Omotayo Jolaosho

1985 - 2021
Faculty, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, University of South Florida

Omotayo Jolaosho passed away on October 22, 2021. Read Omotayo's obituary here.

About Omotayo

Jolaosho’s research focuses on political performances, collective activism, protests, and bodily experience. Overarching themes in Jolaosho’s writings include the multiple roles of freedom songs and protest dances at activist events, the significance of gesture and the moving body for political mobilization, gendered experiences of activism, and strategies for societal transformation among marginalized communities. Jolaosho has worked with activist organizations in Johannesburg, South Africa, including the Anti-Privatisation Forum and the 1-in-9 Campaign.


In the News

"How an Experiment That Lasted 40 Years Has Made Many Older African Americans Reluctant To Get COVID-19 Vaccine," Omotayo Jolaosho, Interview with Anthony Hill, ABC Action News, February 10, 2021.


"Awkward Activisms: Gender and Embodied Mobilization in a Postapartheid South African Social Movement" Journal of Women and Culture and Society 43, no. 2 (2018).

Examines women activists’ adaptation of performance techniques (including singing and the construction of rituals) towards their own wellness as well as to contest male domination in the social movements in which they participated.

African Women Writing Resistance (edited with Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, Pauline Dongala, and Anne Serafin) (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2010).

Discusses the first transnational anthology focused on African women's narratives of resistance to the challenges they experience on the continent and within its diaspora.

"Cross-circulations and Transnational Solidarity: Historicizing the US Anti-apartheid Movement Through Song" The Journal of South African and American Studies 13, no. 3 (2012): 317-337.

Examines cross-circulations between the U.S. and South Africa, the article shows how music constituted shared interpretive space linking African-American and black South African activist communities in combating systems of racial injustice in both countries.

"Singing Politics: Freedom Songs and Collective Protest in Post-Apartheid South Africa" African Studies Review 62, no. 2 (2019).

Examines the role of singing at contemporary protest events and how musical qualities of antiphony, repetitive variation, and embodied rhythm facilitated activists’ political interventions.