ASAUK 2014 - Representations of Elite Colonial Education in African Literature

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African Studies Association UK/ University of Sussex

Representations of elite colonial education in African literature
A symposium/panel of the Biennial Conference of the African Studies Association UK, to be celebrated at the University of Sussex, 9-11 September 2014.
Convenor: Dr. Terri Ochiagha (Sussex)
Representations of colonialism in African literature tend to focus on missionary and administrative intervention and have generated considerable critical attention through the years. However, the brand of colonial education proffered in elite government colleges and mission grammar schools, which has been critiqued and dramatized in the essays, memoirs, novels and school stories of such prominent African writers as Chinua Achebe ("The Education of a British-Protected Child", There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra); Wole Soyinka ( Ìsàrà: A Voyage Around "Essay", Ibadan: The Penkelemes Years, A Memoir, 1946-56), Ngugi wa Thiong'o (The River Between, Weep not Child, The Adventures of Njamba Nene, In the House of the Interpreter), Cheikh Hamidou Kane (Ambiguous Adventure), and others like Anezi Okoro (One Week One Trouble, Double Trouble) Chike Momah (The Shining Ones) Chukwuemeka Ike (The Bottled Leopard) and T.M. Aluko (The Story of my Life), have been routinely ignored by literary critics and historians of colonial education. The convenor invites papers related, but not limited to the following questions:
• Representations of colonial mimicry, psychocultural conflict, and the making of colonial and postcolonial subjectivities in educational settings.
• The African school story as a counter-hegemonic permutation of the English school story genre.
• Colonial education in African children's literature
• Humanistic education and political awakening in elite colonial secondary schools and their implications for postcolonial literary practice.
• Literary representations of colonial education as historical sources.

While the focus of the panel is on elite colonial education, the convenor also welcomes contributions on the depiction of other types of colonial educational institutions, such as village schools and teacher training colleges, in African literature.
Presentations will last around twenty minutes, followed by discussion. Please send informal queries and abstracts of no more than 250 words and a brief bio, including contact information to For further information, please visit The call for papers for this panel closes on 1 April 2014.