Professor Henri Boyi

Image of Henri BoyiBureau: AHB, Room 2R02
Téléphone: 519-661-2111 x 87446
Professor Boyi arrived in Canada in 1994, after the genocide catastrophe that struck his home country of Burundi in October 1993. Since 1995, he has been passionate about teaching the French language and understanding the process of learning in multicultural and multilingual environments. Among the many other courses that he teaches at Western University, his signature course, Rwanda: Culture, Society and Reconstruction, involves a five-week International Service-Learning Experience in Rwanda. Started in 2010, this course extends Western’s ongoing partnership with University of Rwanda and several local NGOs. This provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about Rwandan society and about themselves. Professor Boyi’s academic work and passion for helping others has inspired him to develop a unique course that has taught his students what he calls, “the values of our shared humanity.” Through this course, students gain a deep understanding of Rwandan culture and history, particularly events surrounding and following the 1994 genocide. Needless to say, the success and the popularity of this course have exceeded anybody’s initial expectations.

Professor Henri Boyi’s main interest lies in French language teaching and learning in a multicultural and multilingual environment. He asserts that it is essential that any approaches of language pedagogy take into account that languages are an integral part of human development. Professor Boyi’s academic background in postcolonial literatures and theories has strongly enriched his didactic approaches to all his courses. Grammatical theories and practices, textual and literary analysis, intellectual and cultural realms, as well as multimedia activities contribute to the creation of a classroom environment where language learning becomes a truly enjoyable experience.

At the beginning of his classes, students always hear the following words: “Let’s all work hard and have fun!”

As a result of his outstanding teaching and his dedication to community work, Boyi has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012, the Western Humanitarian Award in 2012, the Community Service Learning Award in 2011 and the highly coveted Marilyn Robinson Award for excellence in teaching in 2009. More recently, Professor Boyi was also a recipient of the prestigious Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards by RBC in 2015, in recognition of his outstanding academic work and his community contributions both at home and abroad. Last year (2016), he received the International Service Learning Leadership Award from The College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda.

Selected Publications
  • Intercolonialité, interculturalité et altérité”, in Literary Research, ed. Calin Mihailescu (Winter 2005).
  • "Alienation in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Bessie Head’s A Quest of Power,” in The Osaka Journal of African Studies, Kiyoto University, Japan, (Spring 1993).
  • Gadeloupe Chérie,” in African Literature Association Bulletin, Vol. 19, No 2, (Spring 1993).