Sam Dennis Otieno

Sam Dennis Otieno

252 Burrowes


PhD Student in Comparative Literature, Penn State, 2022 – Present.
MA in Literature, University of Nairobi, 2016 – 2018.
BA in Literature and Sociology, University of Nairobi, 2012 – 2015.

Professional Bio

Sam Dennis Otieno joined the Pennsylvania State University in 2022. He is in the dual title PhD program of Comparative Literature and African Studies. He is interested in the literary and cultural productions of Africa and its diasporas.


Areas of Interest:

Life writing

Popular culture


Theory and criticism

Visual narratives


Awards and Fellowships:

Open Society University Network Oral Histories Research Fellowship, June 2021 – May 2022.


Research Publications:

Book Reviews:

Otieno, Sam Dennis. Review of Narrating Kenyan Oceanic Encounters in Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s The Dragonfly Sea, East African Literary and Cultural Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 26 May 2021, pp. 113–116.,



Otieno, Sam Dennis. “Down River Road in Contemporary Kenyan Popular Fiction.” Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, vol. 58, no. 1, 14 June 2021, pp. 18–19.,



Otieno, Sam Dennis. “Archives of a Pandemic: Song and the Mitigation of the COVID-19 Pandemic in East Africa.” Cogent Arts & Humanities, vol. 8, no. 1, 2021,