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Nigerian Dramatist/Academic is Scholar-in-Residence at WIU

February 16, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Olu Obafemi (OH loo oh bah FEAH me), a noted dramatist, poet and academician from Nigeria, is visiting Western Illinois University as a Scholar-in-Residence Feb. 21-March 1.

During his stay he will make presentations to African American Studies and theatre classes as well as student organizations. The public is invited to Obafemi's 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28 presentation, "The Faculty at African Universities in the Age of Globalization: Postcolonialism and The Writer- Scholar in the Twenty-First Century Africa," in Morgan Hall 109.

Obafemi, who earned his doctorate at the University of Leeds in England, is a professor of English and dramatic arts at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. His published plays include “Scapegoats and Sacred Cows,” “Nights of a Mystical Beast,” “The New Dawn,” “Suicide Syndrome” and “Naira Has no Gender.” He is also the author of several poetic volumes, a novel and has contributed to two major works on world theatre: “Contemporary Dramatists” and “The Blackwell Companion to Twentieth Century Theater.” Some of his works are displayed in the African American Studies department in Morgan 232 and are available for public review.

"The African American Studies department, working with the Center for International Studies and others, is delighted to bring world-class scholars to engage our campus in important discussions about our global world,” said Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, chair of African American Studies. “The playwright-scholar Obafemi, a populist dramatist, represents much of what modern African, African American and African Diaspora dramatic traditions have been about, especially in the 20th century. We're happy to present a taste of the excellence of African American Studies to our campus and invite everyone to attend all of Obafemi's presentations through the 10 days he is on our campus."

Faculty and community members may contact the African American Studies office, 309/298-1181, to arrange discussions with Obafemi, Na’Allah added.

Cosponsors for Obafemi’s visit include the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts and Communication, Visiting Lectures Committee, Council on Student Activities Funds, Faculty Development and the departments of theatre, English and journalism, foreign languages and literatures.

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