Tsitsi Jaji is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focuses on transnational exchanges in African, African American, and Caribbean literatures and on relationships between music and literature. Her first book, Africa in Stereo, examines the impact of African American popular music on literature and film from Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa and is under contract with Oxford University Press.
In addition to completing Africa in Stereo, Jaji will spend her time at the Radcliffe Institute researching a new project, “Classic Black: Art Songs and Poetry in the Black Atlantic.” The project will explore the work of 19th- and 20th-century composers of African descent from Britain, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States in setting poetry to music, primarily for solo voice and piano.
Jaji earned her PhD in comparative literature from Cornell University and her BA and BM from Oberlin College. Her research has been supported by fellowships including the Penn Humanities Forum Andrew W. Mellon Penn Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities, the Cornell University Society for the Humanities Mellon Graduate Fellowship, the TIAA-CREF Ruth Simms Hamilton Fellowship, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.