Diala - PhotoProf. Isidore Diala

- Visiting professor -

Georg Forster-Senior Research Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


E-mail: isidorediala@yahoo.com
Phone: +49-(0)251-83-24502
Room: ES 224      

Isidore Diala holds a B.A (Hons.) in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University Etiti (now: Abia State University, Uturu) Nigeria, and an M.A in the same field from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His Ph.D. thesis on the fiction of the South African novelist, Andre Brink, was also written at the University of Ibadan. Beginning his university teaching career at Abia State University Uturu, Diala is currently Professor of African literature in the Department of English, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. A Humboldt Research Fellow in the Department of English, University of Münster (affiliated to the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies) from November 2010-April 2012, Diala was also a Visiting Research Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom from October 2005 to March 2006.

He is currently engaged in a book-length study of the drama of the Nigerian playwright, Esiaba Irobi (1960-2010) titled "Esiaba Irobi's Drama and the Postcolony: Theory and Practice of Postcolonial Performance" as well as an edited volume of essays on African drama in honour of Esiaba Irobi. Apart from scholarly work, Diala has also published award-winning creative writing. His play, The Pyre, was joint-winner of the Association of Nigerian Writers' Drama Prize in 1992 and his poetry volume, The Lure of Ash, was the winner of the Association of Nigerian Writers'/ Cadbury Poetry Prize in 1998.


Publications Include

Diala - Nigerian Literature



Esiaba Irobi’s Drama and the Postcolony:Theory and Practice of Postcolonial Performance. Ibadan: Kraft Books, 2014. 


Edited Volumes

Syncretic Arenas: Essays on Postcolonial African Drama and Theatre forEsiaba Irobi. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014. 

“Nigerian Literature: Triumphs and Travails.” Tydiskrif vir Letterkunde: A Journal for African Literature 48.1 (2011). (Special Issue on Nigerian Literature.  Ed. Isidore Diala.

Diala - The Responsible Critic
The Responsible Critic: Essays on African Literature in Honor of Professor Ben Obumselu. Ed. Isidore Diala. New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2006.



Selected Essays

“Bayonets and the Carnage of Tongues: Contemporary Nigerian PoetsSpeaking Truth to Power.” Journal ofCommonwealth Literature 52.1 (2017): 116-138.

“Burdenof the Visionary Artist: The Poetry of Niyi Osundare.” Contemporary Literature 57.3 (2016): 379-409.

 “Okigbo’sDrum Elegies.” Research in AfricanLiteratures 46.3(2015): 85-111.

“De/Stabilisingthe European Classic: Sycorax,Irobi’s The Tempest.” Shakespeare in Southern Africa 24 (2012): 25-43. (Reprinted in Shakespearean Criticism 155. Ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau. Detroit:Gale, Cengage Learning, 2014. 310-325.)

“Esiaba Irobi’s Legacy: The Theory and Practice of Postcolonial Performance.” Research in African Literatures (2011): 20-38.

“Migrating Bards: Writers’ Burdens and a Writers’ Body in Nigeria at the Turn of the Century.” Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 45.2 (2008):133-148.

“History, Memoir and a Soldier’s Conscience: Philip Efiong’s Nigeria and Biafra: My Story.” African Literature Today 26 (2008): 112-127. 

“Nigeria and the Poetry of Travails: The Niger Delta in the Poetry of Uche Umez.” Matatu (Special issue in honour of Ezenwa Ohaeto) 33 (2006): 317-325. 

“Theatre and Political Struggle: Trends in Apartheid South African Drama.” Neohelicon 33.2 (2006): 235-244.

“Andre Brink and Malraux.” Contemporary Literature 47.1 (2006): 91-113.

“Violent Obsessions: Esiaba Irobi’s Drama and the Current Discourse on Terrorism and Political Violence.” Modern Drama 49.1 (2006): 60-75.

“Conditions of Production for Writing, Publishing and Studying Literature in Africa: The Nigerian Situation.” African Research & Documentation 100 (2006): 11- 19.

“Ritual and Mythological Recuperation in the Drama of Esiaba Irobi.” Research in African Literatures 36.4(2005): 87-114. 

“Andre Brink: An Aesthetics of Response.” Tydskrif vir letterkunde. (Special issue on Andre Brink) 42.1 (2005): 5 – 30.

 “Mythic Mediation and Feminism: Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah”. ARIEL 36.3&4 (2005):185-202.
(A slightly different version of the essay was published as “Mediating Mythology, Mollifying Women: Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah.” Ufahamu 30.2&3 (2004):147-167).

“Interrogating Mythology: The Mandela Myth and Black Empowerment in Nadine Gordimer’s Post-apartheid Writing.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 38.1 (2004):41-56
(A slightly different version of the essay was published as “Nadine Gordimer: The Mandela Myth and Black Empowerment in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” English in Africa 32.2(2005): 135-154. 

“Andre Brink and the Implications of Tragedy for Apartheid South Africa”. Journal of South African Studies 27.4 (2003): 903-919.

“The Political Limits of (Western) Humanism in Andre Brink’s Early Fiction.” Studies in the Novel 34.4 (2002): 422 – 447.

“African Drama: The Distinctive Virtues Reappraised.” African Journal of Language Research 1.1&2 (2002): 65 – 70.

“Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, and Andre Brink: Guilt, Expiation and the Reconciliation Process in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Journal of Modern Literature 25.2 (Winter 2001 – 2002): 50 – 68.

“Mistah Kurtz – He Dead:’ English and the African Writer.” Concepts and Issues in Language Learning. Eds. Emeka Otagburuagu and Polycarp Anyanwu. Springfield Publishers, 2002. 296 – 312.

“Tragedy and the Elysian Fields”. Ekwe: Journal of Language and Literary Studies 1.1 (2001): 6 – 32.

“Biblical Mythology in Andre Brink’s Anti-Apartheid Crusade.” Research in African Literatures 31.1 (2000): 80 – 94
(An earlier draft of the essay was published as “Biblical Mythologies: Apartheid and Anti-Apartheid Readings.” Alternation 6.2 (1999):35-49).