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Wilson, Richard, 1940-



  • Existence: 1940    


Richard Malcolm Wilson was born in Beverly, Yorkshire, England, on November 26, 1940. He received a Diploma of Education from Oxford in 1964 and a MA degree from Cambridge in 1967. Wilson taught African literature courses as an English professor at Northwestern from 1967 - 1971. He also served on the advisory committee for the Program of African Studies.

He taught at the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria as a Lecturer in English between1964-1966. While there, he first became interested in African writing in English and French and founded and edited the Kano Studies, a faculty journal of the humanities. During 1966-1967 Wilson was a Lecturer in English at the University of Baghdad, where he became interested in Arabic literature.

He accepted an appointment to Northwestern University in October of 1967 as an Instructor in English. During the Spring Quarter of 1968 Wilson taught the English Department's first course on African literature, “The Contemporary African Novel.” Over the next three years Wilson continued to teach this course as well as an additional course called “Studies in Contemporary African Literature.” At the same time, Wilson served on the Advisory Committee for Northwestern's Program of African Studies. He worked with the Program's Publications Committee to create a new periodical in which students and faculty members associated with the Program could publish. While at Northwestern Wilson also published “A Working Index to African Literature” (1970) and the paper “Themes and the Relevance of African Literature” (1970), the latter of which detailed his experiences of teaching African literature at Northwestern (especially given the political climate at the time) and gives his own interpretation of the works.

Outside of African literature Wilson was also interested in seventeenth century English poets; he published literary articles analyzing their work, and even worked on a short film about poet Andrew Marvell. Finally, Wilson wrote poetry and a novel, The Gilded Fly. He left Northwestern at the end of the 1970-1971 academic year.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Richard M. Wilson (1940- ) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/11/37

Richard M. Wilson's papers are contained within one box and mostly consist of teaching materials and student papers from his African literature courses. The papers also include biographical materials, Program of African Studies materials, and some of Wilson's publications and correspondence. The papers span the years 1968-1972.

Dates: 1968-1972