Re-membering Identity in African Literature (SAMLA, November 9-11, 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Durkin/ Duquesne University
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Using Ngugi wa Thiong'o's idea of "re-membering," this panel addresses the act of (re)constructing identity in African Literature. Re-membering, as Ngugi argues, acts through indigenous languages as language is the source of cultural memory. Harnessing ideas from African - including the diaspora - literature, theatre, and/or cinema, papers can focus on the usage of language, as well as ritual, community, and any cultural marker as a re-membering act. Is it possible, as Ngugi claims, to completely re-member a cultural history or is history too powerful to overcome? Has European colonialism seeped into African culture to such an extent as to deny a return to a historical past? Papers may or may not address these questions, but papers should focus primarily on questions of identity construction.