Reposted from Villanova's English Department Blog.
Dr. Chiji Akoma has been named one of the recipients of the 2013 Faculty Development Grant. The grant will fund his trip to Nigeria to do archival work at the Nigerian Television Authority headquarters library in Abuja in the summer of 2014. Dr. Akoma is conducting research for a monograph on the development of popular theater in south eastern Nigeria, using as his primary source the television show Icheoku, which ran on both regional and national networks in the 1980’s up to mid-1990’s. The show is set in the late 19th century colonial era and features the daily interactions between a British colonial administrator who doubles as a magistrate and his half-literate Nigerian court clerk and interpreter. Dr. Akoma is using the television series to explore the idea of cultural agency and the development of popular theatrical tradition in south-east Nigeria, especially in light of the resulting interface of orality and literacy.