UNIBEN to Host Maiden Commonwealth Conference, Calls for Papers

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Solomon Elusoji

The maiden international conference of the West African Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (WAACLALS) will hold its maiden international conference at the University of Benin from February 19 to 22, 2018.

The theme for the conference will revolve around issues of ‘Slavery and Postcolonial Disengagements’.

“Slavery might tend to represent notions of a past that Africans and particularly West Africans wish to forget,” a statement from WAACLALS, announcing the conference, said. “The reality, however, is that a memorialisation of this past creates, in the present, imageries of shifting political geographies as well as contestations of changing identities. Slavery also conjures tales of trauma and magnifies a subtle annihilation of the West African might. In a way, the continued migrations of West Africans and the mediatisation of the reasons have gradually opened a floodgate of debates which, in various manners, question a variety of tropes on commonwealth/postcolonial literature and at times, offer a polemical rationalisation of a seeming phenomenal reality that might be argued to require a round of academic inquiry.”

Also, the Association called for papers from interested scholars, who are to send proposals of a maximum 250 words as attachment for presentations lasting no more than 20 minutes to waaclals@gmail.com.

Some confirmed speakers for the conference include: Professor Emeritus and Playwright, Femi Osofisan; Professor Oga Steve Abah of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira; Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi of the University of Ibadan; Professor John Egwugwu Illah of the University of Jos; Professor Ehimika Ifidon of the University of Benin; renowned literary critic from India, Professor Ganesh Devy; and Yaw McApreko from Takoradu Technical University, Ghana.

WAACLALS, which was founded in 2015, is the regional branch of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS). The sub-continental association encourages research and scholarship across disciplines in commonwealth, transatlantic and post-colonial studies. It also seeks to stimulate and advance the interaction of researchers, scholars, writers, artists and critics.