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Francis Abiola Irele (commonly Abiola Irele, born 1936) is a Nigerian academic who has been called the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide. He is currently Provost at the newly-founded Kwara State University in Ilorin, Nigeria.  Before moving back to Nigeria, Irele was Visiting Professor of African and African American Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
Irele graduated from Ibadan University in 1960. Immediately after graduation, he went to Paris to learn French and completed a Ph.D in French at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1966. He held teaching positions at the University of Ghana, Unive sity of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), and University of Ibadan. In 1989, he moved to Ohio State University in the U.S. as Professor of African, French and Comparative Literature.
Ali Al'amin Mazrui (born 24 February 1933 in Mombasa, Kenya) is an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations. He is an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.
Mazrui studied at schools in Mombasa, in Kenya. Mazrui obtained his B.A. with Distinction from Manchester University in Great Britain in 1960, his M.A. from Columbia University in New York in 1961, and his doctorate (DPhil) from Oxford University (Nuffield College) in 1966.
Upon completing his education at Oxford University, Mazrui joined Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda), where he served as head of the Department of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. He served at Makerere University until 1973, when he was forced into exile by Idi Amin. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan as professor and later was appointed the Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (1978–1981). In 1989, he was appointed to the faculty of Binghamton University, State University of New York as the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies (IGCS).