Afrocentric Theory, Discourse Analysis, Race, African American Literature and Theater, Black Film, Underground Railroad and Abolition Studies, Comparative World Literature, American Studies, Women’s Rights, Sufism, Globalism


Nilgün Anadolu-Okur, MA, Ph.D., is a professor of African American Studies at Temple University where she teaches Afrocentric theories, race studies, history of Black Film, theater, literature, and history of Underground Railroad. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey and received her degrees from Ankara, Turkey, Texas and Ohio in United States.

Her book titled Contemporary African American Theater: Afrocentricity in the Works of Larry Neal, Amiri Baraka, and Charles Fuller (1998) advocated the necessity of developing a theoretical approach for the study of African American theater and film. She writes on topics related to African American Studies, Women’s Literature, Abolitionists, Underground Railroad, Rumi and Sufism, Global Islam. She has edited and authored books in world literature and ethnic studies such as Essays Interpreting the Novels of Orhan Pamuk and Women, Islam and Globalization in the 21st Century. Her reserach on Frederick Douglass, Amiri Baraka, Phyllis Wheatley, Marita Golden, Maya Angelou, Elif Safak, Orhan Pamuk, Ottoman history and Rumi emphasizes the significance of identity and communicative discourse in a “globalized universe.”

Her articles have been published globally in international peer-reviewed journals. She is fluent in German, Arabic and Greek besides Turkish.

Currently she teaches courses on Black Film and Theater, Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, Race and Racism, Mass Communication, Harlem Renaissance, Sixties’ Protest Literature, and International Women’s writing. She believes in preservation of historical sites; she has collaborated and volunteered for Upper Darby, Marple Newtown, and Phoenixville Historical Societies, as well as the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her research and scholarship ranges from abolitionist literature, to universal women’s rights, and conflict resolution between cultures, religions and ethnicities.

Recipient of two International Fulbright Awards, Anadolu-Okur has served as the Director of Comparative and World Literatures Division for the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA). She is the founder of two annual conferences at Temple University, namely, “The Annual Underground Railroad/Black History Conference and International Women’s Issues.”  She has established and directed a study abroad program in Turkey for TU International Programs. She also served as the Chair of Temple University’s Faculty Senate Status of Women Committee and is a voting member of the Educational Policies and Programs Committee. She is the editor of International Journal of Black Theater. Currently she serves as the Director of Personnel Committee for DAAS. Recently her unpublished fiction and prose poetry received popular recognition on college campuses through readings.

Curriculum Vitae