English welcomes Olagbenro Oladipo, Ph.D., as pre-faculty fellow in Pathway to Faculty program
The Department of English at Wayne State University has named Olagbenro Oladipo, Ph.D., their pre-faculty fellow for the Pathway to Faculty (PTF) program.
Oladipo earned his doctoral degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied sense of belonging and citizenship in postcolonial Nigeria.
“Nigeria is such a huge country with hundreds of ethnic groups,” Oladipo said. “After independence, the nation wrestled with how to create a country out of this amalgamation from colonial rule. One of the ways it managed to do it was through investment in public spaces, monuments, roads, bridges and the like.”
His research interests aren’t bound to Nigeria. He says such examples of built environments are global.
“A practical example in the United States is how zip codes can determine who a child becomes in life. Or when you see a neighborhood divided by a road, and on one side is affluence with the potential for upward social mobility, and on the other, the reverse is the case. Such things don’t happen in a vacuum. It’s intentional. And it shapes who we are as human beings.”
Oladipo is eager to continue his research in Detroit, a culturally rich city steeped in history that has been comprised of built spaces torn down and reassembled and built over time and again.
His ultimate goal? Teach students how to better assess their environments and strengthen their communities through the affordances of composition and rhetoric.
“They tell us so many things about society, how our neighbors and the government think about us.”
He will work alongside faculty mentors Caroline Maun, Ph.D., and Anita Mixon, Ph.D.