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Odia at 70 committee: Calls for papers


The Odia Ofeimun at 70 Committee has invited proposals and abstracts for a conference on the theme, Taking Nigeria Seriously: A Conference in Honour of Odia Ofeimun.

According to a statement from the conference’s convener, Prof. Wumi Raji, “as its theme suggests, the conference is being organised as part of the activities lined up by the committee to celebrate Odia Ofeimun who will be turning 70 on March 16, 2020.”

The statement said: “The conference takes as its focus, the entire gamut of Odia Ofeimun’s creative, critical, journalistic and intellectual writings.”


Papers and panel proposals are hereby invited on different aspects of Odia Ofeimun’s writings and/or activities. Suggested sub-themes include, but are not limited to, the following: Odia Ofeimun: Poet and Poetry, Odia Ofeimun’s Dance Drama Productions, Odia Ofeimun as a Theorist and Critic of Literature, Nigerian Poetry: Major Voices, Other Voices; Nigerian Writing: Major Voices, Other Voices; Odia Ofeimun on Culture and Politics, Odia Ofeimun as Private Secretary to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Politics and Political Developments in Nigeria since Independence, Nigeria: A House of Many Crises, Nigeria since 1999, Odia Ofeimun as a Public Intellectual, Odia Ofeimun in Politics, Hornbill House of Culture, Odia Ofeimun in Writers’ Organisations,

Nigeria/Africa’s Writers’ Organisations, Odia Ofeimun: The Journalism Years Landmarks in Nigeria Journalism, Odia Ofeimun as a Publisher

The statement said paper abstracts should be 250 words maximum. Panel proposals should contain full names and addresses of members as well as the title and a 150 word abstract of the presentation of each of them. Submissions should be sent to Deadline is January 15, 2020.

The keynote speaker at the conference is Biodun Jeyifo, retired Professor of Comparative Literature and African and African American Studies, Harvard University, USA.

Odia Ofeimun is a foremost Nigerian poet, journalist, dance-drama producer, critic, columnist, and public intellectual. For more than four decades now, he has exerted a phenomenal presence in the Nigerian cultural, creative, intellectual and political space. He served as Private Secretary to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Nigerian nationalist and politician between 1978 and 1981, was a member of the editorial board of The Guardian from 1983 to 1988, Chairman of the Editorial Board of The News, Tempo and AM News from 1993 to 1999, and President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) from 1993 to 1997.

His Hornbill House of Culture represents a platform, which he has continued to use to execute his multi-dimensional activities including writing, dance-drama production, book publishing, cultural promotion and politics, and political interventions. He has close to 4) published books to his name, and they include volumes of poetry, collections of critical essays, anthologies of cultural and political interventions, and compilations of journalistic writings. In 2010, Odia Ofeimun won the Fonlon Nichols award for excellence in writing and human rights activism.


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