Simon Gikandi

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Simon E. Gikandi (PhD Northwestern) is Professor of English at Princeton University. He is perhaps best known for his co-editorship (with Abiola Irele) of The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature. He has also done important work on the modern African novel, and two distinguished African novelists: Chinua Achebe and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.


Gikandi was born in Kenya and graduated with a B.A (First-Class Honors) in Literature from the University of Nairobi.[1] He was a British Council Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, from where he graduated with a M.Litt. in English Studies. He has a Ph.D in English from Northwestern University.[1]


Gikandi's 2011 study Slavery and the Culture of Taste has received various honors, including:

  • Winner of the 14th Annual (2012) Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University
  • Co-winner of the 2012 Melville J. Herskovits Award, African Studies Association
  • Co-Winner of the 2011 James Russell Lowell Prize, Modern Language Association
  • One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Reading the African Novel (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1987).
  • Reading Chinua Achebe (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991).
  • Writing in Limbo: Modernism and Caribbean Literature (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992).
  • Maps of Englishness: Writing Identity in the Culture of Colonialism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
  • Ngugi wa Thiongʹo (Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
  • Slavery and the Culture of Taste (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011).


External links[edit]