James Yékú

Welcome to my homepage. Here you will some information about my academic background, as well as some of the recent projects I am currently working on. Please get in touch if you have any questions, and thank you for your interests in my work.

Profile

I received a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018, joining the University of Kansas a year later as an assistant professor of African digital humanities in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. My research focuses on the digital expressions of the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora, with emphasis on the African articulations of the digital cultural record.  

Assistant Professor of African Digital Humanities

Jyeku@ku.edu

My research also explores interdisciplinary areas such as cultural studies, social media in Africa, as well as online visual culture in Nigeria. My journal article “Akpos Don Come Again: Nigerian Cyberpop Hero as Trickster,” which I first wrote as a graduate student in the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan, won the 2017 Abioseh Porter Best Essay Award of the African Literature Association. In addition to this and several book chapters, I have published my work in Social Dynamics, African Studies Review, as well as Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.

While serving as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of African Cultural Studies, I am also working on a monograph on the performance of popular culture on Nigerian social media, something I discuss under the heading of “cultural netizenship.”

My interest in the digital humanities began when I worked in 2014 and 2017 as a research assistant for Allison Muri’s The Grub Street Project , a digital project that uses visualization tools and digital mapping to reconstruct the literary and cultural history of London. I have tried my hands on my own digital projects since then, starting the Omeka-based Digital Nollywood, a web-based archive of Nollywood film posters. I am also working on a digital scholarly edition of Onitsha Market literary pamphlets, using minimal computing platforms like Jekyll.

Before arriving at the University of Kansas, I taught Use of English at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, as well as composition courses in drama and culture at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada where I was a teacher-doctoral fellow in 2017. I currently teach courses in African studies, African digital humanities, as well as African popular culture and social media at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

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