Dr Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Distinguished Professor

Picture of Dr Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi


A graduate of the University of Yaounde, Cameroon (BA, MA, Doctorat) and McGill University, Canada (Ph.D.), Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature in the Department of English at North Carolina State University. Before coming to NC State in 2006, Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi worked at the University of Southern Mississippi and as Distinguished Visiting Woman Scholar of Color at St. Cloud State University, MN. Her teaching areas include graduate and undergraduate courses in African literature, postcolonial literary and cultural studies, world literature, women’s and gender studies, as well as seminars on African War Narratives, Feminist Theory, Third World Feminisms, and Postcolonial Theory. She writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi.

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is faculty in the English department and has also served in many leadership positions. She is currently Assistant Dean for Diversity in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, https://www.chass.ncsu.edu/about/diversity/. She served for six years from 2012-2018 on the Executive Council of the African Literature Association (ALA) during which she was elected Vice President; served as the 42nd President of the ALA and as Immediate Past President and 2018 ALA Conference Liaison, http://africanlit.org/. She was selected as a Carnegie African Diaspora Scholar in 2014 and in 2015 was awarded a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship to work with faculty and students at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa, on graduate students' research and co-curriculum development project in English Studies, http://www.iie.org/Programs/Carnegie-African-Diaspora-Fellows-Program. In 2009, Chancellor Randy Woodson appointed Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi a Park Faculty Scholar “to further develop the academic enhancement components of the [Park Scholarships] program, with a focus on working with Park Scholars, Class of 2013.”

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is the author of Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference (Indiana University Press, 1997), Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon (Ohio University Press, 1999), The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba (Ohio University Press, 2008), Reflections: An Anthology of New Works by African Women Poets, edited with Anthonia Kalu and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013). She served as Co-editor of a special double issue of Journal des Africanistes 80.1-2 (2010) on “Création littéraire et archives de la mémoire/Literary Creation and the Archives of Memory” and has served as Guest Editor of special journal issues: The Global South 5.2 (2011) on “Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights in the Age of Globalization"; Free Verse 22 (2012) on “Anglophone Cameroonian Poetry”; Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (Journal for Literature) 53.1 (2016) on "Cameroon Literature"; JALA: Journal of the African Literature Association 13.1 (2019) on "The Environments of African Literature"; JALA 14.2 (2020) on "Fragmented Nation or the Anglophone-Francophone Problem in Cameroon." Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi is currently co-editing a book of critical essays on "Representing African Americans in the African Imagination" with Dr. Cilas Kemedjio, Professor of Francophone and French Studies, University of Rochester, NY. 

Dr. Nfah-Abbenyi writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi. Her short story, “Woman of the Lake,” a story about the 1986 Lake Nyos disaster that devastated and wiped out entire communities in the North West Region of Cameroon was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She discusses her book The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba with Frank Stasio on NPR-WUNC's “The State of Things”. See her CV for more publications, invited lectures, fiction readings, conference presentations, university, state, national and international activities and engagements.


  • PhD in Comparative Literature from McGill University, 1994
  • Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle in Negro-African Literature (African and African American Literatures) from University of Yaounde, 1987
  • Maitrise (MA) in Negro-African Literature from University of Yaounde, 1981
  • Licence es Lettres Bilingues (BA) in Bilingual Letters in English and French from University of Yaounde, 1979
  • Diplome d'Etudes Fondamentales in Modern English and French Letters from University of Yaounde, 1978