This one-day workshop will explore the interaction between cultural creativity and politics in Africa. Through discussions of novels, poetry and other cultural expressions, it will explore the relationship between the state, political movements and people engaged in cultural projects. York-based Malawian author Jack Mapanje will read extracts from his prison memoir And Crocodiles Are Hungry at Night, along with new poems.
An award-winning poet, linguist, editor and human rights activist, Jack Mapanje was arrested by the Malawi authorities in 1987 and released in 1991, following an international campaign. He has since published four poetry books and three anthologies and edited the acclaimed Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing.
Culture and politics in repressive states
Allison Drew (York, Politics), Welcome & introducing Jack Mapanje
Jack Mapanje, Readings, Questions & answers
Michael Chasukwa (Leeds, POLIS), ‘Cultural Groups, Ethnicity and Contemporary Malawi Politics: What is beyond the Dominant Narratives?’
Claire Westall (York, English), ‘Teaching Prison Writing’
South African exceptionalism?
David Attwell (York, English), ‘J.M. Coetzee and African Studies: 1968 to 1986′
Thando Njovane (York, English), ‘Black Bodies in Contemporary South African Fiction and the Disruption of the Reconciliation Narrative’
Margie Orford (Writer in Residence, York, English), ‘Crime, Violence and Democracy in post-1994 South Africa’
Arthur Rose (Leeds, LUCAS), ‘Radical Pedagogy in #RhodesMustFall; or, how to go from holding your breath to “combat breathing”’
Patterns and variations across Africa
Alice Olsson (York, English & York PEN), ‘Political Agency and Freedom of Expression in Egyptian Revolution Literature (post-2011)’
Samuel Durrant (Leeds, English), ‘Life beyond Sovereignty: Chris Abani’s Song for Night’
Frances Hemsley (Leeds, English), ‘Non-mourning and Eco-critical Ethics in Véronique Tadjo’s The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda’
Allison Drew, Thanks and concluding remarks
With special thanks to the University of York International Relations Office and the Departments of English and Politics.