School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Professor Graham Furniss, OBE

Key information

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Emeritus Professor
BA, PhD(London), FBA
Email address


Graham served as Pro-Director of SOAS between 2008-13 having previously held positions as RAE Director and Faculty Dean amongst others. His association with SOAS began as an undergraduate and later a research student. He returned to SOAS as a member of staff in 1979 from a post at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the British Academy where he currently chairs its Africa Panel. He was the first editor of the Journal of African Cultural Studies and the founding President of the International Society for Oral Literature in Africa (ISOLA). He is a Trustee of the Britain-Nigeria Educational Trust and a Governor of the Harrow School Foundation. Graham was awarded an OBE for services to higher education and scholarship in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013.

  • Commissioner of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Trustee of the following:
  • Harrow School Foundation
  • John Lyon Charity
  • Britain-Nigeria Educational Trust

Research interests

African language literature; comparative African literature; Hausa language, linguistics and literature; Nigerian culture and language issues; Oral Literature


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