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Dr. Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Picture of Dr. Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Professor

Biography

A graduate of the University of Yaounde, Cameroon (BA, MA, Doctorat) and McGill University, Canada (Ph.D.), Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature in the Department of English at North Carolina State University. Before coming to NC State in 2006, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi worked at the University of Southern Mississippi and as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Color at St. Cloud State University, MN. Her teaching areas include graduate and undergraduate courses in African literature, postcolonial literary and cultural studies, world literature, women’s and gender studies, as well as seminars on African War Narratives, Feminist Theory, Third World Feminisms, and Postcolonial Theory. She writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi.

In 2009, Chancellor Randy Woodson appointed Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi a Park Faculty Scholar noting in his letter that “Faculty involvement is an integral part of the Park Scholarships program. As a Park Faculty Scholar, you are asked to further develop the academic enhancement components of the program, with a focus on working with Park Scholars, Class of 2013. . . . It is my hope that the Park Scholarships can provide a model of how we can better involve all talented undergraduates in the academic life of the university.” The Class of 2013 held their senior gala on May 10, 2013.

In January 2013, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi was named the Director of Diversity Programs & Faculty/Staff Diversity of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In this capacity, she launched the "Teaching about Diversity" lecture series and brought (among others) to campus, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus (UMBC): http://www.chass.ncsu.edu/about/diversity/message_director.php 

In spring 2014, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi was selected as a Carnegie ADF Scholar. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program “is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with Quinnipiac University, which chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. . . . This innovative Fellowship program facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. . . . The program goal is to facilitate equitable, effective and mutually beneficial international higher education engagements between scholars in Africa and African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States. Multifaceted, innovative projects are encouraged, attuned to the transformations taking place in contemporary systems of higher education within the landscape of internationalization.”

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is the author of Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference (Indiana University Press, 1997), Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon (Ohio University Press, 1999), The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba (Ohio University Press, 2008), Reflections: An Anthology of New Works by African Women Poets, edited with Anthonia Kalu and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013). She served as Co-Editor of a special double issue of Journal des Africanistes 80.1-2 (2010) on “Création littéraire et archives de la mémoire/Literary Creation and the Archives of Memory,” as Guest Editor of a special issue of The Global South 5.2 (2011) on “Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights in the Age of Globalization” and Guest Editor of a special supplement of Free Verse 22 (2012) on “Anglophone Cameroonian Poetry.”

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi. Her short story, “Woman of the Lake,” published in 2011, a story about the 1986 Lake Nyos disaster that devastated and wiped out entire communities in the North West Region of Cameroon was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She discusses her book The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba with Frank Stasio on NPR-WUNC's “The State of Things”. See her CV for more publications, invited lectures, fiction readings, conference presentations, university, state, national and international activities and engagements.

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is currently guest editing a special country issue of Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (Journal for Literature) 53.1 on Cameroon literature; co-editing a book of critical essays on "Representing African Americans in the African Imagination" with Dr. Cilas Kemedjio, Associate Professor of Francophone and French Studies and Director of the Frederick Douglas Institute at the University of Rochester, NY and working on a short fiction story about her experience of Hurricane Katrina while living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 2005. 

Education

  • PhD in Comparative Literature from McGill University, 1994
  • Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle in Negro-African Literature (African and African American Literatures) from University of Yaounde, 1987
  • Maitrise (MA) in Negro-African Literature from University of Yaounde, 1981
  • Licence es Lettres Biligues (BA) in Bilingual Letters in English and French from University of Yaounde, 1979
  • Diplome d'Etudes Fondamentales in Modern English Letters from University of Yaounde, 1978