Uju Anya, an American-Nigerian academic and researcher who was born on August 4, 1976, is well-known for her Twitter activism and opinions on feminism and sexuality. After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of England, who received criticism for supporting colonialism in Africa and other nations, she gained increased notoriety.
Early Life and Education
Uju Anya was born to a Trinidad and Tobago mother and a Nigerian father on August 4, 1976, in Enugu State. She is a native of Nigeria’s Enugu State. Her mother brought her and her brother to the United States in secret when she was 10 years old so they could flee their violent father. She spent her early years in Nigeria.
Before her mother fled with her to the USA to pursue her secondary and tertiary education, she attended primary school in Nigeria. In 1998, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Roman Languages from Dartmouth College. In 2001, she graduated from Brown University with an MA in Brazilian studies. Additionally, she has a UCLA PhD in applied linguistics (2011).
Uju started her career in 1998 as a Teaching Fellow at the Phillips Academy Andover, where she taught introductory and intermediate high school Spanish immersion courses. In 2001, she began serving as a guest lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Dartmouth College. In this capacity, Uju directed the Portuguese program’s approach and curriculum, which included state-of-the-art multimedia resources, inquiry-based teaching, a social orientation, and a critical language studies concentration on Afro-Brazilian culture.
Uju started working at the Rassias Centre for World Languages and Cultures in 2003 as a Master’s Teacher. She developed English language immersion programs for executives in Tokyo, Japan, as well as Portuguese language classes for American CEOs in Brazil. From 2005 to 2007, Uju lectured in both Spanish and Portuguese at the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Later, she was employed by the UCLA Department of Applied Linguistics as a lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESL).
Prior to this, Prof. Anya worked as an assistant professor of clinical education, a visiting assistant professor, and the faculty director of the Dartmouth College Portuguese study abroad program in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil, all at Pennsylvania State University. Uju was hired as an assistant professor of second language acquisition and a research affiliate in the department of curriculum and instruction by the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University in 2016.
At Carnegie Mellon University, she is currently an associate professor of second language acquisition. Anya’s sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and second language acquisition specialties include an emphasis on racial, gender, sexual orientation, and social class identities in the language classroom. She also understands how to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the creation of curricula and educational policies.
Uju Anya is a lesbian who is at ease with her sexual orientation. She mentioned earlier that she found both guys and girls appealing when she was a teenager. She also dated women while in college. Even yet, at the age of 28, she felt pressure to get married. Shortly after, she got married, but she told her spouse right away that she was bisexual.
She became aware that she was a lesbian and that she was solely attracted to women as their marriage ended. This finally led to their breakup. They were ultimately legally divorced in 2021 after a four-year separation. She has two children with her ex-husband. Anya rejects organized religion and identifies as an atheist.
On Twitter, Nigerian professor and researcher Uju Anya is well-known for her viewpoints on activism, sexuality, and feminism. On September 8, 2022, her views on Queen Elizabeth became a popular topic on the microblogging platform. Anya wished the Queen “excruciating suffering” before she passed away in one of the posts that was removed from Twitter for breaking the rules. Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon, cited Anya’s tweet and remarked, “This is someone purportedly working to make the world better?” I don’t believe so. “Wow. May everyone you and your ruthless greed have wronged in this planet remember you as fondly as I remember my colonizers, Anya then retorted.
The professor, a native of Nigeria, also asserted that Queen Elizabeth II approved of the “genocide” that led to the emigration of her family. However, her tweets may have referenced the Nigerian civil war, which broke out less than 10 years after Nigeria got independence from Britain and lasted from 1967 to 1970.
The university’s answer to the predicament was that, while it supports “free expression,” it does not support the professor’s viewpoints. A variety of reactions have been sparked by her tweets. While some people supported her stance, others criticized her for speaking out during such a sensitive situation.
- Racialized identities in second language learning: Speaking blackness in Brazil
- Connecting with communities of learners and speakers: Integrative ideals, experiences, and motivations of successful black second language learners
- African Americans in world language study: The forged path and future directions
- Diversifying language educators and learners
- Investments in communities of learners and speakers: How African American students of Portuguese negotiate ethno-racialized, gendered, and social-classed identities in second …
- Languages, identities, and accents: Perspectives from the 2010 Linguistic Diversity Conference
- Critical race pedagogy for more effective and inclusive world language teaching
- Race and ethnicity in teacher education
- Speaking blackness in Brazil: Racialized identities in second language learning
- Improving Spanish language teacher retention and success among Black Spanish-language learners: An HSI-HBCU collaboration
- When the foreign is familiar: An afro-dominican-american woman’s experience translanguaging race, ethnicity and cultural heritage learning portuguese in Brazil
- Racial Equity on College Campuses: Connecting Research and Practice
- The taquito hot seat: Socializing monolingual bias through error correction practices in a Portuguese language classroom
- Nina’s Story: Race and Ethnicity in Classrooms and Outside
- Translanguaging Identities
- Rose’s Story: Redefining Participation and Success
- Didier’s Story: Translanguaging Black Manhood in Multicultural Contexts
- The African American Experience in Language Study: A Review of the Research
- Communities and Investments in Learning a New Language
- Telling Black Stories in Language Learning Research
Awards and Nominations
- Penn State College of Education Outstanding Teaching Award
- The American Association for Applied Linguistics First Book Award
- ACTFL/Middlebury Research Forum Invited Scholar
- USC Rossier School of Education’s Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award
- Dartmouth College Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellowship
- The Centro Latino for Literacy Manos Amigas Volunteer of the Year Award
- The Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship for Doctoral Studies at UCLA
- Irene Diamond Fellowship for Graduate Study at Brown University
- Phillips Academy at Andover Spanish Teaching Fellowship
Her estimated net worth is currently unavailable.