Liberation and Identity in African Literature and Films

Proposals are invited for a panel called Teaching Liberation and Identity in African and Diasporic Literature and Films that will be part of the 39th annual Conference of the African Literature Association, College of Charleston, South Carolina, March 20-24, 2013.

Teaching liberation and Identity in African  Literature and Films

Both African and African American literatures are at their genesis literatures of self-identity, self-representation and liberation. Whether one reads the Anglophone writings of Peter Abrahams, Chinua Achebe, or Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, the Francophone Patrice Nganang or Sembene Ousmane, watches films such as Haile Gerima’s Sankofa or reads the African Americans Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor or Reginald Mcknight, the central function of these literary works and films is often the articulation of the mental liberation of the characters and, by extension, the implied reader from their hostile and oppressive environments.

  • To what extent do films, such as Sankofa or Xala, effectively enlighten the viewer or implied reader /student and to what extent do diasporic and African literatures dismantle difference, encourage the respect of the Other, effect government human rights policies and change societal attitudes.
  • Does the teaching of Africa in both African and diasporic liberation literatures enable a re-envisioning of Africa and promote change and freedom?
  • Is literature for the African and/or African American teacher or critique writer an instrument of liberation?

If you are interested in being a part of this panel, please send a 250 word abstract to Chiwengo Ngwarsungu, by November 25th.

Questions also should be directed to Chiwengo, Ngwarsungu,

Suggested Books

The Search for Cultural Identities in Post-Colonial Africa is Eddy Moto Ewane s first book. It chronicles, with a tinge of humour, efforts of a West African village to identify itself with its cultural and ancestral past, against the backdrop of socio-administrative machinations.

In this small work Professor Horace Campbell the veteran Pan-Africanist scholar and Rodney Worrell a young organic intellectual address some of the burning issues of Pan-Africanism.


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