I obsessively work on multiple projects, simultaneously bouncing back and forth between creative genres. My B.A. from Lafayette College was in Engineering Studies and English; at the University of Miami, I completed my Ph.D. in English Literature. My research interests lie in African & African Diaspora literature written in Swahili, English, and French. My current scholarly manuscript is titled “Writing Land, Righting Land: Literary Interventions in East African Property Rights.”
At the University of Miami I taught courses in First Year Composition for STEM majors, World Literature, and American Literature since 1865. I also taught a class on metropolitan Africa, “Consuming African Cities," as part of Duke University's Thompson Writing Program. My current intellectual home is the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I design courses in African literature, 20th century fiction, short stories, and Caribbean writers. A significant proportion of the reading and writing I do alongside my students is cross-genre, and re-invents communication technologies in unexpected ways. I'm delving into a new area of scholarship, African Digital Humanities, to serve as a resource for practitioners in the field. I'm also experimenting with creative nonfiction/memoir. Often times, however, I encounter ideas that are best communicated in the form of images, hence my deep commitment to photography, which can be viewed at nmuchiri.com.
Selected Publications and Projects
Papers and Articles
“'No Acts of Violence Are Alien to Me:' Author Interview with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.” African Literature Today:38. July 2020.
“From Grace Ogot to Yvonne Owuor: Fifty Years of Depicting Kenyan Lands & Landscapes.” African Literature Today, Nov. 2019.
“Depictions of Kenyan Lands & Landscapes by Four Women Writers.” Routledge Handbook of African Literature. New York: Routledge, 2019. 244-257.
“‘To Revolutionary Type Love’: Interview with Kawira Mwirichia & 6 Photographers.” African Literature Today Special Issue: Queer Theory in African Film & Fiction. 2018. 38-51.
“‘A Nation of One's Own’: Fictional Indictment of Cannibalistic African States.” African Dictator Fictions. Ed. Gichingiri Ngiririgi. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2014. 221-233.
“Performance: Popular Culture as the People’s Intervention in Dictatorial Regimes.” Dany Laferrière: Essays on His Works. Guernica Editions, 2013.
“Gender and Land Rights.” Encyclopedia of World Poverty. Eds. Mehmet Odekon & J. F Geoffrey Golson. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2015.
“Kenya.” Encyclopedia of World Poverty. Eds. Mehmet Odekon & J. F Geoffrey Golson. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2015.
“Review of Germans on the Kenyan Coast: Land, Charity, and Romance by Nina Berman.” Research in African Literatures. 50. 2. 2019. 265-267.
Review of Ngugi, Mukoma Wa, The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity, and Ownership.” H-Africa, H-Net Reviews. 2019.
“Humor in the Caribbean Literary Canon.” Review Essay. Sam Vasquez, Humor in the Caribbean Literary Canon. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 17.5 (2015) 769-770.
“Ode to the Wanderlust.” Language in Contemporary African Cultures & Societies. Eds. Leonard Muaka & Esther M. Lisanza. New York: Lexington Books, 2019. 215-225. Print.
“Postcolonial Infrastructure: Built Environments & The African City,” Lagos Studies Association, Lagos, Nigeria. June 2021
“Writing and Publishing in African Digital Humanities,” Princeton African Humanities Colloquium (PAHC), Princeton, NJ. Nov 6, 2020.
“Poetic Fiction & the Depictions of East African Environmental Violence,” Modern Languages Association, New York City, NY. January 2018.
“Land Rights, Human Rights, & Yvonne Owuor’s Construction of Environmental Justice,” African Studies Association, Chicago, IL. November 2017.
“A Quest Called Home: Movement of Bodies & Words in Mukoma wa Ngugi’s Nairobi,” Modern Languages Association, Philadelphia, PA. January 2017.
“The 1962 Makerere Writers’ Conference & the De-centering of Cultural Production: From Colonial Exhibitions to Black and African Cultural Festivals,” Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. October 2016.
“Imaging & Writing the (C21st) African Urban Self,” South East African Literatures & Languages Forum, Winston-Salem State University, Winston- Salem, NC. September 2016.
“Molue Aesthetics & the Performance of Cultural Citizenship,” LAGOS: From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond) - A Conference on Space, Society, and the Imagination of an African Crossroad, Barnard College, NY. May 2016.
“Land Rights as Social Justice in Colonial East Africa,” African Literature Association, Atlanta, GA. April 2016.
“Violence & Colonial Transformation of African Landscapes.” African Studies Association, November 2013.
“Migration, Settler Mentality & (Hu)Man Transformation of African Landscapes.” Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment, June 2013.
“Natural Leitmotif: Land as a Symbol in East Africa’s Socio-Political Movements.” UT-Austin African Conference by Dr. Toyin Falola, March 2013.
“‘Sibling Rivalry’: Law & Literature as Competing Paths to African Liberation.” African Literature Association, March 2013.
“Women’s Relationship to Property: Pre-Colonial Great Lakes Region.” African Studies Association, November 2012.
“Human Rights Discourse & Contemporary Congolese Literature.” African Literature Association, April 2012.
“Trauma & the Hybrid Self in Johnny Mad Dog & La Vie et Demie.” International Society for African Philosophy & Studies, April 2011.
“Shailja Patel’s Poetry on Stage: Reincarnation of 21st Century African Activism.” African Theatre Association, July 2010.
Honors and Awards
- College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. Mar. 2020
- College of Arts and Sciences ENHANCE Award for Ardhi Initiative
- Africana Digital Humanities project. Oct 2019, $5,000. PI.
- College of Arts and Sciences Honors Faculty of the Year, 2019
- Research Proposal Development Fellow for NEH grant writing. UNL Office of Proposal Development. 2017-2018. PI.
- College of Arts and Sciences International Research Collaborations Award for Ghanaian Open-Air Markets as Performative Soundscapes. May 2017, $6,700. PI.
- Honorable Mention, Benstock Dissertation Prize, University of Miami 2016
- Center for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship, University of Miami 2014
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship, University of Miami 2009-2014
- University of Miami Graduate Student Association Merit Scholarship, May 2013
- “Best Graduate Student Paper” African Literature Association, Mar. 2013
- $1,800 English Department Research grant, Dec. 2012-Jan. 2013
- English Department Composition Fellowship, 2012-2013
- Gilbert Prize in English, Lafayette College, 2008