Dr Terri Ochiagha

Lecturer in Global Anglophone Literatures


Dr Terri Ochiagha is a literary critic and cultural historian and a world-leading expert on the work of the ‘father of modern African Literature’, Chinua Achebe. She also specialises  on elite colonial education in British Africa, and works in the interstices of literary studies, history, and postcolonial theory.  

She holds a B.A., M.A., and PhD in English from Complutense University, Madrid. Her first book, Achebe and Friends at Umuahia: The Making of a Literary Elite (2015) won the African Studies Association of the UK’s inaugural Fage&Oliver Prize for the most outstanding book on Africa published in 2014-2015. She is also the author of A Short History of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (2018) and is working on Achebe's first full-length  biography,  Chinua Achebe: A Life at the Crossroads,  under contract with Princeton University Press.  Dr Ochiagha is currently editing the volume Achebe in Context for Cambridge University Press's  prestigious 'In Context' series . She has commissioned 23 essays from both rising stars and established anthropologists, political scientists, historians, art historians, and literary critics for this landmark volume.

Apart from her books, Dr Ochiagha has published consistently in prestigious academic journals, including The Lion and the Unicorn, History in Africa, Research in African Literatures, Africa: Journal of the International Africa Institute,Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies, and the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.  She sits on the Academic  Committee of Edinburgh University Press. 

Since coming to The University of Edinburgh, Dr Ochiagha has accepted invitations to speak at  Yale University (November 2022) and  The University of Oxford (Conference Keynote, June 2023). She was a member of the advisory board of  The Chinua Achebe Symposium at Princeton University in September 2023 and served as discussant of one of its panels. 

Dr Ochiagha’s academic career in the UK began with the award of a prestigious British Academy Newton International Fellowship, which recruits the best postdoctoral researchers across all relevant disciplines from around the world. She has held positions in various UK universities, including King’s College London, where she was a Teaching Fellow in the History of Modern Africa, and the University of Oxford, where she has—at various times—been a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, Visiting Researcher at the African Studies Centre, and tutor in Postcolonial African Literatures at Wycliffe Hall.

In November 2024, Dr Ochiagha was elected to a Visiting Fellowship by the Governing Body of All Souls College, University of Oxford t, which she will take up in Trinity Term 2025 :  https://www.asc.ox.ac.uk/news/visiting-fellows-2024-2025

At the University of Edinburgh, she teaches English Literature across the 16th-21st centuries, and her own specialist course, ‘Education and Empire’.

For all commercial publishing, film and media enquiries, and non-university speaking engagements please contact her agents at

Georgina Capel Associates LTD





BA, MA, PhD, Complutense University, Madrid 

Undergraduate teaching

Dr Ochiagha is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before coming to the University of Edinburgh, Dr Ochiagha taught at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, University of Birmingham, King's College London, and Royal Holloway, University of London. At the latter, she was awarded a Teaching Commendation for her work on de-exoticising the teaching of postcolonial literatures.

Except for the week starting on January 29 2024 (please email her to make an alternative appointment), Dr Ochiagha's office hours are on Mondays  at 11-12 . For the exact location of her office, email her to make an appointment. 


Postgraduate teaching



Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Dr Ochiagha would be interested in supervising  PhD students working on her research interests as outlined above. She does not, however, respond to  unsolicited requests for supervision from postdoctoral researchers who do not  come to The  University of Edinburgh through the official and  accepted channels of research funding.