Department of Languages and Literatures

Pierre Damien Mvuyekure


Faculty - Professor


Ph.D., State University of New York-Buffalo
M.A., State University of New York-Buffalo M.A.,
B.A., National University of Rwanda   

Research Interests

Areas of Specialty:

  • 19th-Century American Literature

  • African American Literature and Literary Theory African Literature

  • Multicultural LiteraturePostcolonial Theory and Literatures

  • African Diaspora Literatures

Dr. Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure is Professor of English and African American literature in the Department of Languages and Literatures, the 2007-2008 Regents Awards for Faculty Excellence and the 2005 Philip G. Hubbard Outstanding Educator at the University of Northern Iowa. A Fulbright alumnus, Dr. Mvuyekure holds a B.A. in Letters and Licence (M.A.) ès Letters in English from the National University of Rwanda, Rwanda, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from SUNY at Buffalo. His areas of specialization include African American Literature, African and African Diaspora Literatures, African American Literary Criticism, Multicultural Literature, Post-Colonial Literatures and Theory, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Twentieth-century American Literature, Popular Literature and Critical and Cultural Theory.  Since joining UNI in 1995, Dr. Mvuyekure has been teaching a number of courses, including College Reading and Writing, Personal Essay, Introduction to Literature, American Renaissance, Multicultural Literature, Post-Colonial Literatures and Theory, African Dance in Literature, African Literature and Dance, African American Literature, African American Women Writers, The Harlem Renaissance and Blues and Jazz in African American Literature and Film.  He has published four books: The “Dark Heathenism” of the American Novelist Ishmael Reed: African Voodoo as American Literary HooDoo (The Edwin Mellen Press (2007), Lamentations on the Rwandan Genocide (Final Thursday Press 2006), World Eras Volume 10: West African Kingdoms, 500-1590 (Gale/Thompson 2004), A Casebook Study of Ishmael Reed’s Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (Dalkey Archive Press 2003— Among his other publications are several book chapters and articles on the Rwandan Genocide, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Gloria Naylor, Walter Mosley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Melvin B. Tolson, Patricia Grace, Velma Pollard and Tupac. His most recent publications include: “American Nero-HooDooism: The Novels of Ishmael Reed” in The Cambridge Companion to the African American Novel (2004), “Paul Rusesabagina’s Oasis of Ubu-Muntu in Hotel Rwanda: A Review Essay in Konch (Spring 2005) and “Ishmael Reed Repairs “The [African] Diaspora’s Direct Line to Olódùmarè”: Yoruba Language and Mythology in Japanese By Spring” in Black Humor, Irony, and Satire: Ishmael Reed, Satirically Speaking, ed. Dana A. Williams (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007). Dr. Mvuyekure is currently completing The Cambridge Introduction to the African American Novel, to be published in 2008-2009 by Cambridge University Press. He is also a poet and fiction writer.  In his teaching, scholarship, and creative activity, Dr. Mvuyekure emphasizes the connection among the African Diaspora. In this perspective, he is the producer and host of The Talking Drum on the Afro-American Community Broadcasting Network Inc. on KBBG FM88.1 every Saturday at three, an African music show designed to reconnect African-American to Africa. The Talking Drum is his way of linking the University of Northern Iowa to the Cedar Valley community and the state of Iowa and the world—the show can be streamed on the internet worldwide He is also a good dancer (Rwandan traditional dance and Congolese Rumba) who includes music in his teaching. Return to Directory