Dr Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Picture of Dr Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Named Distinguished Professor


A graduate of the University of Yaounde, Cameroon (BA, MA, Doctorat) and McGill University, Canada (Ph.D.), Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, 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 Distinguished Visiting Woman 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.

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is currently the Assistant Dean for Diversity of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS). In January 2013, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi was named the Director of Diversity Programs & Faculty/Staff Diversity. In both capacities, she has, among other things, developed the "H&SS Diversity Lecture and Panel Discussion Series" and brought (among others) to campus, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus (UMBC); Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall, president of Bennett College, Dr. Robert Jones, president of the University at Albany. https://www.chass.ncsu.edu/about/diversity/ 

On April 9, 2016, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi was sworn in as the 42nd President of the African Literature Association (ALA). The ALA is an independent non-profit professional society open to scholars, teachers and writers from every country. It exists primarily to promote the study of African literature, African Arts and African culture; to facilitate the attempts of a worldwide audience to appreciate the efforts of African writers and artists. The ALA as an organization affirms the primacy of African people in shaping the future of African literature and actively supports the African peoples in their struggle for liberation. Its members belong to professional associations dedicated to the study of literature, visual arts, and culture around the world. The annual conference of the ALA routinely brings together delegates from Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia for scholaraly discussion of African literature and creative arts. http://africanlit.org/

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi was selected as a Carnegie African Diaspora Scholar in 2014 and in 2015 was awarded a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship to work with faculty and students at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa, on graduate students' research and co-curriculum development project in English Studies. "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. http://www.iie.org/Programs/Carnegie-African-Diaspora-Fellows-Program  

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.

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” and guest editor of a special country issue of Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (Journal for Literature) 53.1 (2016) on Cameroon literature. Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is currently co-editing a book of critical essays on "Representing African Americans in the African Imagination" with Dr. Cilas Kemedjio, Professor of Francophone and French Studies and Director of the Frederick Douglas Institute at the University of Rochester, NY.

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi. Her short story, “Woman of the Lake,” 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.



  • 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 Bilingues (BA) in Bilingual Letters in English and French from University of Yaounde, 1979
  • Diplome d'Etudes Fondamentales in Modern English and French Letters from University of Yaounde, 1978