Estella Esteban attended the African Literature Association Conference at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa from April 9-13, 2014. This conference will offer information and papers on the African writer Ama Ata Aidoo whose work is the subject of Estella’s thesis.
The following is a modified excerpt from her blog:
ALA at Wits - 11 April 2014 - Part I
April 13, 2014 at 2:34am
In the 4 years that I've been going to the African Literature Assn conferences, this was my most gratifying conference experience to date.
Ama Ata Aidoo's publisher, Ayebia Clarke, was present and promoted a tribute volume to Chinua Achebe that she launched last month.
The conference officially started on Wed 9 April, the day I arrived in Johannesburg. The following day, I attended a roundtable on "Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Weep Not Child at 50," which was chaired by the conference's keynote speaker, Simon Gikandi of Princeton University. Other panelists were Ngugi's publisher, one of his translators (Ngugi writes in Kikuyu), a "documentalist" currently putting together a documentary on Ngugi, and two individuals who delivered papers on different parts of Ngugi's history.
First panel on Friday, was on "Otherness and Representation II" (there were at least 3 of these). Kwaku Larbi Korang of Ohio State University presented "Ama Ata Aidoo's Literary Project: Retrieving Community and Identity." He discussed themes of community and identity in Aidoo's plays, Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa. Dr Korang also drew a parallel between Western classical heroic epics and Aidoo's novel, Our Sister Killjoy, which he views as an a Afro-feminist epic. He is the editor of the Research in African Literatures journal where I will be submitting a portion of my thesis for RAL's special issue on Aidoo.