Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa’s major areas of scholarly research include music, business, accounting, entrepreneurship, technology, copyright, film, comparative law, and Africana studies.
She received an M.A. and Ph.D. (Anthropology) from the University of California, Berkeley, an A.M. (Applied Economics) from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Harvard College. In addition to writing about music, Professor Arewa has studied classical voice for many years.
Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor Arewa practiced law for nearly a decade, working in legal and business positions primarily in the entrepreneurial and technology startup arena, including law firms and companies in the Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) at the University of Michigan and served as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and Montevideo, Uruguay.
In 2019, Professor Arewa was a fellow at The Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” at the University of Bonn, Germany for the research project “Disruptive Technologies, Digital Colonialism, and the Construction of Commercial Law in Africa.” In 2015, Professor Arewa received a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Faculty Visit Research Grant at Humboldt University for the research project "Cultural, Legal, and Business Considerations in the Diffusion of Jazz in Germany," a project connected to her forthcoming book Curating Black Music: Ownership and Commodification.
Professor Arewa’s 2021 book, Disrupting Africa: Technology, Law and Development, is based on a decade of archival research about patterns of colonial era law making in former British colonies and the continuing implications of such patterns today. Disrupting Africa won the International Studies Association (ISA) 2022 STAIR (Science, Technology and Art in International Relations) Book Award, which is given annually for the best book that develops interdisciplinary perspectives on how science, technology, and art permeate international politics.