Fúnṣọ́ Aiyéjínà is professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago where he served as the Dean of Humanities and Education. He is a poet, short story writer, and playwright. His collection of short fiction, The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories, won the 2000 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (Africa). He also won the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize in 1989 for his first book of poetry, A Letter to Lynda and Other Poems (1988). Professor Aiyejina’s poetry and short stories have been published in many international journals and anthologies including The Anchor Book of African Stories, Literature Without Borders, Kiss and Quarrel: Yorùbá/English – Strategies for Mediation, The New African Poetry, and The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry. His stories and plays have been read and dramatized on the radio in Nigeria and England. Professor Aiyejina is a widely published critic on African and West Indian literature and culture.

Michele Reid-Vazquez is assistant professor in the Department of African Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Her research and teaching focus on the African Diaspora in the Atlantic World History, with an emphasis on late eighteenth to early twentieth-century, particularly the comparative Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Trinidad), the African Diaspora in Latin America, race and gender relations, immigration and identity during the age of revolution. She is author of The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. Her on-going project on Caribbean Crossings: Comparative Black Emigration and Freedom in the Age of Revolution explores the ways in which the American, Haitian, and Spanish American revolutions sparked multiple black emigration movements.

João José Reis is Professor of History at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil. He received his PhD in History from the University of Minnesota. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Princeton, Brandeis, Texas (Austin), and Harvard. He has also been a research fellow at the University of London, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), and the National Humanities Center.

Reis’ books in English include Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The 1835 Muslim Revolt in Bahia (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), Death is a Festival: Funeral Rites and Rebellion in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (North Carolina, 2003), and Divining Slavery: An African Priest in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and Alufaa Rufino, a Muslim African in the Black Atlantic (c. 1822 – c. 1853) (Oxford U. Press, forthcoming 2016- 17), co-authored with Flavio Gomes and Marcus Carvalho. Professor Reis is currently working on his third biography of an African who lived in Bahia as a slave and then a freedman.

Robert Simon is associate professor of Portuguese and Spanish at Kennesaw State University where he currently serves as the coordinator of the Department of Foreign Languages Portuguese Program. He has earned academic degrees and certificates in the United States, Spain, and Portugal. He has taught both Spanish and Portuguese languages, and has investigated the presence of surrealism, mysticism, and postmodernism, the un-centered subject, and the notion of the paradigm shift through literary and cultural manifestations vis-à-vis Contemporary Iberian poetry. Dr. Simon has written on themes of nationality in the Post-colonial context of Luso-African literatures (African literatures in Portuguese language), particularly Contemporary Angolan poetry, as well as on the presence of the Postcolonial voice in Iberian poetics. His own original poetry, composed in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, elaborates on the themes of love, travel, and self-imposed barriers to interpersonal relationships and communication. His academic publications include Understanding the Portuguese Poet Joaquin Pessoa, 1942-2007: A Study in Iberian Cultural Hybridity.

George Àlàó is in the Africa Department of the French National Institut for Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO), Paris, France and a member of the French Research team Equipe d’Accueil (EA 4514 PLIDAM) Pluralité des Langues et des Identités: Didactique, Acquisition, Médiations. He holds a doctoral degree in the area of comparative African literature from Université Rennes 2 – Haute Bretagne in France and is presently teaching Yorùbá language and culture at INALCO in Paris. Dr Alao’s current research interests include second language acquisition, multilingualism and multiculturalism, media and pedagogy, and contemporary Yorùbá diaspora.

Tunde Ajiboye is professor in the Department of French, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He had his first degree from University of Ibadan where he was awarded a First Class (Honors) in French in 1974. He subsequently went for a doctorate at Université de Nancy II, Nancy, France where he had a doctorat de 3e cycle in linguistique appliquée in1978. He started his university teaching career at Obafemi Awolowo University (then University of Ife), Ile –Ife, Nigeria in 1976 as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Foreign Languages. He later moved in 1986 to the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria where he became Professor of French in October1990. Professor Ajiboye has published a long list of books and journal articles. His research interests in peace studies include the nexus between language, communication and conflict. He teaches Language and Communication at the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies.

Karin Barber is emeritus professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Center for West African Studies, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. She is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of Yorùbá oral and written literature, Yorùbá religious ideas and practices, and Yorùbá popular traveling theater. Her principal research interests are the sociology of literature and popular culture, with special reference to the Yorùbá-speaking people of Nigeria. Dr Barber has published widely in the field of Yorùbá, oral literature, and popular culture. Her book I Could Speak Until Tomorrow: Oriki, Women and the Past in a Yorùbá Town (1991), which won the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology, awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute, has been hailed as ‘truly innovative.’ She is also the author of The Generation of Plays: Yorùbá Popular life in Theatre (2000), which won the international Herskovits Award for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English. Among Dr Barber’s other books are Yorùbá Popular Theatre: Three Plays by the Oyin Adejobi Company (1994) and The Anthropology of Texts, Persons, and Publics: Oral and Written Culture in Africa and Beyond (2007). She is also the editor of West African Popular Theatre, (1997), Africa’s Hidden Histories: Everyday Literacy and Making the Self (2006), Print Culture and the First Yorùbá Novel: I. B Thomas’ ‘Life Story of Me, Segilola’ and Other Texts (2012), and Africa, the journal of the International African Institute.

Akínbíyì Akinlabí is professor of Linguistics at the Rutgers University and President, World Congress of African Linguistics. His research interest areas include phonology (Phonology — tone, harmony, prosodic structure, underspecification theory); morphology (phonology interaction, prosodic morphology); Optimality Theory; and West African Linguistics, especially of Benue-Congo languages. He is the author of Yorùbá: A Phonological Grammar and editor of Theoretical Approaches to African Linguistics. His other publications have appeared in such professional journals as Linguistic Inquiry, Lingua, Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Studies in African Linguistics, Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and the Journal of West African Languages, among others.


  • Toyin Falola, Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Akintunde Akinyemi, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Arinpe Adejumo, Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Nigeria