Department Of English And Literary Studies
English at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria is a challenging discipline. It is made up of a number of
courses aimed specifically at enabling students, first to improve their linguistic and communicative
competence, second, to learn to think critically and imaginatively through systematic exposure to the
best literary materials available in fiction, drama and poetry, and, third, to be creatively engaged in
producing new literature in English.
The Department was one of the first to be established in 1962 in the University under the leadership
of a renowned literary scholar, Mr. AJ. Creedy, a Reader, assisted by Miss Margery Morris (who set
up the English Language laboratory), Miss Anderson, James Simmons (a poet), and two others, all
from Leeds University, United Kingdom. They worked hard to develop an integrated language
curriculum hoping to produce competent users and writers in English in this part of the country.
This approach remained so until a decade or so later when new courses in African Literature and
Language studies were introduced to allow for specialization in either area. This development was
further consolidated in 1975 when, following faculty - wide rationalization of academic programmes
and curriculum changes, the name of the Department itself was changed to English and Drama to
provide three Honours degree programmes in English Language, Literature and Drama respectively.
The period from 1962 to date has witnessed a phenomenal increase in student intake from just a
handful of Combined Honours students in 1962/63 to several hundred single Honours and
Postgraduate students (M.A. and Ph.D) in all the three areas. Also at the inception of the
Department, all the lecturers were foreigners (British) as stated above. It was only in 1968 (August)
that the first Nigerian/African, Mal. Aliyu Mohammed, was appointed Assistant Lecturer, followed
in 1971 by late Dr. Kolawole Ogungbesan as Lecturer II, who later rose to become the first Nigerian
Professor and Head of Department. With the comprehensive Postgraduate programme introduced in
1976, most of the existing staff in the Department were internally trained. The Department has now
truly come of age and is one of the largest in the University and widely recognized as one of the
leading centres of language and literary scholarship among Nigerian Universities.
Academic ProgrammesB.A. English (Language)
B.A. English (Literature)
M.A. English Literature (Full-Time)
M.A.English Lang. (Full-Time)
Ph.D English Lang. (Full-Time)
Ph.D English Literature (Full-Time)
Go to Top