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Ugandan film expert, NIU alumnus returns to campus on Fulbright award

September 22, 2014
Okaka Dokotum

Okaka Dokotum

NIU alumnus Okaka Dokotum is returning to DeKalb in impressive fashion this semester – on a prestigious Fulbright faculty award.

Dokotum, a native of Uganda, is in residence in NIU’s Department of English while researching African film adaptations of African literary works. As part of the department’s brown bag lecture series, he will deliver a presentation on the topic, “Re-Imagining African Literary Scholarship through Film Adaptation Studies,” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Reavis 211.

After completing his doctoral degree in English at NIU in 2008, Dokotum conducted field research in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa, focusing on contemporary Hollywood representations of Africa.

In recent years he presented his research findings across three continents – Asia, Africa and North America. He is currently senior lecturer and associate professor of literature and film at Kyambogo University in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. In addition to his scholarly work, Dokotum is an accomplished poet, fiction author, dramatist, filmmaker and public speaker.

Dokotum looks back on his experiences with NIU as the catalyst for his interest in film and adaptation studies.

“Sitting in Dr. Robert Self‘s literary adaptation classes and related courses in the English, communication and theater departments opened my eyes,” he says. “The NIU English Department has remained my source of scholarly inspiration, and the faculty and staff have been very supportive in continuing to share scholarly materials and opportunities, while following my achievements with great interest.”

During his Fulbright year, Dokotum hopes to share his findings in forums and academic institutions across the United States. His research is likely to have a broader impact.

“The research I am doing is critical to remapping African literature at large,” he says. “I hope to inspire literary adaptations on the continent which will in turn energize the film industry and related academic disciplines and expose African creative works to the world.”

For additional information on Dokotum’s lecture or the brown bag series, call (815) 753-0612 or email [email protected].