James Yeku received his PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018, joining the University of Kansas a year later as an assistant professor of African digital humanities in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. James studies the digital expressions of the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora and focuses on the African articulations of the digital cultural record. His research also explores interdisciplinary areas such as cultural studies, social media in Africa, as well as visual culture in Nigeria.
James’s journal article “Akpos Don Come Again: Nigerian Cyberpop Hero as Trickster” won the 2017 Abioseh Porter Best Essay Award of the African Literature Association. In addition to several book chapters, James has published his work in the Journal of African Cultural Studies, African Studies Quarterly, as well as in Research in African Literatures. James is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of African Cultural Studies. James was a research assistant for Allison Muri’s The Grub Street Project, a digital project that visualizes the literary and cultural history of London.
His current project is Digital Nollywood, a web-based archive of Nollywood film posters. He is the author of the forthcoming book Social media, Popular culture, and Performance in Nigeria, which highlights the ways in which Nigerian social media users organize political humour around online visual culture as performative practices of disrupting state power. Before arriving at KU, James taught Use of English at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, as well as English and composition at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada where he was a teacher-doctoral fellow in 2017.