It is disheartening to know that history is no longer taught in Nigeria’s secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Politicians, including a former governor of Bayelsa State, would want to abolish the humanities and leave only the hard sciences. There we go wrong, ignoring the humanities and promoting only the hard sciences. I want to add my voice to those calling for the reinstatement of history into the curriculum at all levels of education in Nigeria. It is ironical that at my University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the history department is one of the largest in the entire university. I […]
When on the night of June 29, at St. Nicholas, where he had been hospitalized, Joe wished me safe journey for my travel the following day, I had thought of our next meeting in Nigeria or in the United States, not expecting to hear the devastating news the day after I arrived. Shocked and confounded, my immediate response was “No-o! It can’t be true!” But it soon dawned on me that death is so impenetrable that no hysteric cry can wake my dear friend of over forty years who had gone to the great beyond. I am suddenly left alone, […]
With four literary Nobel laureates the past two decades or so (Wole Soyinka, Idris Mahfouz, Nadine Godimer, and J.M. Coetzee), modern African literature has reached such a world standard of respectability that deserves internal re-examination. Once a writer wins the Nobel Prize, his/her literature and the culture assume a significance that would normally not be accorded it. For this reason, it is pertinent to re-examine the modern tradition of African literature. This essay examines the idea of an African literary canon through the creative talents of African writers and their critics. The term “canon” will be used here in its […]
The fauna and flora of the continent become embodiments of the thoughts of the characters expressed in literature. Wole Soyinka’s Brother Jero plays are based on the motif of the trickster tortoise, the Yoruba ajakpa. Kofi Awoonor uses the weaverbird to represent the coming of colonialists toAfrica in a very symbolic manner. The vulture has featured in Niger Delta literature, as well as the iroko in rainforest settings of African writers. The aim of such symbolism is to use known images of the environment to communicate to the African reader familiar with the reference. Following the shared experience of culture […]
Abani, Chris. GraceLand. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giraux, 2003. Abrahams, Peter. Tell Freedom. London: Heinemann, 1970. Achebe, Chinua. Morning Yet on Creation Day: Essays. New York: Anchor, 1975. —. Anthills of the Savannah. Oxford: Heinemann, 1987. —. A Man of the People. London: Heinemann, 1966. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Purple Hibiscus. New York: Anchor, 2004. —. Half of a Yellow Sun. Lagos: Farafina, 2007. Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy,” in Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization.Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1996. pp. 27-47. Armah, Ayi Kwei. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. London: […]
Call for Papers 2nd Ojaide International Conference (July 9-13, 2008) Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria Tanure Ojaide: Oil and Literature in the Niger Delta In 2005, the first international Conference on the literature of the poet-scholar, Tanure Ojaide, was held at the Delta State University, Abraka,Nigeria. The theme was “Telling the Niger Delta and Beyond.” Focusing on the way his poetry converses with the Niger Delta region, this inaugural conference engaged with the specific mytho-historical and mytho-poetic rendition of this poet’s life in the Niger Delta. The conference was designed to re-phrase these concerns and the place of […]
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