Dr. Tosin Gbogi

Tosin Gbogi
Dr. Tosin GbogiMarquette University

Marquette Hall, 240

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-1546

Assistant Professor


My interdisciplinary research and teaching focus on African and African diaspora literatures, popular culture, and discourse-oriented sociolinguistics. Drawing on a broad array of literary and expressive cultur­al material, including poetry, music, and visual arts, I study the processes through which artistic productions recast the extant modalities of social life in Africa. In popular culture, I examine arts of performative protest and resistance and how the so-called “ordinary people” adopt them in the reworking of social imaginaries, identities, and subjectivities. I study these phenomena, not just within a single cultural matrix but across multiple, sometimes overlapping, literary and linguistic geographies. My work on African poetry has animated other concerns, including decolonial metapoetics, place and alterity, verbal art and politics, and race and migration.

My current research examines the interplay of language, poetics, and power in the construction of youth identities in Nigerian hip hop and Afrobeats. Among other things, I argue that rather than being mere dance music—the type that vanishes into thin air in the immediate and transient spaces of clubs, bars, parties, and private rooms—Nigerian hip hop and Afrobeats enact universes of imagination that cross into transformative universes grounded in reality. Besides this project, I am at work on two poetry manuscripts that are tentatively titled usmosis and marching to the left. Central to both manuscripts are reflections on love and the nation, historical memory, and trauma—themes that I have partly explored in my previous collections, the tongues of a shattered s-k-y (Blackgraphics, 2012) and locomotifs and other songs (Noirledge, 2018).

Before joining Marquette University, I worked as a literary editor at Kraft Books (Ibadan, Nigeria) and taught in the Department of English Studies at Adekunle Ajasin University (Akungba, Nigeria). In my teaching engagements, I emphasize a dialectical approach that centers the role of asking hard questions in the critical pedagogy of the classroom.


Ph.D., Tulane University, New Orleans

M.A., Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

B.A., Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria

Research Interests

  • African and African diaspora literatures
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Popular culture, global hip hop, and youth identities
  • Postcolonialism/Decoloniality
  • Sociolinguistics/Discourse studies


  • “Against Afropolitanism: Race and the Black Migrant Body in Contemporary African Poetry.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (2022): 1-23.
  • “Place and the Postcolonial Poetry of Nigeria.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2021): 1-15.
  • "'Is There Life Outside ‘Coloniality?’’: Metapoetics and the Second Level of Decoloniality in Niyi Osundare’s Poetry.” Research in African Literatures 54.2 (2021): 139-166.
  • “When Power Swallows Its Grace: Poetics, Politics, and Performance in Postcolonial Nigeria.” Folklore 132.1 (2021): 268-289.
  • Review of Transnational Trills in the Africana World, edited by Cheryl Sterling. Journal of the African Literature Association 15.1 (2021): 133-135.
  • locomotifs and other songs (poems). Ibadan: Noirledge, 2018.
  • Co-Editor with Lisa Sprowls and Craig Alcantara. Fleur de Ling: Tulane University Working Papers 3.1 (2017). Cambridge, MA: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics. 
  • “Contesting Meanings in the Postmodern Age: The Example of Nigerian Hip Hop Music.” Matatu: Journal of African Culture and Society 48.2 (2016): 335-362.
  • “Language, Identity, and Urban Youth Subculture: Nigerian Hip Hop Music as an Exemplar.” Pragmatics 26.2 (2016): 171-195.
  • “Refiguring the Subversive in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh and Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market.’” Neohelicon 41.1 (2014): 503-516.
  • “Destructive Deluge (Review of Niyi Osundare’s City Without People).” Matatu: Journal of African Culture and Society 42 (2013): 377-79.
  • “In Defence of Orality, One More Time: Some Implications for Modern Nigerian Poetry.” AJESC 2.1 (2013): 141-158.
  • Co-Editor with Akeem Lasisi. One Poem, Fifty Seasons: A Celebration of Sola Owonibi @ 50  (anthology of poetry). Akure: Association of Nigerian Authors, 2013.
  • the tongues of a shattered s-k-y (poems). Ibadan: Blackgraphics, 2012.
  • “Ekwuazi’s The Monkey’s Eyes: A Psychoanalytic Journey into the World of Infirmary and Healing.” With Sola Owonibi. IBADAN: Journal of English Studies 5&6 (2009/2010): 85-108.

Additional Information

Office Hours 

Spring 2024

  • On Leave

Teaching Schedule 

Spring 2024

  • On Leave

Faculty & Staff Directory


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(414) 288-7179

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