Thursday, 23 April 2009
Chinyere G. Okafor
Dr. Chinyere G. Okafor is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Wichita State University, Kansas. She is the Vice President of the Association of African Women Scholars, Chair of the Advisory Board, Women In Need Inc. and Board Member of Global Learning Center. An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Wales (Cardiff), University of Sussex (Brighton), she did postdoctoral work on gender politics of African Masking at Cornell University (Ithaca). She has taught at the University of Portharcourt and University of Benin (Nigeria); University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni (Swaziland); Montgomery College, Rockville, MD and the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME. Poet, playwright, and fiction writer, Dr. Okafor speaks and writes about the challenges of ordinary women and men. Issues of war, suppression, politics, greed, poverty and disease feature alongside love, bonding, creativity, motivation and strength that support the engagement of hostility.
She has won a number of national and international awards for research, creative writing, and teaching including Global Learning Most Outstanding Department Award in 2004; two Rockefeller Humanist-in-Residence Fellowships in 1991 (Hunter College and Cornell University); Writer-in residence award at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio (Italy), 1998; Bertram’s Literature of Africa (South Africa), 1996; and four Association of Nigerian Authors’ awards and honors, 1994. Her research work is interdisciplinary drawing from literature, feminist theory and anthropology with a focus on women and gender. A specialist in gender, literary and cultural studies, Okafor has designed and taught courses on multicultural gender, world literature, feminist theory, African mask performance and communication.
She has published in the area of African literature, women in African mask performance, and creative writing. Recent publications include research from project on HIV/AIDS. Her essays are published in edited volumes and academic journals, including Journal of African Cultural Studies, Okike, Research in African Literatures, World Literature Today and Commonwealth: Essays and Studies. Her published creative works include: The New Toyi Toyi. A play, It Grows In Winter and Other Poems , He Wants To Marry Me Again and other Stories, The Lion and The Iroko (a play), From Earth’s Bed Chamber (a collection of poems), Campus Palavar and Other Plays, as well as others in collections, journals and magazines. Some of her works have been translated to French and Italian.