• Nigeria_Astronaut_Space_Olukotun
    It’s not an email scam people, Nigeria really is sending an astronaut into space [Quartz Africa]

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ReplyAll and the Battle for Storytelling about the Net. February 2015.
Article in Huffington Post on the podcasts ReplyAll and TLDR. Features interviews with the co-hosts, producers, and a media expert.
The First We’ll Never Know What Stories We’ve Lost: Understanding the Effect of Surveillance on Freedom of Speech. January 2015.
An article for the British Library on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The project is a learning resource for students and teachers on digital rights.
The First Intergalactic War Will Be Caused by Spoilers. December 2014.
An article in GigaOm about Star Wars, copyright, and creativity. I also take a look at Cory Doctorow's new book.
Meeting My Protagonist: When I wrote a novel about a Nigerian space program, I didn’t expect it to be so close to the truth. September 2014.
Article in Slate about my visit to Nigeria, when I met the head engineer of the space program.
The Slippery Slope of Self-censorship in China. October 2013.
Huffington Post article discussing how American authors self-censor to penetrate markets in China, and the real-world dangers of Chinese authors who refuse to do the same.
Three Lessons on Digital Circumvention. July 2013.
Lessons from a Citizen Lab conference on digital circumvention tools for human rights activists seeking to evade censorship.
From Prospero to Prism: an Interview on Literature and Surveillance. July 2013.
An interview with the authors of a groundbreaking survey on surveillance and literature. Find out why you should read The Lord of the Rings and not 1984.
Four Digital Security Lessons for Writers. May 2013.
Some key lessons that I learned while speaking at a human rights conference in Krakow, Poland.
Open Source Design Tools for Human Rights Activists. January 2013.
This piece in the Huffington Post identifies free design resources available to human rights activists, enabling practitioners to improve their storytelling and widen their impact.


The Spear of the N-Word. January 2015.
An article on the racism, art, and free expression, with an emphasis on the digital age.
An Interview with Iranian Cartoonist Mana Neyestani. December 2014.
Article in Vice with this phenomenal, courageous artist.
The Jailing of Enoh Meyomesse. March 2013.
I created an interactive timeline to call attention to the case of the Cameroonian writer Enoh Meyomesse. I also designed the logo in French and English. Enoh Meyomesse is now free and out of prison!
A New Refuge for Haitian Writers. Jan. 2013
A feature article in World Literature Today about PEN Haiti’s beautiful new headquarters and House of Literature in Thomassin, Haiti, which I visited this year.
The Hogwarts for Entrepreneurs. November 2012.
An in-depth article in Huffington Post on the amazing African Leadership Academy in South Africa that is training the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs.
The Banning of Harry Potter. September 2012.
What Harry Potter teaches us about censorship and free expression, with some tidbits about copyright and J.K. Rowling in court. Published on pen.org and The Huffington Post.
How Two South Asian Literary Festivals Are Defining the Role of the Writer. Feb 2012.
An article on the Jaipur (India) and Galle (Sri Lanka) literary festivals and how they are defining the role of the writer in the Huffington Post.
Gold, Guns and Books: the Meyomesse Affair. Jan 2012.
An article in the Huffington Post on detained Cameroonian writer Enoh Meyomesse and the climate of free expression in the country.
Soccer in Haiti: 2 years After the Quake. Jan 2012.
This Huffington Post article examines soccer in Haiti through the lens of the development issues plaguing the country after the 2010 earthquake.
Storytelling for Justice. 2011.
I guest edited a series of articles for American Jewish World Service—an international development organization—to understand how the organization utilizes storytelling to advance its mission of empowering marginalized peoples around the globe.
Mountain Climbing and Apartheid. 2007.
Apologizing in post-apartheid South Africa is not nearly as simple as it seems. This article documents the attempt by the Mountain Club of South Africa to apologize for its discriminatory policies during apartheid. There are a number of interviews with climbers and the apology is analyzed through the lens of the latest theories of reconciliation in countries suffering from mass trauma.


The First Intergalactic War Will Be Caused by Spoilers. December 2014.
An article in GigaOm about Star Wars, copyright, and creativity. I also take a look at Cory Doctorow's new book.
Super-Mongrels of Indeterminate Breed. Oct. 2013
An essay for Banned Books Week on the magic, beauty, and racism of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.
How Reading Kazuo Ishiguro Can Make You a Better Writer. 2007.
Secret techniques from his groundbreaking novel The Unconsoled
Robert evans and Edward Bellion. the art of refereeing. espn soccernet. august 2011.
Shigeru Mizuki. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths. Words Without Borders. June 2011.
Mike Nicol. Payback. World Literature Today. November / December 2010.
Tiphanie Yanique. How to Escape from a Leper Colony. World Literature Today. May / June 2010.
Ivan Vladislavic. Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked. World Literature Today. March / April 2010.
Joe Latakgomo. Mzansi Magic. ESPN Soccernet. August 2010.
Brad Friedel with Malcolm McClean. Thinking Outside the Box. ESPN Soccernet. June 2010.
Ha Jin. The Writer as Migrant. World Literature Today. September / October 2009.
Kgebtli Moele. Room 207. LitNet.co.za. December 2006.
Yamaha's Tenori-On = Wii + iPhone + Love.
Haruki Murakami. After Dark.
2 Days in Paris. Film Review.

