James Yeku

James Yeku
  • Assistant Professor
  • African Digital Humanities

Contact Info

Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


James Yékú teaches in the Department of African and African American Studies and leads various initiatives in African digital humanities. He is the author of Cultural Netizenship: Social Media, Popular Culture, and Performance in Nigeria, and the collection of poems, Where the Baedeker Leads (Mawenzi House, Toronto). Yékú is currently working on a couple of digital and book projects, including Digital Nollywood, a web-based archive of Nollywood film posters. 

After completing his Master's degree in African studies at the University of Ibadan in 2012, Yékú received his Ph.D. in English in 2018 from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada for his dissertation on social media and the platformization of African cultural productions which shed light on the transformative power of digital media in shaping contemporary African society. This was later published in 2022 by Indiana University Press as Cultural Netizenship, a book that explores the aesthetic and cultural dimensions of internet citizenship. Yeku examines how digital subjects in Nigeria, known for its vibrant digital sphere, deconstruct state power through viral protest selfies, Nollywood-derived memes, GIFs, hashtags, and political cartoons. By analyzing these visual texts, Yékú uncovers the logic of remediation inherent in both the internet’s remix culture and the generative materialism of African popular arts. 

In 2022, Yékú was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies in Bochum, Germany, and was a winner of the Pius Adesanmi Early Career Research Excellence Award of the Canadian Association of African Studies. For his ongoing research on cancel culture discourses in African online literary conversations, Yékú was, in 2023, a CEDITRAA international guest fellow at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, and later an Alexander Von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin. 


Ph.D. in English, University of Saskatchewan


Research interests:

  • African literature
  • Digital humanities
  • Social media
  • Cultural studies
  • Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories
  • Nollywood


Teaching interests:

  • African literature
  • African popular cultures
  • Black Masculinities
  • African DH and Social media
  • Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories
  • Nollywood studies