2 – 4 May 2017, Vienna, deadline: 15 March 2017

Workshop on Strategies for the Promotion of African Language Literature

University of Vienna
Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) Research Platform
And Department of African Studies
May 2 to May 4, 2017

 Papers for this workshop will not only critically examine definitions and onceptualizations of African literature, they will also propose various strategies for the development and promotion of African language literature. Key questions to be addressed should include but are not limited to: What is African literature? Can African language literature live side by side with literature about Africa written in other languages? What is the impact of digital and social media on writing in African languages? What is the role of the diaspora in the development of African languages and how do exchanges between the diaspora and the continent affect it? How can scholars, both in Africa and worldwide, promote African language literature?

Papers are invited for a workshop, jointly organized by the Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) research platform, and the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, on how Africans and other scholars, both in Africa and in the global African Diasporas, can promote African language literature. Following a major debate about the subject-matter of African literature between Ngũugĩi wa Thiong’o (e.g. Ngugi 1986) and others, on the one hand, and Chinua Achebe (e.g. Achebe 1989) and others, on the other hand, the question what African literature is still remains largely unanswered. We are instead treated to paradigms by Europhone Africans like Anglophone African Literature, Francophone African Literature, Lusophone African literature, and, presumably in the near future, Sinophone African literature but hardly do we hear enough of the essential paradigm: Afriphone African Literature!

The following is a tentative schedule for the workshop, and it indicates invited and noted speakers and their topics:

May 2, 2017: 

5 – 7 pm: Prof Ngũugĩi wa Thiong’o: Writing in African languages (to be confirmed)
Presentation of the Exposition “The Upright Revolution”

May 3, 2017: 

Prof Adams Bodomo: Parallel text: a theoretical and methodological strategy for promoting African language literature in the twenty-first century
Moses Kilolo: Jalada’s practical vision in promoting African language literatures

May 4: 

Book Public reading by Prof. Ngũugĩi wa Thiong’o
Abstracts of papers for a 20-minute presentation (not exceeding 300 words, including a biographical note of not more than 50 words) should be sent to Ms. Caroline Pajancic (caroline.pajancic@univie.ac.at) not later than March 15th , 2017.
Authors of accepted papers will be sent notifications by March 31st, 2017.
Workshop Organizing Committee:
Dr Martina Kopf – Coordinator
Ms Hasiyatu Abubakari – Logistics
Ms Caroline Pajancic – Correspondence
Prof Adams Bodomo – Chair

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