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Wale Adebanwi was born in 1969. He is a Nigerian-born first Black Rhodes Professor at St Antony’s College, Oxford where he was, until June 2021, a Professor of Race Relations and a Governing Board Fellow. He is currently a Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Education background

Wale Adebanwi graduated with a first degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, and later earned his M.Sc and Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Ibadan. He also has MPhil and Ph.D in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Adebanwi worked as a freelance reporter, writer, journalist and editor for many newspapers and magazines before he joined the University of Ibadan, Department of Political Science as a lecturer and researcher. He was later appointed as an assistant professor in the African American and African Studies Department of the University of California, Davis, USA. He became a full professor at UC Davis in 2016.


His published works include:
  • Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning (University of Rochester Press, 2016)
  • Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Authority Stealing: Anti-corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria (Carolina Academic Press, 2012)

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In addition, he is the editor and co-editor of other books, including.
  • The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa: Beyond the Margins (James Currey Publishers, 2017)
  • Writers and Social Thought in Africa (Routledge, 2016) (co-edited with Ebenezer Obadare) 
  • Governance and the Crisis of Rule in Contemporary Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) (co-edited with Ebenezer Obadare) 
  • Democracy and Prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical Interpretations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). (co-edited with Ebenezer Obadare) 
  • Nigeria at Fifty: The Nation in Narration (Routledge, 2012) (co-edited with Ebenezer Obadare) 
  • Encountering the Nigerian State (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
Before joining the University of Pennsylvania, he was, at various times, an assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, the University of California, Davis, USA, and the University of Oxford, UK. He was the Rhodes Professor of Race Relations until June 2021, Director of the African Studies Center, Oxford (2017 and 2020) and a Governing Board Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was a Visiting Professor at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and he is currently an Honorary Research Associate at the African Studies Center, Oxford.
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The former Governor of Lagos state. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had this compliment with regards to Adebanwi’s elevation to Rhodes Professor:
“I congratulate you on your appointment to the prestigious Rhodes Professorship in Race Relations at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.” –Bola Tinubu, Former Lagos state Governor.
Adebanwi represents a new generation of Nigerian intellectuals who have refused to be slowed down by any obstacle. But are bold, courageous and with a knack for intellectual curiosity.

Reference Featured Image Source: THISDAYLIVE
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This article was first published on 9th June 2022 and updated on June 14th, 2022 at 2:46 pm


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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