Literature Conferences

Reflections on the Detective Novel as an Allegory of Contemporary Kenya

Date & Time: From 2015-08-20
To 2015-08-22
Description of Conference

The detective novel has for a long time been seen as a popular genre, often supposedly read for entertainment as opposed to its concern with ‘serious’ issues about society. This paper reads Richard Crompton’s detective novels to examine the value of the detective/crime thriller in Kenya today. Crompton’s The Honey Guide (2013) and Hell’s Gate (2014) seek to show that the Kenyan national body is ailing because of (moral) corruption. We argue that the detective novel in Kenya is a profound commentary, a moral fable and a critique of certain socio-economic, political and cultural realities of the society today and that the corruption of the Kenyan body is a consequence of both local and international forces such as the circulation of what I would term ‘crimescapes.’ 

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The Truth on Common Poverty and the Common Wealth in Rural Kenya: Stanley Gazemba’s “Stone Hills of Maragoli”

Date & Time: From 2014-12-10
To 2014-12-10
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

The Truth on Common Poverty and the Common Wealth in Rural Kenya: Stanley Gazemba’s “Stone Hills of Maragoli”

Dr. Alex Wanjala

10th December 2014

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Readings from Womanic Verses: An Anthology of Poems on Femininity and Womanhood

Date & Time: From 2014-11-19
To 2014-11-19
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

Readings from Womanic Verses: An Anthology of Poems on Femininity and Womanhood

Prof. Monica N.W. Mweseli

19th November 2014

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Contemporary Trends and Style in Young African Writings

Date & Time: From 2014-10-08
To 2014-10-08
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

Contemporary Trends and Style in Young African Writings

Zukiswa Wanner

8th October, 2014

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Journey Narrative and Genre Iin British Youths: Re-telling of International Volunteer Experiences in Kenya

Date & Time: From 2014-09-10
To 2014-09-10
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

Journey Narrative and Genre Iin British Youths: Re-telling of International Volunteer Experiences in Kenya

Mr. Kaylan Shwartz (Oxford University)

10th September 2014

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One Day Literary Colloquium on Kenyan Literature at 50

Date & Time: From 2014-08-27
To 2014-08-27
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

One Day Literary Colloquium on Kenyan Literature at 50

SAMOSA/Department of Literature Jointly

27th August 2014

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On Becoming an International Film Director

Date & Time: From 2014-08-13
To 2014-08-13
Description of Conference

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

On Becoming an International Film Director

Mr. Takashi Miike (Japan)

13th August 2014

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IAMCR 2014 (INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH)

Date & Time: From 2014-07-14
To 2014-07-21
Description of Conference

Dr. Alex Wanjala has been invited to attend the above conference in Hyderabad, India.

 

Around 1200 delegates from vairous contires are expected to participate in this conference
 

Attachments
Link http://www.uohyd.ac.in/

Feature Writing

Date & Time: From 2014-07-09
To 2014-07-09
Description of Conference

S/No

Title of Paper Presented

Presenter

Date

  1.  

Feature Writing

Mrs. Nithya Sidhu (Malaysia)

9th July 2014

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Uncommon Wealths: Riches and Realities

Date & Time: From 2014-04-14
To 2014-04-18
Description of Conference

Two members of the Department of Literature recently participated in a conference
hosted by the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language
Studies (EACLALS)
, at the Univers ity of Innsbruck,Austria. The two; Prof. Helen
Mwanzi and Dr. Alex Wanjala, presented papers at the Conference which took place
from 14-18th April 2014.The conference drew participants from several countries
and was quite a success. The University of Nairobi  was the only University from
the region that was represented at the International Conference. Prof. Mwanzi's
paper is titled "Aesthetics of Wealth: the  Ugliness of Excess." That of Dr.
Wanjala
is "the Truth on Common Poverty and Uncommon Wealth in Rural Kenya:
Stanley Gazemba's Stone Hills of Maragoli." Both papers fitted in well with the
conference theme which was "Uncommon Wealths: Riches and Realities."

Attachments
Link http://www.eaclals.eu/conferences.html

First East African Cultural Conference

Date & Time: From 2012-09-05
To 2012-09-09
Description of Conference

 

The Eastern African Cultural Forum

 

KOLA in collaboration with the Literature Department of The University of Nairobi intends to run a five-day cultural forum to be held in September 2012 in Kenya as an inception activity of this project. The cultural forum will serve as a launch pad for the overall Eastern African project whose overall goal is to create borderless communities within the Eastern African society.  The forum encompasses conference sessions and cultural performances from selected cultural troupes from all over Eastern Africa.

 

KOLA thus requests interested scholars and cultural troupes who will participate in the forum to submit proposals for papers and performances to be presented during the conference sessions. The proposals should precisely capture the project’s theme: “Borderless communities: shifting and convergence of cultures across borders, boundaries and spaces”. Further, the troupes that intend to perform during the cultural forum should send the details of their groups and the items they will present during the forum. The participants in the forum may make their presentations through panels, documentaries, performances or individual paper presentations. The participants should indicate in their abstracts the forms of their presentations. They can also indicate about their conference requirements like video coverage, projectors, space for performance etc.

