International African Literature Conference to be held at the University of Pretoria

Posted on September 29, 2016


Several high-profile writers will grace an international literary conference to be held at the University of Pretoria. World-renowned Afrikaans author Breyten Breytenbach will open the conference and speak on the topic 'Imaginings, modernities and visions'.

Breytenbach has won several major local and international awards. He is mostly known for his evocative Afrikaans poetry and his international human rights activism. He is a founding member of the Goree Institute, an NGO based in Dakar, Senegal, that promotes peace-building, development, and arts and culture on the African continent.

Veronique Tadjo is an Ivorian author who previously taught at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and currently resides in London. Her book The shadow of Imana was published to high acclaim and chronicles her travels in Rwanda after the genocide of 1995. Her novel Reine Pokou (Queen Pokou) was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix Littéraire d'Afrique Noire in 2005.

According to Prof Hein Willemse, one of the convenors of the conference, the conference coincides with the eightieth anniversary of the establishment of the immediate predecessor to the Afrikaans literary journal Tydskrif vir Letterkunde.

'We were very surprised by the interest shown by our colleagues from across the continent, especially Nigeria, and we look forward to interesting exchanges on a variety of topics, such as the issues of dissidence and resistance, and the representation of trauma, as well as some of the joys of cultural linkages and association that we find in African literature.

'The conference offers participants the opportunity to reflect critically on the various journeys African writers and cultural practitioners on the continent and in the diaspora have travelled, and the ways in which they imagined their futures. We are all looking forward to discussing the common traits and commonalities of African writers across the continent and the world,' Willemse said.

Persons interested in attending the conference may contact Ms Tercia Klopper at the following email addresses: [email protected] or [email protected].



- Author Hein Willemse

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