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Group seeks papers, panel proposals on Soyinka, Fágúnwa and the Yoruba Artistic Heritage


Professor Tejumola Olaniyan. PHOTO: YouTube

The Fágúnwà Study Group (FSG) has called for papers and panel proposals for its forthcoming international conference holding in Akure, Ondo State, from August 7-10, 2019. Venue of the conference is International Culture and Events Centre (The Dome). The theme of its 2019 conference is Wọlé Ṣóyínká: Wọlé Ṣóyínká, D. O. Fágúnwà, and the Yorùbá Artistic Heritage.

According to Professor Tejumola Olaniyan, Convener, FSG 2019 Conference, “the group seeks papers that creatively examine both broad and specific intersections and elements of the theme. The broad spectrum of the work of Wọlé Ṣóyínká, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, is the primary focus of this edition of the conference, in celebration of his 85th birthday.”

Olaniyan said, “Ṣóyínká and Fágúnwà are two foremost figures in 20th century Nigerian and African literary history. The two writers work in different primary languages, but prominent features of their imaginations, sourced deep in the Yorùbá artistic heritage and then elsewhere, cross one another in many profoundly stimulating ways. Primary language or medium notwithstanding, both foregrounded for philosophical exploration what Fágúnwà offered as the imperatives of forward-tilting progress ìlọsíwájú and upward escalation ìdàgbàsókè as chief driving forces of life and the artistic-narrative contemplation of same. The most significant questors in Fágúnwà’s adventures are often charged with the task of obtaining from their journeys new templates for social living, new ways of being human, and ever novel ways of attaining the common good and coming to ever better approximations to it.”

He added, “Ṣóyínká remains the preeminent scholar, translator, and populariser of Fágúnwà’s works. This is not just in terms of Ṣóyínká’s pioneer status in the enterprise but also in how influential his interpretations of Fágúnwà have been on subsequent efforts. Together and in the context of the expansive cultural and literary traditions they draw from, their work allows us to critically juxtapose and interactively explore key elements of modern African sensibilities and consciousness: orality and literacy, community and the individual, tradition and innovation, secularity and religion, freedom and unfreedom, ethics and aesthetics, the modern nation-state and its fragments, culture and politics, and antiquity and modernity.”

Speakers are invited to present original research on any aspect of the work of Wole Soyinka, and/or in conjunction with that of Fagunwa and other writers. Suggested paper and panel templates include but are not limited to:
• Yorùbá Culture and Philosophy as Common Backcloth
• Soyinka and Nigerian & African Literature and the Arts
• Wole Soyinka and D. O. Fagunwa: Intersections
• Soyinka, Fagunwa, and Nigerian & African Literature and the Arts
• Soyinka and the State in Africa: Writers in/and Politics
• Monotheism, Polytheism, and Modernity
• The Play of Generations: Wasted & Fecund
• Translation: Culture, Language, Politics
• The Plays of Generations: Wasted & Fecund
• Modernism and the Emergence of African Literature
• Development (Idàgbàsókè), Progress (Ilọ́síwájú), and Ọ̀làjú (Modernisation)
• Novelty and the Open Future: Time, Timing, Timeliness, Belatedness
• Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Yorùbá and Nigerian
• Culture-Heroism and Militarism
• The Oral, the Written and the Performed
• Cultivating Metalanguage and Discourses: Literature, Performance, Philosophy, Sociology, Science, Engineering
• Soyinka, Fagunwa, and Nollywood
• Institutions: Culture, Religion, Politics, and the State
• Soyinka: The “Interventions” Series
• Fagunwa, Soyinka, and Yoruba Music and Visual Arts.

Paper and panel abstracts are due on May 21, 2019. Interested participants are strongly encouraged to send much earlier. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Panel abstracts should, in addition, include the full names and addresses of all panelists, and the titles and up to 120-word abstracts of each of their papers. Send to: Those whose papers are accepted will be notified by June 20, 2019 or before.

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