Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Assistant Professor
Graduate Faculty Member

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D., M.A.
Boston University, M.A
Albright College, B.A.
Mukoma Wa Ngugi


Mukoma Wa Ngugi received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he specialized in how questions of authorized and unauthorized English, or standard and non-standard English, influenced literary aesthetics in Romantic Britain and Independence-Era Africa. His essays have appeared in World Literature Today, Radical History Review, and in the anthology, Getting Heard: (Re)claiming Performance Space in Kenya.  In addition to scholarly work, Mukoma is the author of the novel Nairobi Heat (Melville, 2011), the forthcoming Finding Sahara (Melville, 2013) and a collection of poems, Hurling Words at Consciousness (AWP, 2006). His short stories have been published in Wasafiri, African Writing, Kenyon Review and St. Petersburg Review and his poems in New York Quarterly, Mythium, Brick Magazine, Kwani, and Tin House Magazine.  For his fiction, he has been shortlisted for both the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Penguin Prize for African Writing.  He is a columnist for the BBC Focus On Africa Magazine and his commentary has appeared in The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Sunday Nation.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • African literature
  • Post-colonial literature and theory
  • African poetry
  • African popular literature and film
  • Women and resistance in African literature
  • The black diaspora in Africa
  • Translation and African literature

Current Projects

  • The Global South Project, which was initiated by scholars at Cornell University together with writers and scholars based in the Third World.The GSP seeks to build South-South links for direct cultural contact and communication and to shape current academic discussions of world literatureby contributing to them the voices and perspectives of the Global South. www.
  • Amos Tutola and John clare: Aesthetics and The Politics of Language in Romantic Peasant Poetry and African "Native" Literature (Book manuscript in progress)