Peter Ukpokodu

Primary office:
Bailey Hall, Rm 9

Dr. Peter Ukpokodu, a graduate of the Universities of Ibadan and Kansas, is a professor in African-American Studies, and a courtesy professor of Theatre and Film.

He lectures on African and African-American Theatre, African film, and African culture (especially traditional religion and thought), among others. He has had teaching experiences at the University of Benin and the Bida College of Technology.

He is the co-editor of African Literatures at the Millennium and the author of African Political Plays; It Happened to the Blind Beggar, and Socio-Political Theatre in Nigeria. His extensive publications have appeared in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism; Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; Harvard Journal of African-American Public Policy; The Literary Griot; L'Annuaire Theatral; South African Theatre Journal; The Theatre Annual; TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies; The African-American Encyclopedia; Survey of Social Science: Sociology;Ready Reference: Ethics; Black Drama; American Historical Review; Theatre Survey; Journal of Asian and African Studies; and Theatre Research International, among others. He has directed such plays as Sizwe Bansi is Dead; The Island; Eshu and the Vagabond Minstrels; Oedipus Rex and Waiting for Godot, among others, and has acted in some plays and in the television production of Traditions (KSHBTV41). He is currently working on a book manuscript on the history of African theatre.

Dr. Ukpokodu has received grants to support student scholarships from the Educational Opportunity Fund, has acted as consultant to or co-writer of Federal Department of Education grants, Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad, and the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, and has secured funding for the Marwa Africana Lecture Series, among others. He serves as an editorial board member, as a consultant and reviewer for publishing companies, and has served as advisory board member of the Lied Performing Arts Center of Kansas, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka Annual Festival, African Traditional Peoples Institute, and the David-Wright Institute for African Studies. A past president of the Mid-America Alliance for African Studies, the co-convener of the millennial conference of the African Literature Association, and the founding parliamentarian of the Kansas chapter of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Dr. Ukpokodu is the recipient of the W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence; the "Excellence in Teaching" Award of the Center for Teaching Excellence; the Golden Poet Award of World of Poetry; the "APA Award of Merit", among others. He is a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research, American Society for Theatre Research, African Studies Association, African Literature Association, Mid-America Alliance for African Studies, Mid-America Theatre Conference, National Association for African-American Studies, Phi Beta Delta (Honor Society for International Scholars), Black Theatre Network, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. He is an invited member of the Oxford Round Table, Oxford University, Great Britian.

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KU announces first Diversity Leadership Awards
Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Langston Hughes Center received a $180,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a June 2017 summer institute for high school teachers, entitled "Teaching the 'Long Hot Summer' of 1967 and Beyond."  The project will be led by Shawn Alexander, Clarence Lang, and John Rury.

Teresa Leslie-Canty, AAAS Lecturer and a Topeka High School teacher, nominated by her students in February, won a free Nissan Versa Tuesday night as the KSNT News and Capital City Nissan of Topeka “Teacher of the Year”. Teresa Leslie-Canty was previously the February “Teacher of the Month” after being nominated by 13 of her students.

Professor Jessica Gerschultz has been awarded the prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year. The Fellowship is for her book project, Decorative Arts of the Tunisian Ecole: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Class in Tunisia (1948-1972).

African and African-American studies professor Professor Beverly Mack wins inaugural engaged scholarship award

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Professor Dorthy Pennington was inducted into the Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame (April 2015)

Student Spotlight

Second year AAAS MA student, Caroline Kastor is also a professional athlete.  This summer Caroline, former KU soccer standout, signed with FC Kansas City and topped off her rookie season by helping lead the organization to their second straight National Women’s Soccer League championship on October 1, 2015.

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