Brown University: Achebe Colloquium to explore African literature

Meghan Reid Apr 30, 2014 at 11:37pm

April 30, 2014 at 11:37 pm | News

Meghan Reid

Meghan Reid

April 30, 2014 at 11:37 pm | News

 

Achebe2_3

Photo: Mike Cohea/Brown University

The 2014 Achebe Colloquium on Africa will bring together an international group of academics, activists, African government officials, and writers to examine the impact of the late Chinua Achebe’s writings on modern African literature. The colloquium will be held at Brown University Thursday, May 1, through Saturday, May 3, 2014.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The 2014 Achebe Colloquium on Africa will be held at Brown University Thrusday, May 1, through Saturday, May 3, 2014, in List Art Center auditorium, 64 College St.

The Achebe Colloquium on Africa brings together an international group of academics, activists, African government officials, and writers for three days of intense examination of the impact of the late Chinua Achebe’s writings on modern African literature. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required.

This year’s colloquium, titled “African Literature as Restoration: Chinua Achebe as Teacher,” will center around the life and legacy of the late novelist. Achebe, the acclaimed Nigerian novelist and the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and professor of Africana studies at Brown, died in March 2013 at the age of 82. Achebe started the colloquium in 2009 to bring attention to issues affecting Africa.

Speakers at this year’s colloquium include Lynn Innes, professor emerita of English at the University of Kent and author of an analysis of Achebe’s works; Simon Gikandi, professor of English at Princeton University; Bernth Lindfors, professor emeritus of English at the University of Texas–Austin and a leading scholar of African literature; Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangaremgba; Giyatri Spivak, literary theorist and professor at Columbia University; David Palumbo-Liu, professor of comparative literature at Stanford University; Michael Thelwell, Jamaican novelist and author of The Harder They Come; and Vijay Kumar, professor of English at Osmania University in India.

Brown President Christina Paxson will deliver a welcome address and Alhaji Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, executive governor of the Kano State in Nigeria, will give Saturday’s closing keynote address. Abena P.A. Busia, associate professor of English and co-director of the Women Writing Africa Project at Rutgers University, will serve as panel moderator throughout the colloquium.

The program also includes performances by Nigerian playwright Tess Onwueme; Afro roots musical group Eme and Heteru; singers from the Sri Chinmoy Centre; Ohafia war dancers; a poetry, music, and song collage by South Africa’s Sindiswa Seakhoa; and power poetry by Ikeogu Oke with instrumentalist Osuji Ngozi Michael.

Sessions include a roundtable reflection on Achebe’s life by his close friends and colleagues and a panel discussion on Achebe’s influence on hip hop music.

This will be Brown’s fifth Achebe Colloquium on Africa. The 2012 colloquium focused on governance, security and solutions to peace in Africa. The 2011 colloquium explored several challenges facing the region, including the Arab Spring and the crisis in Darfur. The 2010 colloquium focused attention on three African nations — Rwanda, Congo, and Nigeria — and the crucial issues impacting the countries, the continent, and the world. The inaugural 2009 colloquium addressed the problems and prospects of the 2010 Nigerian elections.

This year’s colloquium schedule and other details are available online at www.brown.edu/conference/achebe-colloquiu

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