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Chinyere G. Okafor

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Chinyere G. Okafor

 

Dr. Chinyere G. Okafor is a Full Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas. She is the Vice President of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS), former Chair of Women In Need Industries, former Board Member of Global Learning Center and the African Center. An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University College (Cardiff, UK), and University of Sussex (Brighton, UK), she did postdoctoral work on gender politics of African Masking at Cornell University (Ithaca). She has taught at the University of Port Harcourt 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 and strength that support the engagement of hostility. She has won a number of local, national, and international awards for research, creative writing, and teaching. They include the 2009 Phenomenal Woman Award; 2004 Global Learning Most Outstanding Department Award; two Rockefeller Humanist-in-Residence Fellowships in 1991 (Hunter College and Cornell University); 1998 Writer-in-residence Award at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio (Italy); Bertram’s Literature of Africa (South Africa) in 1996; and four Association of Nigerian Authors’ awards and honors, 1994.

Her research work is interdisciplinary drawing from literature, African and cultural studies, feminist theory and anthropology with the organizing principle of 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 worked as a consultant for a number of academic and community based groups facilitating projects in which tales, dramatic skits and histories are used to engage social issues. Examples include workshops on gender, race, and media literacy. Lived experiences in Africa, America, and Europe add to her use of technology to promote global learning classrooms. Her department won the Global Learning Most Outstanding Department Award in 2004.

She has published in the area of African literature, women in African mask performance, and creative writing. Her essays are published in edited volumes and academic journals. 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.

She is currently reworking a new play, Scramble for Africa 2 that was performed at the Miller Concert Hall, WSU, Wichita on the 30th of October, 2009 and also editing her book manuscript on African masking.

For more information go to Dr. Okafor’s Creative and Educational Hub, her website at the Center for Women’s Studies, and the Association of African Women Scholars web site, or visit Professor Okafor's video channel on You Tube.

 

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