Abena Busia, Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Literatures in English, and Comparative Literature, and the Associate Director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick, where she has taught since 1981. Born in Accra, Ghana, she spent the first years of her childhood at home, as well as in Holland and Mexico, before her family finally settled in Oxford, England, where she read for a BA in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, in 1976, and a DPhil in Social Anthropology (Race Relations) at St Antony’s College in 1984. She lectures and publishes widely on the African Diaspora literature and culture, and curriculum transformation for race and gender. She is co-editor, with Stanlie James, of Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women, and of Beyond Survival: African Literature & the Search for New Life the publication from the proceedings of the 1994 African Literature Association Conference, with Kofi Anyidoho and Anne Adams.
She co-directed, and co-edited with Tuzyline Jita Allan, and Florence Howe of the Feminist Press the two decades long Women Writing Africa continent-wide publishing project of cultural reconstruction whose four regional volumes were published between 2003 and 2009. She has published two volumes of poems, Testimonies of Exile published by Africa World Press, Trenton NJ, in 1990, and Traces of a Life, published by Ayebia Books, London, in 2008. Her poetry has also been published in various magazines and anthologies in West Africa, North America and Europe. As an institution builder she is a Founder of the Busia Foundation and Busia Foundation International, the International Cultural Exchange Center, the founding Program Committee Chair of the African Women’s Development Fund and is currently the Board Chair of AWDF-USA. She is also a founding board member and past President of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), a former President of the African Literature Association and former Board member of the African Studies Association. At her university she one of the founding board members of both The Center for Women’s Global Leadership and the Center for African Studies, on whose executive boards she continues to serve.