Suman Gupta is Professor of Literature and Cultural History in the English Department and was joint Director of the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, Open University from 2006-8. He initiated the 'Nigerian Video Films and the African Diaspora in the UK' project in 2006. He has been overseeing budgeting and expenditure for the project, and ensuring the coherent development of the different strands of the project. He is also currently involved in developing collaborative research projects in India, China, Morocco, and East Europe (particularly Bulgaria and Romania).
As Principal Coordinator of the Globalization, Identity Politics and Social Conflict Project Professor Gupta has organised events in a wide range of countries, including Nigeria, Morocco, Iran, China, India, Bulgaria, UK. His research interests are divided between contemporary English literature/literary theory and political philosophy/international relations. His eight single-authored monographs, six co-edited volumes, and scholarly papers are in both these broad areas.
Françoise Ugochukwu, a former Professor from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she lectured for 25 years, is the Coordinator of the Milton Keynes end of the “Nigerian Video Films and the African Diaspora in the UK” project, keeping track of media, internet and academic publications relevant to this area in the UK and elsewhere. Based in the Faculty of Education & Languages, Open University, she is equally assisting the Ferguson Centre in gathering and organising the archive for the project, collaborating in analyzing collected data, in building the project website, in organising the workshop, and in planning the extension of the project. Habilitée à diriger des recherches and a specialist in Comparative Literature, Igbo Studies and Ethnolinguistics, she is the author of a co-authored Igbo-French-Igbo dictionary (Karthala 2004) sponsored by the French Institute in Africa, Ibadan, of two collections of edited & translated Igbo folktales (Karthala 1992 & 2006), and more than 80 articles & book chapters on the study of space, communication, alterity and literature in Igboland and the reception of Nigerian literature in France.
Professor Omoniyi's responsibility in the Nigerian Video Films and the African Diaspora in the UK Project includes liaising with the Lagos project team and the Ferguson Centre in tracking the production, distribution and patronage of Nollywood films in London, the elicitation and analysis of data. The latter will be explored for establishing the impact that Nollywood may be having on Black and/or African British identities, and contributing same to a project workshop 9-12 August 2007.
Professor Omoniyi's recent publications include 'Culture and identity shifts in the era of globalization: digitalisation, diaspora, and other concerns', in Suman Gupta, Tapan Basu, and Subarno Chattarji (eds.) India in the Age of Globalization: Contemporary Discourses and Texts (Delhi: Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, 2003, pp. 353-398), 'Hip-Hop through the World Englishes len: A response to globalization' in World Englishes and Global Popular Cultures (Blackwell 2006), 'West African Englishes' in The Handbook of World Englishes(Blackwell 2006), 'Societal multilingualism and multifaithism' in Explorations in the Sociology of Language and Religion (John Benjamins 2006), and 'Hierarchy of Identities' in The Sociolinguistics of Identity (Continuum Books 2006).
Prof. Duro Oni is the Coordinator of the Nigerian end of the “Nigerian Video Films and the African Diaspora in the UK” project. He is responsible for liaising with the collaborating organisations, supervising the collection of data in Nigeria and assisting the Ferguson Centre in gathering an archive for the project. He is currently the Head of the Department of Creative Arts at the University of Lagos.
Duro Oni’s recent publications are in the areas of cultural studies, dramatic literature and criticism, production design and aesthetics. These include: Larger than His Frame: Critical Studies and Reflections on Olu Obafemi, (2000), “Theatre and Aesthetics: The Example of Hubert Ogunde” (2002), Arts and the Man: Interpretive Essays on Bode Osanyin, (2003) Nigeria and Globalisation: Discourses on Identity Politics and Social Conflict(co-edited) (2004). Others include Stage Lighting Design: the Nigerian Perspective (2004), “The Changing Fortunes of the Cinema in Post-Colonial Lagos” (2005) and Introduction to Technical Theatre Practice in Nigeria (2006).