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Romeo Oriogun.

Brunel Prize 2017 winner Romeo Oriogun has been named a 2018-19 W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. His is a dual designation: in particular, he is an Institute of International Education Artist Protection Fund Fellow as well as the Harvard Scholars at Risk Fellow for Spring 2018. During his Fellowship, Oriogun is expected to complete a volume titled The Emergence of Queer Voices in African Literature.

The announcement for the Institute’s sixth class was made by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research—who listed 22 other Fellows, including National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” writer ZZ Packer.

“We are happy to welcome yet another class of scholars and artists engaged in timely and exciting work,” Gates says. “Images of the Black in Latin America and the Caribbean, political rap music and racial attitudes, Black women’s root-working traditions, Black mariners and eighteenth-century slavery, a novel about 9th Cavalry Buffalo soldiers, Ancient Egypt and race in visual culture, the origins of convict leasing, the gender politics of Black publishing, and Caribbean youth and police surveillance are among the extraordinary, important projects which the incoming fellows will be pursuing and presenting at the W. E. B Du Bois Research Institute, housed in the Hutchins Center.”

Romeo Oriogun is the 2017 winner of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. His manuscript, My Body Is No Miracle, was a finalist for the 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African PoetsHis chapbook, The Origin of Butterflies, was published in 2018 by Akashic Books and African Poetry Book Fund. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Brittle Paper, ExpoundLAMBDA,  Afridiaspora, and African Writer, among others. He is the author of Burnt Menan electronic chapbook published by Praxis Magazine Online, and was a Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency.

Here are the other 2018-2019 W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellows and their projects:

David Bindman is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art, University College London. As the Image of the Black in Western Art Fellow for Fall 2018, he will complete work on the volume The Image of the Black in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lakeyta M. Bonnette-Bailey is Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University. As a Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hiphop Archive Research Institute for Fall 2018, she will work on What’s on Your Radio?: Political Rap Music and Racial Attitudes.

Kinitra Brooks is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As the Advancing Equity Through Research Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will work on The Conjure Woman’s Garden: Black Women’s Rootworking Traditions. 

Huey Copeland is Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University. As a Cohen Fellow for Spring 2019, he will work on In the Shadow of the Negress: Modern Artistic Practice in the Transatlantic World.

Robyn D’Avignon is Assistant Professor of History at New York University. As the McMillan-Stewart Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be at work on Shadow Geology: The Search for Subterranean Knowledge in West Africa.

Mary Hicks is Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History at Amherst College. As the Mamolen Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be working on Captivity’s Commerce: Black Mariners and the World of South Atlantic Slavery, 1721-1835.

Peter Hulme is Emeritus Professor of Literature at the University of Essex. As the Stuart Hall Fellow for Fall 2018, he will be at work on Wilfred A. Domingo: “One of the chief trouble-makers among the Negroes.”

Rumbi Katedzais a filmmaker and writer. As the Manyika Fellow for Fall 2018, she will address the subject of Refugees and Homeland.

Antonia Lant is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. As a Cohen fellow for Spring 2019, she will work on Ancient Egypt and Race in American Visual Culture (1895-1939).

Lwazi Lushaba is Lecturer in Political Studies at the University of Cape Town. As the Mandela Fellow for Spring 2019, he will work in the areas of Political Philosophy and African Politics.

Beatriz Marcheco Teruel is Professor and Senior Researcher at the National Center of Medical Genetics in Havana, Cuba. As a Hutchins Fellow for Spring 2019, she will work on Cuba and its Roots: A DNA-based Story.

Shirley Moody-Turner is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University. As a Hutchins Fellow for Spring 2019, she will work on Privately Printed: Anna Julia Cooper and the Gender Politics of Black Publishing.

Mathew Morrison is Assistant Professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School at New York University. As a Hutchins Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, he will work on Blacksound: Making Race & Popular Music in the U.S.

Akua Naru is a Hiphop Artist. As a Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hiphop Archive Research Institute for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be at work on The Keeper Project.

Christopher Ouma is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Cape Town. As the Mandela Fellow for Fall 2018, he will work in the area of African Diasporic Literature.

ZZ Packer is a novelist. As a Hutchins Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be at work on The Thousands.

Giuseppe Pipitone is a Hiphop scholar. As the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hiphop Archive Research Institute, he will be at work on How’s Life in London.

Michael Ralphis Associate Professor in Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. As a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow for Fall 2018, he will work on Before 13th: The Origins of Convict Leasing.

Leah W. Rigueur is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. As the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow in Fall 2018, she will work on Black Men in a White House.

Nicholas Rinehart is a doctoral candidate in English at Harvard University. As the Porter Fellow for Spring 2019, he will be at work on Narrative Events: Slavery, Testimony, and Temporality in the Afro-Atlantic World.

Derron Wallace is Assistant Professor of Education and Sociology at Brandeis University. As the Stuart Hall Fellow for Spring 2019, he will be at work on Seeking A Safe Way to School: Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance in London and New York City.

Jessica Welburn is Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, at the University of Iowa. As a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow for Fall 2018, she will work on Die Hard City: Public Sector Contraction and the Experiences of African Americans in Detroit. 

We look forward to bringing you more on The Emergence of Queer Voices in African Literature.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ROMEO ORIOGUN!

For more information, visit the Hutchins Center section on Harvard’s Website.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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