The debate on African literature – its history and nature – is as old as the term “African literature” (or “African literatures”) itself. Some of the issues that have been raised in this debate (or series of debates) include the validity of the term, language use, theoretical frameworks and generic distinctions, connections (and disconnections) between the oral and the written, gender relations and representations, relationship with other literatures and cultures (including the African Diaspora), national and international contexts of writing and interpretation, the influence of regional geopolitical configurations and inter/regional markets, race and class, the politics and influence of prizes and publishing, technology and audience. The true scope of this debate extends beyond the compartmentalizatio n of African literature and encompasses both sub-Saharan African literature and North African literature, both black and white African writers.
This debate has occasioned some of the most provocative and considered works of literary criticism in the history of modern literature.
Debating African Literature seeks to gather or reference some of those canonical debates. Even more important, it aims at provoking new, enriching ones. It has three main objectives:
– to encourage the examination or re-examination of major issues related to African literature and its Diaspora;
– to critically examine and further contextualize (or bridge) some of the divides in African literature ;
– to nourish a continuing debate on some of the core issues that define or sustain literature.
Debating African Literature is in honor of Michael J. C. Echeruo, William Safire Professor in Modern Letters, Department of English and Textual Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. The project is a parting salute to one of the most visionary minds ever to debate and illuminate African literature as he prepares to retire from the academy after nearly 50 years as a distinguished professor of literary theory, African, English, and African Diaspora literatures.
Scholars are invited to submit engaging articles on any aspect of African and African Diaspora literatures, especially those mentioned above. The deadline for the receipt of articles (including abstracts) is February 28, 2010. Please send an electronic copy of your article in MLA format as an email attachment (Microsoft Word or PDF) to Maik Nwosu at firstname.lastname@example.org and Obiwu at obiwu1@gmail. com. Debating African Literature will be published by a major academic publisher.
About the editors Maik Nwosu is an assistant professor of African and world literature at the University of Denver, Colorado. Obiwu is the director of the Writing Center at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio.