Artists 2019

Artists 2019

  • Abdo, Diya

    • Diya Abdo
    • English Department, Guilford College
    • Abstract Title: Every Campus A Refuge: Reimagining the University in a Time of Crisis

    Abstract:Inspired by Pope Francis’ call on every European parish to host one refugee family, Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) advocates for mobilizing campus resources to temporarily house refugees on campus grounds and assist them in resettlement in the local area. Thus far, Guilford College, where the initiative first began, has hosted and assisted in resettling 42 refugees (23 of them children) from the Middle East and Africa. Under this program, each refugee family is temporarily housed (for an average of 5 months) in available campus houses or apartments and is provided with free rent, utilities, Wi-Fi, use of college facilities and resources, as well as a large community of support in the form of the college campus and its friends. The daily work of hosting and assisting in resettlement is done by trained college and community volunteers. The initiative has been adopted by several other colleges and universities nationwide that have collectively hosted over 80 refugees. At Guilford College, a refugee studies minor anchored by ECAR piloted in 2017. The minor curricularizes the educational and experiential components of the initiative and draws students and faculty into the interdisciplinary exploration of forced migration and refugee resettlement while supporting the work of ECAR.


    Bio: Diya Abdo is Associate Professor of English at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. Her teaching, research and scholarship focus on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms. She has also published poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction; her public essays focus on the intersection of gender, political identity, and vocation. A first-generation Palestinian born and raised in Jordan, she is the founder and director of Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR), an initiative which advocates for housing refugees on campus grounds and assisting them in resettlement. Guilford College, now one of several ECAR campuses, has hosted 42 refugees so far – 23 of them children – from Syria, Iraq, Uganda, and the DRC. For her work on ECAR, Dr. Abdo was named a finalist in the Arab Hope Makers Award (2018) and has received service learning and civic engagement in higher education awards. She has been making presentations about ECAR far and wide, including at the United Nations.

  • Adesanya-Olaleye, Tosin

    • Tosin Adesanya-Olaleye
    • Artist
  • Aguilar, Itzel Corona

    • Itzel Corona Aguilar
    • Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

    Bio: Itzel Corona Aguilar is a Ph.D. candidate in Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Her research interests focus on (im)migration, detention/incarceration, queer temporalities, and transnational productions of citizenship. Her work engages with Chicanx feminist thought, prison abolition studies, and religious studies.

  • Aziz, Amir Mohamed

    • Amir Mohamed Aziz
    • Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

    Bio: A. Mohamed Aziz is a writer, poet, activist, and doctoral student at the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University—New Brunswick. 

  • Bámgbóṣé, Gabriel

    • Gabriel Bámgbóṣé
    • Program in Comparative Literature, Rutgers University
    • Abstract Title: The Self in Poetic Language: Poetics of Hapticality in Abena Busia’s Traces of a Life

    Abstract:How does poetic language propel the imagination of writing oneself as traces that dis/appear in the lives of others? I grapple with this question to examine the relationship between self writing and poetic language in Abena Busia’s Traces of a Life: A Collection of Elegies and Praise Poems. The poetry collection beautifully weaves together portraits of many lives encountered through the lived experience of movement across borders. I want to specifically ask: What does it mean to write about oneself without authorizing oneself? Why is it that the un/conscious desire to de-authorize oneself is central to this poetic work whose title promises the vision of “a life”? And how does this de-authorization of oneself open up the self to others in haptical relationality? In this presentation, I will argue that the poetics of hapticality generates the modality through which the self in figured and refigured through others in Busia’s poetic language. I will read the striking figuration of “the hand” of the self as a metaphoric trope that reaches to and for others. I will also make an analytic move that imagines the figure of the hand as the writing hand that extends its touch to re/claim other histories and other subjectivities. Through poetic language, writing becomes an act of touching others as a radical poetics of hapticality that imagines the ethics of intersubjective understanding in the world of movement.


    Bio: Gabriel Bámgbóṣé is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, New Jersey. He taught in the Department of English at Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria. He also taught Yorùbá as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) in Africana Studies Program at New York University, New York. His interests in scholarship include African literature, folklore, and popular culture; African women's poetry; feminist, postcolonial, and decolonial thoughts. Bámgbóṣé is also a poet and the founding editor of Ijagun Poetry Journal. His work has appeared in Comparative Literature and CultureContemporary HumanitiesThe African SymposiumFootmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s NationhoodAke ReviewThe Criterion, and Journal of Social and Cultural Analysis among others. He is the author of the poetry collection, Something Happened After the Rain.

