Cilas Kemedjio, Frederic Douglass Professor, is a Professor of French and Francophone studies whose contributions in the fields of Caribbean and African literature and culture, postcolonial theory and transnational black studies have earned him both national and international recognition. He is the author of two monographs, one edited volume, and over 60 articles. His first book (Maryse Condé, Édouard Glissant et la malédiction de la théorie) broke new ground analyzing the relationship between Western literary theory and non-Eurocentric texts in the works of renowned Caribbean writers Édouard Glissant and Maryse Condé. His second book (Mongo Beti: le combattant fatigue. Une biographie intellectuelle) is the most authoritative study to date of the Cameroon writer, intellectual and activist Mongo Beti, one of the most prominent figures in Francophone literature. He also pubklished  a bilingual edition of the white papers of students’ strike at the University of Yaoundé (Mémoires des années de braise. La grève estudiantine de 1991 expliquée/Remember the Flame: White Papers from the 1990 Yaoundé University Strikes.). Professor Kemedjio’s current project seeks to unearth the genealogies of humanitarian interventions in Africa, and their attendant uneasy connections with the multilayered sites of power. The provisional title of this project is “Ota Benga and the Fictions of Humanitarianism.”

Professor Kemedjio has served on the Executive Board of the Association of African Literature, chaired the Executive Board of the Division of Francophone Cultures and Literatures of the MLA. Cilas Kemedjio is Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester and the President of the African Literature Association).