Ofosuwa Abiola

Howard Univ.

Contact Details

Howard Univ.


Dr. Ofosuwa Abiola is the inaugural Associate Dean of Research and Creative Endeavors and Associate Professor of Africana dance history, in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University. Abiola's research interests include the study of Africana (African & African Diaspora) dance history. Her research seeks to underscore Africana dance historical narratives and their capacity to immerse all who engage them in the worldview of peoples of African descent, and their global collective experiences and memories.  

Abiola's latest publication is titled, Fire Under My Feet: History, Race & Agency in African Diaspora Dance (Routledge, 2021). Additional publications include History Dances: Chronicling the History of Traditional Mandinka Dance (Routledge, 2019), a short-form documentary visual companion to it titled, History Dances: African Dance Systems as Methodologies, and an introductory textbook for undergraduate students, Historical Perspectives on Dance in Africa (Intelligentsia Press, 2020). Her current book projects, Afrikinesis: A Paradigm for Research on African and African Diaspora Dance, and Unwitting Witnesses: Unearthing Narratives of African Dance in Pre-Colonial Logs, are works in progress.

Abiola received numerous grants, awards and fellowships from national and international institutions including: the Outstanding Dance Education Researcher Award (National Dance Education Organization), the Mary Ellen Multi-Country Research Award (CAORC), the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (NEH), the Council of American Overseas Research Centers Fellowship (CAORC), Department of Education grant, US Department of State grant, Howard University’s Deans Cabinet Award, the Outstanding Student Advisement Award (HU Office of Research Development), Howard University Research Grant, an Outstanding Assistant Professor Award and the George H. Bennett Fellowship, among others. In addition to the NEH fellowship, Abiola was also awarded a grant from NEH  to establish an Africana Theatre and Dance Collection in Howard University's historic Founder's Library. During her summer tenure as Archivist for the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Abiola established their first archival system.