Chinua Achebe coming to College Hill

The University announced Tuesday one of the highest-profile additions to its full-time faculty in years.

Chinua Achebe, the celebrated writer who is one of the best-known African writers and intellectuals of the 20th century, has joined the University’s Department of Africana Studies, officials said Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to bolstering a department that recently took a hit with the departure of James Campbell for Stanford last year, the 79-year-old Achebe instantly assumes the unofficial mantle of “professor whose book you’re most likely to have read in high school.” Achebe’s 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart is a staple of high school curricula and, according to Brown’s office of media relations, the most-read work of African literature of all time.

Though Achebe’s appointment has formally begun, University spokesman Mark Nickel said Tuesday that Achebe likely won’t arrive on campus until January. It’s unclear for the time being what, if any courses, he might be teaching in the spring, but let’s hope the Booker Man International Prize-winner is as adept with Banner as he is with the written word–his first class is sure to be a hot property during shopping period.

Check the Herald for in-depth coverage of Achebe’s appointment, including reaction from Africana studies department chair Tricia Rose.