Wande Abimbola was born on June 26, 1936 in Oyo in Western Nigeria. He attended the University of Lagos, Nigeria from 1967-70,
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illionois from 1965-66 and University College, Ibadan, Nigeria from 1959-63, where he obtained B.A Honors in
History in 1963, an M.A. in Linguistics and a Ph.D in Literature in 1970. He was also a State Scholar at the University College, Ibadan from 1959-63
Wande Abimbola has also authored or Edited the following Books and Publications;
- Ifa Divination Poetry. Nok Publishers, New York, 1977
- Ifa: An Exposition of Ifa Literary Corpus. Oxford University Press, Ibadan, 1977.
- Awon Oju Odu Mereerindinlogun, University Press, Ltd. Ibadan, 1977.
- Sixteen Great Poems ofIfa. UNESCO, Paris, 1975.
- Yoruba Oral Tradition. University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1975.
- Yoruba Idioms. Pilgrim Books, Lagos, 1969.
- Ijinle Ohun Enu Ifa, Apa Kiini. Collins, Glasgow, 1968. Reprinted, Aim Press, Oyo, 1987.
- Ijinle Ohun Enu Ifa, Apa Keji. Collins, Glasgow, 1969. Reprinted University Press, Ibadan, 1976.
Wande Abimbola is the Author of 30 Articles published in learned International Academic Journals or as chapters in Academic books.
- The Concept of Destiny in African Traditional Religion. Ogun State Public Service Forum, Abeokuta, 1989.
- An Appraisal of African Systems of Thought. Black Civilisations and Philosophy, Third Press Intl., Lagos, 1986.
- The Notion of Sacrifice in Yoruba Religion. In Restoring the Kingdom, Paragon House, New York, 1984.
- Yoruba Traditional Religion in Brazil. Actes du XLII Congress International des Americanistes, Paris, 1976.
- Consonant Elision in Yoruba. African Language Studies, XVI, 1975.
- Iwapele: The Yoruba Concept of Good Character. Chapter in Yoruba Oral Tradition, Ile-Ife 1975.
- The Yoruba Concept of Human Personality. Chapter in La Notion de Personne en Afrique Noir, Paris, 1973.
- The Study of Yoruba Literature. Inaugural Lecture Series, 24, Ile-Ife, 1977.
- Two Lineages of Yoruba Wood Carvers. In The Role of Afro-American Folklore in the Teaching of the Arts and Humanities, A. L. Seward (ed.),
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1978.
Wande Abimbola has held many positions including:
- Research Fellow, Lecturer, Associate Professor in various Universities including University of Ibadan 1963-65,
University of Lagos 1966-72, Indiana University, 1971, 1973, and University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1972-75.
- Full Professor of African Languages and Literature, University of Ife, 1976-90.
- Prof. of Religion, Scholar-in-Residence, Amherst College, Mass. 1980, 1990.
- Head of Department, Dean, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1975-82.
- President, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 1982-89.
- Special Advisor to the Oyo State Governor, 1992.
- Senate Majority Leader, Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1992-93.
- Independent Researcher/Scholar and Visiting Lecturer, various academic and religious institutes in the U.S., Cuba, and Brazil, 1994-1996
Fellow, W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University (appointment beginning September 1996)
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