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 Ojaide in what has emerged as the “literatures of micro-minorities of Nigeria.” Since that conference, Ojaide has stayed the course and has continued this conversation with his homeland and this specific geography in his recent books of fiction and poetry, The Activist (2006), In the House of Words (2006), The Tale of the Harmattan (2007), and the forthcoming epic poem, Waiting for the Hatching of a Cockerel (2008). Perhaps it is the poet’s constant return and articulation of the woes of the abject of the Niger Delta that best defines the new writings as quintessential Ojaide.
The second international conference on Tanure Ojaide focuses yet again on issues relating to the Niger Delta. It brings the conversation down to the role of literature in the politics of oil exploration and resource management in the Niger Delta. “Tanure Ojaide: Oil and Literature in The Niger Delta” draws attention to the history of literature in the discourses of oil in the Niger Delta. It calls attention to a new body of literature that has been aptly defined as “the literature of the Niger Delta.” While Ojaide is comfortably at the hub of this literary enterprise, this conference recognizes and brings together writers who have contributed one way or the other to this debate. Papers are solicited on any aspects of Tanure Ojaide’s poetry, prose fiction, essays and autobiographical writings as well as the other tributaries of the literatures of the Niger Delta that deal with the complex issue of the role of literature in articulating global dimensions of oil and contemporary life in the Niger Delta. Papers may address one or more of the issues outlined below:
-the local and the global in Ojaide’s literature; discourses of ecology in Ojaide’s literature; oil and the politics of literary representations in Nigerian literature; the history of oil exploration in the Niger Delta; literature of ecology and the environment about the Niger delta; literary representations of multi-national oil companies in the Niger Delta; JP Clark (Bekederemo), Ken Saro-Wiwa, Tanure Ojaide; socio-cultural transformations in the Niger Delta; Oil, politics, and the literatures of the Niger Delta. Abstracts (due December 15, 2007) and full papers (due March 31, 2007) should be sent by email to both:
Professor Onookome Okome Dr. Sunny Awefeada
English and Film Studies Department of English and Literary Studies
University of Alberta, Delta State University,
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E5 Abraka, Nigeria.