  • Gbogi, Tosin

    • Tosin Gbogi
    • Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics, Tulane University
    • Abstract Title: Postcolonial Resistance, Transethnic Vernaculars, and New Youth Identities in African Hip Hop Cultures

    Abstract: A remarkable feature of hip hop cultures in Africa is their symbolic engagement with the “connective marginalities” (Osumare 2001, 2007 & 2012) of the youth on the continent. Equally remarkable is their decolonial project which overthrows the hierarchy of languages and the strategic fashioning of ethnic identities engendered by colonialism. Importantly, not only do African hip hop artists trouble and resist essentialized ethnic and linguistic identities that have for long defined the post-colonial contours of the continent, they also gesture to reimagine, transcend, and reinvent the almost fixed geographies of these identities through the invention and/or intensification of new transethnic “resistance vernaculars” (Potter 1995). Focusing on four sub-Saharan African contexts (Nigeria, Kenya, Gabon, and South Africa), I sketch in this presentation a preliminary outline of this counter-discursive enactment of postcolonial resistance in African hip hop cultures. I specifically ask: how does African hip hop language and discourse rework and/or postpone the colonial iterations of the African postcolony?  


    Bio: Tosin Gbogi received a BA in English Studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria and an MA in English Literature from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. His essays on African literature and African hip hop cultures have appeared in Matatu: Journal of African Culture and SocietyIbadan: Journal of English Studies, and Pragmatics. Gbogi was a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholar at Tulane University, New Orleans, where he is also currently finishing up his doctoral studies in the Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics. He is the author of two collections of poetry, the tongues of a shattered s-k-y (2012) and locomotifs and other songs(2018).

  • Haynie, Alexis

    • Alexis Haynie
    • Department of English, Rutgers University

    Bio: Alexis Haynie is a writer, lover, and third year PhD student at Rutgers University, living her life as an ode to black girls, women, and transfolk. Her work is rooted in truth-telling and black joy and her academic interests include black girlhood studies, black feminist theory, and the physics of blackness.

  • Labbouz, Etienne

    • Etienne Labbouz
    • Department of French, Rutgers University

    Bio: Etienne Labbouz is a PhD candidate in French at Rutgers University. His interests revolve around cinema, music and literature to the point that he is also a filmmaker concerned about meshing these arts together. He is currently working on an experimental film-poem, whose poem he will recite, and a documentary on the industry of fun in Florida.

  • Magano, Thato

    • Thato Magano
    • Program in Comparative Literature, Rutgers University

    Bio: Thato Magano is a doctoral student in the Program in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. He holds an MA African Literature from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He writes fiction and poetry, his work appearing in Queer Africa 2: New Stories, Long Live the Short StoryContemporary&Ufahamu: Journal of African Studies and Gentle Dust, among others. 

  • Msimang, Sisonke

    • Sisonke Msimang
    • South African Writer

    Bio: Sisonke Msimang is a South African political and cultural commentator, essayist, memoirist, and journalist whose work focuses on race, gender, and democracy. She is the author of Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Homeand The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela: A Biography of Survival.  She has worked as the executive director of the Open Society Initiative for South Africa and the Sonke Gender Justice Network.  Msimang’s wide-ranging writing has appeared across a number of international publications, including the New York Times, Mail & Guardian, Washington Post, Guardian, Newsweek, Al Jazeera, Daily Maverick, and Africa is a Country.

  • Price, Jacob G

    • Jacob G Price
    • Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers University

    Bio: Jacob G Price is a native of the Pacific Northwest and is a poet, scholar, and outdoors-enthusiast. His poetry has been published in Jazz Cigarette, Zaum, Ecozon@, and other journals. His poetry is inspired by notions of space and how space is used and organized, often resulting in ecopoetry that examines the porous boundary between humans and nature. Price is a PhD candidate of literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese here at Rutgers. His interests include Ecocriticism, Poetry, Short Narrative and Folklore of Central America and the Caribbean. 

  • The Collective

    • The Collective
    • Rutgers Undergraduate Students

    Bio: Nyuma Waggeh, Ala Jitan, Hyo-Won Nakashio, and Ahmed Butt are a collective of students of the arts, literature, history, and story-telling. Influenced by classical African, Middle-Eastern, and South Asian song, instrument, and poetry, they combine their own contemporary sound to tell the story of what it means to find home, breaking down the borders between disillusionment and diaspora.

  • Yacoubou, Tadjou-N’Dine Mamadou

    • Tadjou-N’Dine Mamadou Yacoubou
    • Department of Linguistics, Rutgers University

    Bio: Tadjou-N’Dine Mamadou Yacoubou is a PhD student in the Rutgers Department of Linguistics. He is primarily interested in the abstract representation and processes of natural language sounds (Phonology) and their physical realization (Phonetics). More specifically, he studies the prosody (tones, stress, intonation) of West African languages, including but not limited to Yoruba (and derived dialects), Baatonum, Fongbe, Dendi and Zarma. In fact, he is currently working on the interaction of narrow focus with the different levels of the prosodic hierarchy, along with its phonetic cues in Zarma. The study was built on a fieldwork he conducted in summer 2018 in Niger and supported by the Center for African Studies’ Graduate Enhancement Grant. His near future project consists of building a computational model for autosegmental (tone) representations. When he is not figuring out the prosody of natural languages, Dine enjoys writing poetry, spoken words, and playing soccer.