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Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Distinguished Professor; Assistant Dean for Diversity

Department of English

Tompkins Hall 212

View CV 


Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is a Distinguished Professor in the English department and has served in many leadership positions. She is currently Assistant Dean for Diversity in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State. She is a Delegate to the UNC System Faculty Assembly and serves on the Modern Language Association (MLA) Executive Committee of the LLC (Languages, Literatures and Cultures) African since 1990 forum and the LLC’s Delegate Assembly.Her teaching areas include graduate and undergraduate courses in African literature, postcolonial literary and cultural studies, world literature, women’s and gender studies, as well as seminars on African War Narratives, Feminist Theory, Third World Feminisms, and Postcolonial Theory. She writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi.

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is faculty in the English department and has also served in many leadership positions. She is currently Assistant Dean for Diversity in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She served for six years from 2012-2018 on the Executive Council of the African Literature Association (ALA) during which she was elected Vice President; served as the 42nd President of the ALA and as Immediate Past President and 2018 ALA Conference Liaison. She was selected as a Carnegie African Diaspora Scholar in 2014 and in 2015 was awarded a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship to work with faculty and students at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa, on graduate students’ research and co-curriculum development project in English Studies. In 2009, Chancellor Randy Woodson appointed Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi a Park Faculty Scholar “to further develop the academic enhancement components of the [Park Scholarships] program, with a focus on working with Park Scholars, Class of 2013.”

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is the author of Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference (Indiana University Press, 1997), Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon (Ohio University Press, 1999), The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba (Ohio University Press, 2008), Reflections: An Anthology of New Works by African Women Poets, edited with Anthonia Kalu and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013). She served as Co-editor of a special double issue of Journal des Africanistes 80.1-2 (2010) on “Création littéraire et archives de la mémoire/Literary Creation and the Archives of Memory” and has served as Guest Editor of special journal issues: The Global South 5.2 (2011) on “Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights in the Age of Globalization”; Free Verse 22 (2012) on “Anglophone Cameroonian Poetry”; Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (Journal for Literature) 53.1 (2016) on “Cameroon Literature”; JALA: Journal of the African Literature Association 13.1 (2019) on “The Environments of African Literature”; JALA 14.2 (2020) on “Fragmented Nation or the Anglophone-Francophone Problem in Cameroon.”

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi. Her short story, “Woman of the Lake,” a story about the 1986 Lake Nyos disaster that devastated and wiped out entire communities in the North West Region of Cameroon was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She discusses her book The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba with Frank Stasio on NPR-WUNC’s “The State of Things”. See her CV for more publications, invited lectures, fiction readings, conference presentations, university, state, national and international activities and engagements.


Diplome d'Etudes Fondamentales Modern English and French Letters University of Yaounde 1978

Licence es Lettres Bilingues (BA) Bilingual Letters in English and French University of Yaounde 1979

Maitrise (MA) Negro-African Literature University of Yaounde 1981

Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle Negro-African Literature (African and African American Literatures) University of Yaounde 1987

Ph.D. Comparative Literature McGill University 1994