African Literature, South Asian Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Postcolonial Theory, Queer Theory, Transnational Literature, African Diasporic Literature, Cultural Studies


MA, Linguistics, University of Texas at El Paso, 2006
PhD, English, Texas Tech University, May 2019.


“Sublimations and Shadows: Sexual Politics of Ibadan Modernism in Black Orpheus.Research in African Literatures, 52(4). December 2021. In Press.

“Queer Temporalities and Epistemologies of Jude Dibia’s Walking with Shadows and Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees.” African Literature Today 36: Queer Theory in Film & Fiction. November 2018.

“Making the Invisible Visible: Privilege, Shame, and Guilt in Midnight’s Children.” South Asian Review. 35(1). pp 169-187. 2014. Print.

Blog Posts


    My book project, Sex, Gender, and the Making of Postcolonial African Literature is concerned with the continuous deployment of sex and gender in the making of contemporary West African literature from the emergence of modernist writing to the present-day emergence of LGBTQIA literature. This work is especially concerned with how discourses of heterocolonial modernity have constrained the conditions of emergence for literature by women and other sexual and gender minorities at the national and international levels. The book begins with a look at the sex and gender politics of the Mbari movement, a modernist literary counterpublic of 1960s Nigeria, out of which emerged some of the greatest names in a generation of African writing, including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Flora Nwapa, and Ama Ata Aidoo. I argue that this avant-gardist movement facilitated the development of a national-masculine tradition of letters in West Africa in which women writers were sidelined while male writers used their creative works to produce masculinist visions of female realities in which male allyship, solidarity, and/or sympathy are centered. Similarly, I show how—contemporaneous to Mbari—men and women writers figure the homosexual body as a public signifier in the struggle over historical meaning. The book goes on to assess the emergence of twenty-first century LGBTQIA discourses and queer literature in West Africa in relation to indigenous sexualities, twentieth century anthropological discourses, and recent African anti-homosexuality legislation.

    Kerry Manzo

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