Prof. Umukoro M.M.

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NAME:   Prof. UMUKORO, Matthew Mevayerho


E-MAIL ADDRESS:  [email protected]

QUALIFICATION: B.A. Hons. English (Ibadan), M.A. in Drama (Wales), Ph.D. in Theatre Arts (Ibadan)


DISTINCTION/AWARD: Federal Government of Nigeria Scholarship for the B.A. programme (1970); British Council Scholarship for the M. A. programme (1978); Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Scholarship (Chevening Scholarship) for postdoctoral research in London (1989/90).

SELECT PUBLICATIONS: The Maid and Other Plays (a collection of three comedies, 1992), Dross of Gold (a volume of poems, 2002), Obi and Clara (a stage adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease, 2002), Nana Olomu (a historical drama, 2001), Drama and Theatre in Nigerian Schools (a Handbook for students and practitioners, 2002), The Performing Artist in Academia (published text of a Faculty Lecture, 2001), Poetry and Symbolism in Wole Soyinka’s Drama (a monograph, 1990), ‘Soyinka and Moliere as social satirists’ (in Essays in Honour of Abiola Irele, 1998), ‘Dapo Adelugba and the Nigerian Theatre’ (in Papers in Honour of Professor Dapo Adelugba, 1999), ‘The Theatrical Challenges of Ozidi’ (Review of English and Literary Studies, 1986), ‘Between the Desert and the Lagoon: Two Parallel Plays in Perspective’ (Ase: Journal of Contemporary Literature, Special Edition on Rasheed Gbadamosi, 1993) ‘Myth and Mysticism in J. P. Clark-Bekederemo’ (in African Culture and Mythology, 1998), etc.

CURRENT RESEARCH FOCUS: Dramatic Theory and Criticism/The Media Arts in Education and Communication.

SUMMARY OF CONTRIBUTION: The book, Drama and Theatre in Nigerian Schools, has had a far-reaching impact among teachers, scholars and practitioners of Drama and Theatre across the country, particularly in Theatre Arts Departments and Colleges of Education. The Faculty Lecture of 2001 has also generated a lot of debate on the relationship between the scholar and the practitioner in diverse professional fields from Music to Medicine, while much light has been shed on the works of Wole Soyinka before the Nobel in a number of relevant articles. Similarly, some of the essays have shed useful light on the major works of John Pepper Clark (Clark-Bekederemo), while the limited dramatic output of renowned novelist, Elechi Amadi, has been subjected to critical evaluation. The historical play, Nana Olomu, is the product of archival research and an artistic interpretation of an aspect of Nigeria’s colonial history, and it has been performed, with remarkable success, in a number of Nigerian universities. The volume of poetry, Dross of Gold, has enjoyed greater acclaim outside the country than within. Some of the poems have been turned into instrumental music under the title The Umukoro Songs by a Black-American musician, Dr Wallace Cheatham, and performed extensively in the United States, Britain, China and Australia, among other places, after its premiềre in the University of Pittsburgh, United States of America. A lot of socially-relevant research is in progress, with an eye on a further contribution to knowledge and creativity in my specific discipline.