Sarah R. Olutola


Sarah R. Olutola
Gordon F. Henderson Post-Doctoral Fellow 2018-2019

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Sarah R. Olutola


Sarah Olutola, Ph.D., is a graduate of the department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Her current research concerns representations of race in popular media culture, youth culture, African and African diasporic cultural studies, post-colonialism and global capitalism.

Her dissertation, Saving Africa’s Children: Transnational Adoption and the New Humanitarian Order, takes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze transnational adoptions of black African children by white Western parents. Her ongoing postdoctoral research project builds on her interest in African representations in fiction by considering African and African diasporic youth, a key area of interest in her dissertation, not only in terms of youth-oriented contemporary literature, but also in terms of what such literature can tell us about affective belonging and youth political agency. She will work on this project during her tenure at Ottawa University’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre as the Gordon F. Henderson Post-Doctoral Fellow.

Working, at times, as a sessional instructor in McMaster University’s department of English and Cultural Studies, she has edited special issues and published articles in peer-reviewed journals such Safundi and Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice. As an emerging Canadian writer, she also continues to write and publish novel-length children’s fiction for independent and trade publishing houses for a global market.

During her year at the HRREC, Sarah has been very productive:

  • Sarah is organizing a human rights and social justice-themed creative writing workshop for Undergraduate and Graduate Students that seeks to tackle inequality in Canada, Strangers, Others and Exiles: Creative Writing Worship for uOttawa Students. All the details about the Call for Writers, the workshop and the upcoming event can be found here.
  • She has been included on CBC's list of black authors to watch for, a feature they produced for Black History Month;
  • She wrote the article entitled "I Ain't Sorry: Beyoncé, Serena, and Hegemonic Hierarchies in Lemonade" for the Journal of Popular Music and Society. The article deals with neoliberal and biopolitical representations of blackness and black femininity in Beyonce's Lemonade.
  • Sarah, under her pen name 'Sarah Raughley', was recently a guest on Global TV's The Morning Show, to talk about her children's book series “The Effigies” and its third volume recently published, entitled Legacy of Light. During the conversational interview, Sarah makes clear the importance of using art and literature to empower marginalized voices and challenge perceptions of who 'matters' in society. Look at the interview here.
  • Sarah was a contributor to the anthology Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders. The anthology was launched in October 2018 during Can Con: The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, which took place in Ottawa. The launch was spread out over two events:

    “Shades Within Us” Hour– Hosts Eric Choi and Gillian Clinton lead an engaging interview and short readings from contributors to Laksa Media’s anthology Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders. Featuring Susan Forest, Rich Larson, Tonya Liburd, Sarah Raughley, and Liz Westbrook-Trenholm.

    "Laksa Media Presents: Writing to a Theme – One important market for authors is the themed anthology". Editors and contributors from Laksa Media’s Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders discussed the upsides and pitfalls to this type of market, the publishers’ motivations for constructing a themed anthology, the response from readers, and more. Eric Choi, Tonya Liburd, Sarah Raughley, Hayden Trenholm, Susan Forest (Moderator).

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