Sakiru Adebayo, PhD

Assistant Professor

English, English and Cultural Studies
Office: CCS 379

Research Summary

African Literature, The New African Diaspora, Postcolonial Studies, Black Studies, Migration Studies, Memory Studies, Melancholy Studies

Courses & Teaching

ENG 153: Readings in Narrative; ENG 291: African Literary Canon; ENG 391: Afropolitan Literature; ENG 491/CULT 490: Black Intellectual Traditions; ENG 522: Literature and Memory


Born in Ijebu Igbo, a town in Southwestern Nigeria, Sakiru moved to Ibadan to study at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university. He later moved to Johannesburg, South Africa for his Ph.D. at the University of the Witwatersrand. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER) for a year. He is very excited to be a part of the UBC community in the Okanagan Valley.


B.A. English, University of Ibadan; M.A. English, University of Ibadan; Ph.D. African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER)

Selected Publications & Presentations


Continuous Pasts: Frictions of Memory in Postcolonial Africa, University of Michigan Press, 2023. (Subject of an LSA book symposium, including 5 extended review essays and author response in Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry).


Complex Implication: Privilege, Positionality, and Racialized Immigration in Canada. Parallax 29.3 (2024).

The Memory Flaneur in Teju Cole’s Open City. (Postcolonial Text, Volume 18, Number 4 2023)

Remembering is Caring (Or: What is Complicitous Memory)? A book symposium essay on Mihaela Mihai’s Political Memories and the Aesthetics of Care: The Art of Complicity and Resistance. Forthcoming in Identities Global Studies in Culture and Power (2023).

The Pronouns of History: An Interview with Enzo Traverso. Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

Post-apartheid Melancholia: Navigating Loss and (be)Longing in South Africa. Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies, Volume 48, Issue 2.

The Anatomy of Oblivion in Jose Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion. Journal of African Literature Association, published online, February 18, 2022.

Living in a Permanent Wake: the Cinematic and Affective Prisms of Mourning in Zulu Love Letter. Accepted by the Journal of African Cinemas, forthcoming in January 2022.

Speaking About the Dead in the Present Tense: Half of a Yellow Sun as a Work of Postmemory. Research in African Literatures, Volume 52, Issue 2, 2021.

Unmournable Bodies, Embodied Monuments and Bodily Truths: Rethinking Reconciliation in Zulu Love Letter. SAFUNDI, Volume 21, Issue 4, 2020.

This Uprising Will Bring Out The Beast In Us: The Cultural Afterlife of ‘Beasts of No Nation’. Journal of African Studies, Volume 32, Issue 3, 2020.

The Black Soul is a White Man’s Artifact? Post-coloniality, Post-Fanonism and the Tenacity of Race(ism) in Igoni Barrett’s Blackass. African Studies, Volume 79, Issue 1, 2020.

Dis/ruptures of Home and Citizenship. Memory, Migration and Alternative Practices of Belonging in Dinaw Mengestu’s Children of the Revolution. Kairos: A Journal of Critical Symposium, Volume 4, No 1, 2019.

The Psychology of Oppression and Liberation in Mongane Serote’s To Every Birth its Blood. Journal of Pan African Studies 12.4: 231-248, 2018.

Book Reviews

A Review of Carnivalizing Reconciliation: Contemporary Australian and Canadian Literature and Film Beyond Victim Paradigm by Hanna Teichler. Memory Studies, Volume 15, Issue 4, 2022.

A Review of Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature: Memories and Futures Past by Chris Ouma. Research in African Literature Volume 51, Issue 2, 2021.

A Future and a Past Under Construction: A Review of These are the Things that Sit with Us. English in Africa 1.37, 2020.

Other Publications

The Diasporisation of African Literature. Literary Hub, December 18, 2023

Ayobami Adebayo’s new novel is a modern Nigerian tragedy about the rich and the poor. The Conversation. August 10, 2023.

The Nigerian Dream is to Leave Nigeria. An opinion piece published in Africa is a Country. March 1, 2021

Crazy Rich Nigerians. An opinion piece published in Africa is a Country. January 13, 2020.

Young Nigerian Demand a Different Kind of Freedom in The Conversation Africa, October 17, 2020.

Even Dogs Are Racist. October 10, 2021, Mail and Guardian.

Selected Grants & Awards

The Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC-IDG) Grant, $33,967, 2023.

Amilcar Cabral Prize, 2023

The Nigerian Prize for Literary Criticism, 2022

Hampton Fund Research Grant- New Faculty Grant, $9000 2022-2024

Public Humanities Hub-Okanagan Grant (co-applicants: Emily Murphy and Nikhita Obeegadoo), $ 6850, April 2023-December 2024

African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Award, 2021 (declined).

THINK (Transforming Humanities Through Interdisciplinary Knowledge) Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

African Literature Association (ALA), African Studies Association (ASA), Memory Studies Association (MSA)


The New African Diaspora Podcast (in this podcast series, I engage in conversations with five global African writers: Taiye Selasi, Dinaw Mengestu, Sefi Atta, Tope Folarin and Helon Habila)

I was interviewed by David Jeffress on my book, Continuous Pasts, for the Porch Series: A Public Humanities Project, hosted by the English and Cultural and Cultural Studies, UBCO, October 27, 2022.

Melancholy in the Time of Pandemic. WISER Podcast Series, Episode 2, September, 17, 2020.


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