Nigerian US Professor Tejumola Olaniyan in sudden death

November 30, 2019
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Professor Tejumola Olaniyan: sudden death in US

Tejumola Olaniyan, one of the most brilliant and accomplished Professors of English and African Literatures in America died suddenly Saturday afternoon at his home in Madison.

He died of sudden heart failure.

He was about to set out for a trip to Europe for a conference, when he was found in his room, dead.

He turned 60 on 3 April this year.

He was the Louis Durham Mead Professor in English and the Wole Soyinka Humanities Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

His works include: ”Scars of Conquest/ Masks of Resistance; ”Arrest the Music: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics”; (co-edited with Ato Quayson) ”African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory; (co-edited with John Conteh-Morgan) ”African Drama and Performance”; (co-edited with James H. Sweet) ”African Diaspora and the Discipline”, (co-edited with Peter Limb) ”Taking African Cartoons Seriously: Politics, Satire and Culture”; and edited ”State and Culture in Post-colonial Africa.” He was until his death editor of ‘Journal of the African Literature Association’. Professor Tejumola Olaniyan was putting finishing touches to his magisterial book on African cartoons.

He has produced many successful scholars. He was well-loved by many of his students for his rigour and his kindness. Indeed, Professor Olaniyan hosted many of them at the last Thanksgiving holiday.

Between 7 and 10 August this year, he was one of the arrowheads of a celebration of Wole Soyinka in Akure by The Fagunwa Study Group.

He is survived by his wife, Mojisola Olaniyan, who is the assistant dean and director, Academic Enhancement at University of Wisconsin, Madison Law School and children Bolajoko and Olabimpe.

Professor Olaniyan earned his BA, MA in Ife, MA and PhD in Cornell University.

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