Creative Pieces

Photoshop is my PlayStation now: how a game tester became a mysterious digital artist. February 2015.
I interviewed the talented digital artist Surian Soosay about his work and inspiration.
Meeting My Protagonist: When I wrote a novel about a Nigerian space program, I didn’t expect it to be so close to the truth. September 2014.
Article in Slate about my visit to Nigeria, when I met the head engineer of the space program.
Now She Has a Name. April 2013.
A short personal essay in The Millions about how police solved the mystery of a severed head that was found in a golf course in my hometown when I was a child.
Not Your Mother’s Book Club: The Oil Barons Society of Texas. March 2012.
Published in the literary site The Millions, this piece highlights a unique men-only book club in South Texas that is redefining the role of the man.
How to Create your own Jurassic Park. Feb 2012.
Published in The New York Review of Science Fiction, this piece offers lessons from Michael Crichton’s novel and film about how to expand his fictional universe.
The Cycle of Life and Loss
Published in the literary magazine Triplopia.com, Vol VII, Issue 3 (2007). A brief article about the cycle of life, through the lens of Haruki Murakami and Michael Ende. The article was written to address the theme of ‘Structure’. (Sadly, Triplopia has since disappeared into the cyberspace ether.)


Novelist credits Yale for inspiring ‘sense of wonder’. June 2017.
Interview at Yale after appearing at the African Literature Association.
Deji Bryce Olukotun: the life of an activist and writer. November 2016
An interview with Lush Cosmetics on my writing and work as a digital rights activist. I led a collaboration with Lush to raise awareness about internet shutdowns with a special bath product.
An Interview with Iranian Cartoonist Mana Neyestani. December 2014
Article in Vice with this phenomenal, courageous artist.
Fighting the rise of digital repression: a Q&A with Deji Olukotun. December 2013
Interview about my work fighting for writers at PEN America.
An Interview with Zapiro. January 2012.
I interviewed the elusive and celebrated South African political cartoonist Zapiro at PEN American Center. Zapiro is a true champion of free expression who has fearlessly taken on presidents and the compelling issues of the day. I also compiled an annotated history of his cartoons.
Interview with crime writer Margie Orford. Oct 2011.
I interviewed the charming South African crime writer Margie Orford about her work as an activist at South African PEN. Click here to read the interview at PEN American Center.


Reflections on Law and Literature. Nov. 2012.
The introductory essay to a volume of World Literature Today about the law and literature movement, with a special focus on social justice.
Risk and Responsibility: Protecting Human Rights Defenders (co-Author). June 2011.
This paper researches emerging issues confronting human rights defenders and recommends strategies for grantmakers.
The Spirit of the National Peace Accord: The Past and Future of Conflict Resolution in South Africa. 2009.
Published in ACCORD: the African Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 9 No. 1, 2009). The work is a condensed version of my research as a Rotary scholar in South Africa. The article examines the groundbreaking initiative called the National Peace Accord, which helped shepherd South Africa away form apartheid. It goes on to look at the government’s new attempt to incorporate traditional justice systems into the state.
A Critical Legal Studies Primer. 2006.
Karl Marx warned us that legal rights are not always to be trusted. His reasoning was simple: that legal rights often perpetuate systems of exploitation and bolster the status quo. But somehow, one hundred and fifty years later, we continue to believe in them. This lengthy academic essay looks at the role of rights through the lens of the Critical Legal Studies movement. Writing in the 70s and 80s, these scholars found that the law diffuses power in surprising and often unpredictable ways – but rarely is a sinister force at work.
Refugees and Conflict Resolution in the Western Cape of South Africa. 2007.
Published in Dialogue: the Journal of Global Majority (Vol. 1, No.1, 2007). This article describes some of the issues confronting refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa. It specifically addresses violence against the refugee community, and suggests plausible solutions.
Immigrants and Harm Reduction Statutes in California
Published in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Volume 19, Issue 3 (Spring 2005). This article describes the effect of drug harm reduction statutes upon the immigrant community in California. Thankfully, the incongruencies that I identified in the Immigration and Naturalization Act — in which removal for a drug offense depended almost entirely on the state you were living in — has since been at least partially resolved by a Supreme Court decision.
The Use of Force: Punishing Military Contractors Abroad. 2005.
This article examines various means of holding military contractors accountable. It discusses the alien tort statute and delves into the quagmire of U.S. military procurement rules and regulations. Submitted for my MPhil in Justice & Transformation at the University of Cape Town.
Resurrecting Gandhi: A New Method of Conflict Resolution for South Africa and Beyond. 2005.
This article seeks to understand Gandhi’s method of Satyagraha and identify its relevancy in post-apartheid South Africa. Submitted for my MPhil in Justice & Transformation at the University of Cape Town.