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The 22nd International African Writers’ Day 

 

BACKGROUND


Chinua Achebe (1930 – 2013) is acknowledged all over the world as the most influential African writer of his generation. His writings, including the novel Things Fall Apart, introduced readers throughout the world to the creative use of language and form, as well as to factual inside accounts of modern African life and history. Through his literary contributions and championing of a big and bold vision for Nigeria and Africa, Achebe helped reshape the perception of African history, culture and place in world affairs.
 
For these and other reasons, the Pan African Writers’ Association (PAWA), the continental body of African writers is dedicating its November 2015 Conference to the celebration of the life and works of this great African writer and humanist. The Conference will bring together connoisseurs of Achebe’s works in particular and of African literature in general from across the world. In a truly celebratory manner, the Conference will not only critically explore the impact of Chinua Achebe on African literature but also, through this, the impact of African literature on world literature and vice versa.
 
To be attended by more than 300 participants from within and outside Africa, the Conference will be the biggest and most important literary event in recent times in Africa to explore the state of African literature against the background of the huge shadow cast by the life and works of this giant who, as each one of us must eventually do, answered the call to the beginning on 21st March 2013 after 82 years of giving and committing to Africa and the world.

THEME OF THE CONFERENCE


The theme of the Conference is, Celebrating the life and works of Chinua Achebe: The Coming of Age of African Literature?
 

PARTICIPANTS


Given the significance of the Conference, leading writers and experts from within and outside Africa are expected to participate at the historic conference. The writers will include a number of highly prized African writers. It is also expected that a large number of younger writers, language artists, and people interested in the literary arts and culture generally will attend the Conference. Altogether, 10 participants from the Diaspora, 40 participants outside Ghana from Africa and 50 writers and language arts experts from Ghana are being specially invited by PAWA to the Conference. In addition to these specially invited guests, it is expected that another 200 writers and guests from within and outside Africa will, at their own expense, also attend and participate at the Conference. A total of 300 people are thus expected at the Conference.
 

THEMES & SUB THEMES


Intending paper presenters and lead speakers are encouraged to explore any aspect of the main theme, including the following sub-themes:


• African Literature before Achebe’s Things Fall Apart


• African Literature after Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: The Decades After


• Confronting racism and hegemony in world literature: Extending Achebe’s critique of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness


• The Poetry of Chinua Achebe


• Achebe’s Essays: The Common Threads


• Gender in Achebe’s Fiction 


• Achebe’s There Was A Country: The Insights and Risks of Identity Politics for a Literary Icon


• Beyond and Within the Writer’s Imagination: Politics and Political Commitment of the African writer


• Achebe and the elusive Nobel Prize for Literature: Fathoming the Nobel in the works of African Nobel laureates in Literature  


• Chinua Achebe and the Short Story


• Orature as Origin in the works of Chinua Achebe


• Tradition in the works of Chinua Achebe


• New Directions in African Literature


• African Literature and Pan Africanism


• Governance and Responsibility in African literature


• The African Writer and the struggle for African Renaissance
 

BENEFITS OF THE CONFERENCE 


For participants, writers, African and world literature, the Conference will lead to the following benefits/outcomes among others: 


• Establish the legacy of Chinua Achebe as a Nigerian, African and world writer


• Inspire current and future generations of African writers to build upon or take Achebe’s legacy as a point of departure


• Provide insights into the writer’s world of inner and external motivation and thus contribute to understanding the psychology of creativity


• Showcase the achievements and contributions of African literature to the world


• Demonstrate themes, forms and styles of narrative in African literature and how these affect and are affected by the African experience as made and in the process of being made


• Highlight and evaluate new concerns in African literature both to the African audience and the world

DATE


November 5th -8th, 2015

WHERE? 


6th November - OPENING CEREMONY (Accra International Conference Centre).
 

STRUCTURE OF DISCUSSIONS AT THE CONFERENCE


The Conference will open with a Key Note Address and thereafter, prominent world writers will give lead papers on major issues. The Lead Papers will form part of a number of Panel Discussions. Each Panel Discussion will explore a common or related theme and feature writers and language arts experts on the theme. Given the range of issues to be discussed, there will be parallel Panel Discussions at the Conference.

 

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