th through 21st century African American experience and cultural production, African literature in English, and post-colonial theory and criticism. His work has appeared in various journals, including the following:

Select Publications: 
  • 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." Forthcoming. College Literature.
  • "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)
  • "Of Repression, Assertion, and the Speakerly Dress: Anzia Yezierska's Salome of the Tenements" MELUS 25.1 (Spring 2000)