Yale faculty member Cajetan Iheka was an undergraduate in his home country of Nigeria at the height of unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta in the 2000s. Militants were setting fire to oil installations and kidnapping oil workers in the region — one of the least developed parts of the country — in protest of the exploitation of their land. During his junior year, a professor introduced Iheka and his classmates to novels, poetry, and drama that depicted the Niger Delta oil crisis, igniting his interest in the environment and the ways that literature can guide or transform our thinking about it.
Today, Iheka, an associate professor of English in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, uses African and other literature in his own classroom — and in his own writing — to inspire new thinking on environmental issues.
Read more here.