In the field of African literature and cinema studies, Maureen Eke (pictured) leads the way.
The CMU English language and literature professor serves as president of the African Literature Association, a scholarly organization for writers, professors, graduate students, and scholars of African literature, cinema, and African diaspora studies.
Eke has been part of this international association since 1985 and has served in other leadership positions, including membership on the human rights committee.
In addition to her teaching at CMU, Eke conducts research on post-apartheid South African literature and film. She’s editing chapters and contributing to a book about African playwright Tess Onwueme and has other projects awaiting her attention.
Eke, who grew up in Nigeria, says more focus must be given to the history and literature of her native continent.
“Much attention is not paid to the continent in general unless there is a crisis,” she says. “The subject of Africa is always at the margins – in the periphery of any conversation.”
Through her research and leadership, Eke is working to change that.