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Renowned author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o in Ghana for international conference on African Studies



Ngugi wa Thiong’oProfessor Ngugi wa Thiong’o, the world renowned literary scholar and writer has arrived in Ghana to participate in the international conference on African Studies from October 24 to 26, 2013 at the University of Ghana campus in Accra. The theme of conference is ‘Revisiting the First International Congress of Africanists in a Globalised World’.

Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a Keynote Speaker of the Conference and will be speaking on the topic “The Future of African Scholarship: Resistance to European Metaphysical Empires”. The conference climaxes activities marking the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Institute of African Studies and also celebrates the 65th Anniversary of the University of Ghana.
The Opening Ceremony of the conference will take place on 24th October, 2013 at 8.45am at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon Campus.
President John Dramani Mahama is the Special Guest of Honour and will deliver the opening address and officially open the Conference.
The Institute of African Studies, established in 1961 and formally opened in 1963 by the Late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first President of the Republic of Ghana, is undoubtedly one of the earliest institutes and centres of African Studies on the African continent. It was happily the venue for the First Congress of Africanists which took place in 1962, under the chairmanship of Professor Onwuka Dike, the first African Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
That Congress aimed to galvanise Africanists, researchers, scholars and activists in the coordination of energies and resources – material and intellectual – towards the study of the continent and its peoples, and chart a course for the discipline of African Studies.
The 2013 Conference is presented as a sequel to that congress. It will bring together scholars, practitioners and activists to revisit the 1962 congress and to reflect on the largely unfinished business that lies before us and propose strategies to develop a progressive new Africa.
Some of the other keynote speakers are Dr. Carlos Lopes, United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and Professor Fatou Sow, a distinguished social scientist and internationally acclaimed specialist in gender studies.
After half a century of scholarly and professional engagement in the study of the continent and its diasporas, it is time to reassess theories, approaches, methodologies, and outcomes, and to ensure that we are constantly relevant to our time and the future. Given its pioneering role, the Institute of African Studies deems it its duty to initiate the discussion on African Studies in a globalised twenty-first century.
One of the major highlights of the conference will be the launch of the Association of African Studies, Africa (ASAA). This will provide the institutional framework for a continent-wide association to analyse and provide solutions to our challenges.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is a recipient of eight Honorary Doctorates, is a Fellow of the MLA and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Ngũgĩ, formerly Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Languages and Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies, New York University, is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist from Kenya.
The Kenya of his birth and youth was a British settler colony (1895-1963). As an adolescent, he lived through the Mau Mau War of Independence (1952-1962), the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya and a major theme in his early works.

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