 

Modes of participation

 

In this conference the participants should write to the KOLA secretariat about the different forms that their presentation will take. This may include:

  • Paper presentations
  • Presentations of documentaries
  • Performances
  • Panel discussions

 

Objectives

 

  • To discuss and suggest recommendations to governments on how to strengthen language and cultural policies to ensure the protection, preservation and revitalisation of the endangered ones
  • To explore and suggest practical ways of promoting cultural integration between Eastern African Asians and the majority African population
  • To promote the sharing of research findings on how indigenous and endangered languages, identities and cultures could be revitalised, preserved and disseminated through contemporary art forms.
  • To explore ways and means of exploiting modern media such as the cyberspace as sites for re-imagining old and emerging cultural and linguistic identities
  • To  share ideas on what lessons can be learned and harnessed from the contested, transgressive and conflicted postcolonial languages, cultures and identities

 

Rationale

 

The Eastern African Cultural Forum will celebrate the cultural diversity of the Eastern African region. It will be a platform for re-imagining the multiculturalism of the Eastern African communities alongside the ongoing economic and political integration.  As these formal integrative processes deepen, there are cultural, linguistic, identity and heritage issues that should be explored with a view to establish various aspects relating to cultures, languages, identities and heritage in Eastern Africa: conflicted cultures and languages, translation and untranslatability, transgressive and the transgressed, dominant and the dominated and marginality. Sharing such knowledge may go a long way towards helping policy makers and implementers to align policy interventions to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities on language, identity, heritage and cultural issues. In a way, the conference will be a forum to suggest ways of strengthening and entrenching the spirit of the Eastern African Community.

 

It is, therefore, important that as the formal integration goes on, scholars, researchers, practitioners and artists reflect on the place of languages, cultures, heritage and peoples’ identity. Eastern Africa’s heritage, cultures, languages and identities should be scrutinised to establish their vitality and how they can be harnessed to a key component for developing this region and its people.

 

The East African states – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda – have a long history going back to the pre-colonial days. This programme however incorporates other Eastern African countries: Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and Somalia. This is in recognition that many communities in this region share common ancestry before they dispersed, migrated and settled in their present localities. These communities were colonised by various colonial powers who imagined administrative-political boundaries which, in many cases, divided communities by placing some members in one geopolitical entity and others in another. When these countries attained independence, the boundaries that divided their people were inherited intact and have not been reviewed ever since.

 

The emergence of the old East African Community in 1967 was widely celebrated as a step towards the unification of communities across imagined boundaries. However, the experiment collapsed due to political rivalries between Eastern African leaders of the time. Recently, the current leaders in the region have embarked on an ambitious process to unite all the six countries and possibly absorb more members such as the new state of Southern Sudan. These initiatives are largely driven by the desire for larger markets for capital, goods and services.

The conference will also celebrate the cultural and linguistic presence of the Asian community in Eastern Africa. Asians arrived in Eastern Africa during the construction of the Kenya – Uganda railway between 1890 and 1905 courtesy of the British imperial designs. The Asian community has a vibrant cultural presence in the region largely centred around their temples and mosques as well as in their increasingly exclusive residential areas. For this reason, they are widely seen as unwilling to integrate with the African majority in the region. During the conference, participants will explore the hurdles to cultural integration, the Asian migrant myths, legends and orature, their perception of home and exile, their cultural and linguistic identity, their religion, and the emerging myths, songs and narratives.

THEMES AND TOPICS OF THE CONFERENCE

 

Participants will be invited to submit abstracts on the following broad themes and topics:

 

  1. Eastern Africa’s Cultural Revolution
  • Myths, legends and epics
  • Cultural/Ritual Performance
  • Rewriting tribal and national boundaries
  • Hip Hop, Popular Music and emerging genres
  • Creolisation, Sheng, and new linguistic identities
  • Cultural Community vs. Autonomic community
  1. Asians in Eastern Africa: (Un)translatable minority?
  • Hurdles to cultural integration
  • Step-Children of the British Empire
  • Migrant myths, legends and orature
  • Cultural (un)translatability
  • Concept of home and exile
  • Contested cultural and linguistic spaces, threatened identities,
  • Religions as gateways and barriers
  • The cultures of  the ‘Other’
  • Contemporary myths, narratives, songs, dances and drama
  1. Cultural aesthetics and the new media
  • Indigenous cultural aesthetics
  • Cultural minorities
  • Translocal cyberspace as an emerging and interlocking cultural space
  • Cultural mutations and amputations in cyberspace
  • Cultural adaptations in film, video, audio, and radio
  • The post-postcoloniality of cultural studies
  • (Inter)Nationalisation of cultures
  • Ethics and morality under reconstruction
  • The transformation of languages

NB:

The organizers will be happy to receive audio visual material, slides, photographs, calligraphy, handwritten and illustrated poetry, stories and samples of poetry, samples of calligraphy by, for, and, on indigenous communities, and other cultural groups, in order to set up a display and an exhibition, as a backdrop to the proposed gathering, to enlarge its archive, and, to further fortify and spread awareness about the indigenous and people’s knowledge systems and their modern transformations. These visual images will also be relevant in demonstrating the similarities of cultural ties.

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