Professional Address


Pius Adesanmi

Department of Comparative Literature

The Pennsylvania State University

311 Burrowes Building

University Park, PA 16802-6203





Educational Background


         B.A. French  (First Class Honours): University of Ilorin, Nigeria, October 1992


M.A. French (Distinction): University of Ibadan, Nigeria, February 1998


Ph.D. French Studies: University of British Columbia, Canada, May 2002





B.A.: “L’Emancipation de l’homme noir à travers Pigments de Léon-Gontran Damas et Coups de Pilon de David Diop.” (Ilorin, 1992)


M.A.: “De l’être-objet à l’être-agissant: la revalorisation de la femme à travers trois ouvrages de Calixthe Beyala.” (Ibadan, 1998)


Ph.D.: “Constructions of Subalternity in African Women’s Writing in French.” (UBC, 2002)






Research interests  Professional Awards  Special Appointments  Professional Appointments Publications


      Works in Progress








Member, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)


Member, African Literature Association (ALA)


Member, American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)


Member, The International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA)





International Symposium on Youth, Street Culture and Urban Violence in Africa, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, May 1997.


The Time of the Writer: Writers and Commitment, Centre for Creative Arts,

University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, March 1998. Chaired a panel on “Literature and Exile”


International Symposium on Literature, Ideology and Society, University of Ibadan, May 1996. Paper presented: “Alienation, Parisian Black Beurs and the Literature of Urgency.”


The International Comparative Literature Association’s 2000 Congress, Pretoria, South Africa, August 13 – 19, 2000. Presented a paper entitled: “In the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower: Ethnospatial Politics in Francophone African Fiction.”


The Society for Postcolonial Francophone Studies: “Postcolonialism and the French-Speaking World”. London, England, November 27-29, 2002. Paper Presented: “Of Postcolonial Entaglement and Durée: Reflections on the Francophone African Novel.”


American Comparative Literature Association, San Diego, California, April 4-6, 2003. Paper presented: “Still on Postcoloniality and the African Condition: Reflections.”




Talks, Symposia


“Africa, India and the Postcolonial: Notes Toward a Praxis of Infliction”. Presented at the Africana Research Centre’s Brown Bag Series, Penn State, November 2003.


“The More the Merrier: Polygamy, Agency, and African Feminist Discourses”. Presented at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities Series, Penn State, November 2003.


“Edward Said and African Studies”. Presented at the inter-departmental  memorial symposium organised by Professor Djelal Kadir, November 2003.


“The Politics of J..M. Coetzee’s Nobel Prize in South Africa”. Presented at the Comparative Literature Launcheon (Nobel Series). December 2003.


“Some Thoughts on Women’s Internationalism and the African Female Novel”. Presented at the Comparative Literature interdepartmental symposium on Third World feminisms, January 2004.



Departmental Committee Membership


            Undergraduate committee, Fall 2002 ----

            Awards committee, Fall 2002 ----





Membership of Graduate Students’ Dissertation Committees


            Aaron Rosenberg, Comparative Literature

            Njeri Githire, Comparative Literature

            Sau Lugano, Comparative Literature

            Khadidiatou Gueye, Comparative Literature

            Chaunda McDavis, English

Wandia Njoya, French

            Christian Hommel, French



Graduate Student Mentoring/Advising


            Irene Robles Huerta, Spring 2003

            Kerith Edwards, Spring 2003

            Steve Thomas, Fall 2003


Invited Class Visits


CMLIT 501: Comparative Method in Literary Studies. Professor Cary Eckhardt’s graduate seminar. Gave a talk on the theoretical intersections of African literatures and literatures of the global south. Fall 2002 and Fall 2003


SPAN/FRENCH/LALS/AAAS 597D: Creoles. Professor John Lipski’s graduate seminar on creoles. Gave a talk on the sociology/literary uses of Nigerian pidgin English. Spring 2003


French 523: African Novel of French Expression. Professor Tom Hale’s graduate seminar in the French Department. Gave a talk on Francophone African women writers. Fall 2003


Linguistics 447: Bilingualism. Professor Jacqueline Toribio’s seminar in the Spanish Department. Gave a talk on the sociology/literary uses of Nigerian pidgin. Spring 2003






Course Designed


Thea497/CMLIT 422/CMLIT523: Traditional African Roots of Modern African and Diasporic Theatre. An interdisciplinary seminar co-designed with Professor Charles Dumas. (Forthcoming Spring 2005)




Other Professional Activities


Organised Ken Wiwa’s visit to Penn State, Spring 2003.


Organised an interdepartmental symposium on Third World feminisms, Spring 2004.


Organised the Penn State visit of Professor Chris Dunton


Read and reviewed manuscript for Africa Today, a peer reviewed scholarly journal






Global Fund conference travel grant of the College of the Liberal Arts, October 2002


An IAH research grant for my current book project , April 2003


RGSO research grant for current book project, May 2003


IAH team teaching grant for THEA 497/CMLIT422/CMLIT 523, October 2003