Michigan State University

Ken Harrow

Man with glasses sitting on nose wearing a blue hat and brown suit coat

Contact Information

Office: C635 Wells Hall
Email: harrow@msu.edu
Phone: (517) 803-8839


Kenneth Harrow is Distinguished Professor of English at Michigan State University. He received a B.S. from M.I.T., a Master’s in English from NYU and a Ph D in Comparative Literature also from NYU. His work focuses on African cinema and literature, Diaspora and Postcolonial Studies.  He is the author of Thresholds of Change in African Literature (Heinemann, 1994), Less Than One and Double: A Feminist Reading of African Women’s Writing (Heinemann, 2002), and Postcolonial African Cinema: From Political Engagement to Postmodernism (Indiana U P, 2007).  His latest work, Trash! A Study of African Cinema Viewed from Below, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013. He has edited numerous collections on such topics as Islam and African literature (including Faces of Islam in African Literature,1991), African cinema (including African Cinema: Postcolonial and Feminist Readings, 1999), and women in African literature and cinema.  He has published more than 50 articles and a dozen chapters. He has organized numerous conferences dealing with African literature and cinema. He served as President of the African Literature Association, and was honored with their first Distinguished Member Award. He has also been honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award at Michigan State University. In 2011 he was awarded the Distinguished Africanist Award at the Toyina Falola Annual Conference, University of Texas.

He was an NEH Younger Humanist Award recipient in 1973-4, which brought him to France, Algeria, and Morocco. His Fulbright teaching and research awards brought him to Cameroon in 1977-79, and Senegal from 1982-3 and 2005-6.


Ph.D., NYU, 1970
M.A., NYU, 1966 

Selected Publications

Trash!  African Cinema from Below. Indiana University Press, 2013.

African Cinema: From the Political to the Postmodern, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007. 

“Again the Darkness” in Hollywood’s Africa after 1994. ed. Maryellen Higgens. Ohio U Press, 2012.

“Do We Still Have Postcolonialism?” on the blogsite of Ikhide Ikheola Dec. 23, 2012, reprinted on http://www.sarabamag.com/

“Sur l’impossibilité de la représentation de l’enfant-soldat dans Song of Night de Chris Abani.” Etudes littéraires, africaines. 32. Decembre 2011: 78-90.

Courses Taught

ENG820: Postcolonial Live: Critical Approaches To Postcoloniality And Life Narrative
ENG819: Concepts of the World: Theory, Literature and Film 
ENG802/AL 891: Black Feminism 

ENG280:Introduction to Literary Theory 
ENG478A: Special Topic, Trash

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