Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Artist impression of group photo of participants at the First Conference of African Writer of English Expression, Makerere University, 1962 (Illustration: Dada Khanyisa). Image from Chimurenga Chronic.

Fifty-five years after the founding fathers of modern African literature gathered in Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda to try and define what “African Literature” should be, the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will be hosting a conference to mark that seminal moment. The 1962 Makerere Conference, titled “Conference of African Writers of English Expression,” had in attendance the continent’s leading literary figures in English: Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, J.P. Clarke, Gabriel Okara, Rajat Neogy, Bloke Modisane, Okot P’bitek, Bernard Fonlon, Segun Olusola, Grace Ogot, Jonathan Kariara, Rebecca Njau, Saunders Redding, Christopher Okigbo, Francis Ademola, Ezekiel Mphahlele, and Arthur Maimane.

In the same vein, SOAS’s memorial conference, titled “SOAS African Literatures Conference – 55 years after the first Makerere African Writers Conference,” will bring together a few of the continent’s leading literary thinkers. Speakers at the event include Wole Soyinka, Sefi Atta, Cameron Duodu, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Xasan Daahir Weedhsame, Mpalive Msiska, Wangui wa Goro, Chege Githiora, Alena Rettová, Kwadwo Osei-Nyame Jnr, Martin Orwin, Louisa Egbunike, and Richard Oduor who was recently shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for Essays/Think Pieces.

Here is part of the announcement.

The event will mark the celebration of the historical ‘Makerere University African Writers Conference’ where leading figures such as Wole Soyinka, JP Clarke, Ngugi wa Thiong’o were present, and for the first time since the end of colonialism, African writing was properly recognised and celebrated. SOAS academics specialising in literary criticism, translation and African literatures more broadly, will host the conference on 28th October 2017 at the SOAS Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, with the support of the SOAS Centre of African studies.

The event will also host the launch of the Anthology: The Gods Who Send Us Gifts- An Anthology of African Short Stories, edited by Dr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, with foreword by SOAS Director Valerie Amos CH.

Note that SOAS Staff and Students’ admission is free.

Here are key details.

Date: 28 October 2017

Time: 9:30 AM-7:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery

Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Contact email: cas@soas.ac.uk

Book your tickets HERE.

Programme of Events

9.15am-9.45am – Registration

9.45am – Welcome – Professor Mashood Baderin and Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah

10am-10.30am – Keynote by Professor Wole Soyinka

10.30am – 12.15pm – Panel 1: Title ‘Reflecting on the legacy of the 1962 Makerere conference: African Literatures in the 21st century’
Panellists:
Dr Sefi Atta – ‘Taking Stock’
Professor Mpalive Msiska – ‘The Kampala Conference the genesis of enduring Antinomies’
Dr James Gibbs – Title TBA
Dr Louisa Egbunike – ‘Chinua Achebe and the Igbo-Nigerian Novel’
Discussant: Professor Sikhumbuzo Mngadi
Chair: Dr Wangui wa Goro

12.15 -1.30pm – Lunch – Brunei Suite

1.30pm- 3.30pm – Panel 2: Title ‘African Languages and Translations: past and present’
Panellists:
Dr Wangui wa Goro –Translating African Futures: Lessons from the past and present
Mr Richard Oduor – Possibilities for Literary Translations in the Digital Age
Dr Martin Orwin and Mr Hassan Dahir Ismail ‘Weedhsame’– Form and Feeling in Translating Somali Poetry
Ms Sophie Alal – Reclaiming Tongues
Discussant: Dr Chege Githiora
Chair: Dr Alena Rettova

3.30pm-4pm – Tea and coffee Break

4pm- 4.50pm – Book Launch: The Gods Who Send Us Gifts – An
Anthology of African Short Stories
Panel: Mrs Nana Ayebia Clarke (Publisher), Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah
(Editor), Ms Mary Ashun (Contributor to the Anthology)

4.50pm – 5.30pm – Tributes
Tribute to Buchi Emecheta by Mr Sylvester Onwordi
Tribute to Abiola Irele by Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame Jnr.
Tribute to Alain Ricard by Dr Wangui wa Goro

5.30 – 6.25pm – Poetry readings
1. Mr Hassan Dahir Ismail ‘Weedhsame’ will read ‘Galilyo/Catastrophe’ in Somali language
2. Dr Ida Hadjivayanis will read a poem by Alamin Mazrui, ‘Niguse’ in Swahili language
3. Prof Atukwei Okai will read the poem, ‘The Bond-Oath of Ubuntu’ in English language
Chair: Dr Ranka Primorac

6.25-6.30pm – Closing remarks by Dr Chege Githiora

6.30pm-7.30pm – Reception (Brunei Suite)

Find out more HERE.

Download the programme of events HERE.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology | Read e-Book Exploring Millennial Sex Culture and Romance in African Cities

erotic-africa

Much has been said about the state of sex in African literature: whether African novelists are keen on sex, why […]

Zimbabwean Mapping Project Documents the Movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare

dambudzo marechera - graph

An unusual mapping project has documented the movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare. “Home Means Nothing to Me,” published in […]

Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia Gets Animation Movie | Watch Teaser

The Passport of Mallam Ilia - animation

Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel The Passport of Mallam Ilia is being made into an animated movie. Premium Times reports that the 2D […]

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible Makes Vogue’s Must-Read Books of 2018

yrsa daley-ward - image by Laurel Grolio for Girls At Library

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow […]

Film Adaptation of Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, by Dapo Adeniyi, Tells the Story of the Legend as a Child in the 1940s | Watch Trailer 

Egba women wait on Mrs Kuti at the outset of the women’s riot3

The film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1981 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is now available on Amazon. Set during the World […]

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology Forthcoming in December

erotic-africa

Twelve months after the call for submissions was made in January, we are happy to announce that Erotic Africa: The Sex […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.