Dr Dumebi Obute

Postdoc Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5245
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-Mail: obute@gcr21.org






University of Tübingen, Germany

PhD in English Literatures and Cultures

2020 - 2022

University of Tübingen, Germany

Adjunct Lecturer

American Studies Program

2018 - 2020

University of Tübingen, Germany

Research Assistant

American Studies Program


Universidad Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Brazil

Visiting Scholar


Poise Nigeria, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

Research Consultant


University of Tübingen, Germany

M.A. in English Literatures and Cultures

2017 - 2018

University of Tübingen, Germany

Student Assistant

American Studies Program

2014 - 2016

Veritas University Abuja, Nigeria

Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor


University of Ilorin, Nigeria

B.A. in English

Current Projects

  • A Tale of Two Rivers: The Niger and the Mississippi Deltas from Enslavement to Petroviolence (Doctoral Thesis)
  • Mediascapes of Ruined Geographies in the Global South (Co-edited volume with Diego Amaral, Accepted by Palgrave)
  • “Cinematics of Southern Environmentalism” forthcoming in Cinemas of the Global South (Routledge)
  • “Lagos in Motion: Trailing the Environmental Ruins of Urbanization” forthcoming in Mediascapes of Ruined Geographies in the Global South (Palgrave)
  • “Unmasking a Cryptic South: The Spatial Emergence of the ‘Abhuman’” forthcoming in Unmapping the Global South (Routledge)

Seminars and Conferences

17/05/2022: “Climate Classism: Otherness and the Making of Environmental Casualties” Allgemeine Studierendenausschuss (AStA) University of Hamburg, and Fridays for the Future Hamburg

08/09/2021: “Pluri-Africanism: Desire, Belonging, and Futures” A conversation with Yvonne Adihambo Owuor, Alte Feuerwache Köln.

18/07/2021: “Black Spiritual Communion with Rivers”, German Association for American Studies, University of Heidelberg.

06/2021: German Association for American Studies (DGfA), University of Heidelberg (17-19 July, 2021).

06/2021: “Toxic Temporalities in the Global South”, Interdisciplinary Centre for Global South Studies (ICGSS), University of Tübingen (21-25 June, 2021).

07/2020: “Wellbeing and Subjectivities Across the Global South”, Interdisciplinary Centre for Global South Studies (ICGSS), University of Tübingen (6-9 July 2020).

25/06/2021: “Asymmetries in Global Poisoning: Time to Flatten the Curve”, Interdisciplinary Centre for Global South Studies (ICGSS), University of Tübingen.

23/11/2019: “Germany and the Challenges of Diversity”, Global Partnership for Africa’s Development (GPAD), University of Tübingen.

06/11/2019: “Cinematics of Southern Environmentalism”, Centre for the Studies of India in Africa (CISA), Johannesburg, South Africa.

19/07/2019: “Abhumanity on the Horizon: Emerging Subjectivity in Times of PlanetaryCrisis”, Interdisciplinary Centre for Global South Studies (ICGSS), University of Tübingen.

22/02/2019: “Surviving Modernity: Lives on the Edges of Environmental Destruction in the Global South”. International Workshop on “Mediascapes of Ruined Geographies in the Global South”, University of Tübingen.

30/10/2018: “Eco-Crisis in the Delta: Reading Bio and Necropolitical Turns in Literature”, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) Johannesburg, South Africa.

05/03/2018: “Hegemonic Extremism in the Postcolony: Literary Rendition of Death in the Niger Delta” Veritas University, Abuja.

03/03/2018: “Afri-China Collusion: Accelerating Times of Planetary Apocalypse in Africa” International Conference, University of Tübingen.

05/02/2018: “Nigerian Literature and Cultures” Carlo Schmid Gymnasium, Tübingen.


Dumebi Obute joined the research group 'Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Cooperation' in December 2022 and will be a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Centre until November 2023.

Research Project at the Centre

'Eco-Terrorism': Global De-legitimation of Grassroot Environmental Activism

This project proposes a critique of the de-legitimation of grassroot environmental resistance movements against the onslaught of extractive capitalism in the Global South. It interrogates the tenuous invocation of “eco-terrorism” as a narrative framework for publicly demonizing grassroot movements, and subsequently building upon the hoax of ‘terror’ to introduce state-violence on dissidents. I invoke the example of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria through its decades of protracted environmental struggles against multinational oil corporations, and the Nigerian State to foreground this proposition. Through this example, I will unpack the state’s defective sovereign and eco-terrorism narratives as foundational bases for the claims of legitimacy in the region. It is public knowledge, however, that Nigeria was born out of colonial expediency with the amalgamation of the southern and northern British protectorates in 1914. Weber opines that “tradition”, “affectual attitudes”, “rational belief in absolute value”, and establishment upon “a manner recognized to be legal” (qtd in Reus-Smit, 347) are the four essential principles through which an institution may gain legitimacy. The colonial emergence of the Nigerian state failed to meet any of Weber’s recommendations. I will therefore examine the de-legitimation of the state in the region through the subaltern episteme that the state is a violent colonial contraption that deserves no legitimacy in the postcolony. I argue these opposing epistemes have reduced the negotiation of legitimacy in the region to the brutal use of violence.

Research Interests

  • Postcolonialism
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Transnational Black Identity
  • Home and Belonging
  • Petroculture and Resource Extraction


  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Doctoral Research Program, University of Tübingen (2018 - 2022)
  • Baden Württemberg Scholarship (Declined), Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (2021 - 2022)
  • Futures Under Construction in the Global South (University of Tübingen), Research Visit to Universidade Federal Fluminense Niteroi, Brazil (09/2019)
  • Centre for International Migration, Germany, Diaspora Expert Mission to Poise Nigeria (06/2019)
  • University of Tübingen Research and Excellence Initiative (International Workshop) on “Mediascapes of Ruined Geographies in the Global South” (2018)


Obute, Anthony (2019).'Beyond a Trifling Presence: Afro-Germans and Identity Boundaries in Germany', in Mahmoud Arghavan, Nicole Hirschfelder, Luvena Kopp, and Katharina Moytl (eds.) Who Can Speak and Who is Heard/Hurt? Facing Problems of Race, Racism, andEthnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2019, pp. 83-100.

Obute, Anthony (2014). 'Paradigmatic Shift from Archetypal Conservatism to Decadent Modernity in African Literature: A Study of Gabriel Egbe’s Emani' Veritas Journal of English and Literary Studies, 1(1), 2014, pp. 207-219.