'In Ngugi's Spirit' with Keynote Speaker Angela Davis
The University of California, Irvine presents a celebration honoring the life and spirit of Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and one of Africa's literary treasures.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
University of California, Irvine
Crystal Cove Auditorium
5:30 – 7 PM -- Opening Ceremony
- UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake
- His Excellency Mr. Zachary Dominic Muburi-Muita, Ambassador, Kenya Mission to the UN
- Angela Davis
- Mukoma wa Ngugi
- Simon J. Ortiz
7 – 8 PM -- Reception and Book Signing
- Ngugi wa Thiong’o will sign copies of his latest work, Wizard of the Crow, and other works - hardcover copies of Wizard cost $30.
- Other participants will also sign copies of their works
8 – 9 PM -- Additional Remarks
- Professor Vicki Ruiz, Humanities Dean
- Sonia Sanchez
9 PM -- Chinese Music/African Dance: Translation as Performance
- Liu Sola and Koffi Koko
Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Outspoken, controversial, brilliant, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of Africa's literary treasures. In exile for more than twenty years, he has become one of the most widely read African writers of his time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words, nothing less than "to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of 2,000 years of world history."
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of Africa's most accomplished and prominent novelists. He was born in 1938 in an area known at the time as the "White Highlands," part of the British-ruled Kenya Colony. He was educated at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the University of Leeds. His experience of the Mau Mau War of Independence, which is the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya, is a major theme in his early works. Weep Not Child, The River Between, and A Grain of Wheat, depict the conflict of cultures and the role of Christianity, English education, and the increasingly oppressive treatment of the Kikuyu and other Africans, whose land had been taken by the colonists. Ngugi chooses to write in his native Kikuyu to help revitalize indigenous languages and his writings are critical of the corrupt politicians and ultimately led to his 1977 arrest, detention and eventual exile.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the director of the International Center for Writing and Translation and a distinguished professor of Comparative Literature and English at UC Irvine.
For more on Ngugi, see "Ngugi wa Thiong'o Shares His Art"
Wizard of the Crow
Commencing in “our times” and set in the “Free Republic of Aburlria,” the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, Wizard of the Crow reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.
- Gabriele Schwab, Chancellor's Professor of English and Comparative Literature
- David Theo Goldberg, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the UC Humanities Research Institute.
For additional information, contact Irena Richter, UC Humanities Research Institute, at email@example.com or 949-824-8900; or Kathy Lee, Department of Comparative Literature, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-824-9629.
The Crystal Cove Auditorium is located inside of the Student Center on the main campus of UC Irvine, Building no. 113 on this map - http://today.uci.edu/pdf/UCI_07_map_campus.pdf
For driving directions, please click www.uci.edu/campusmaps.shtml
Parking is available at the Student Center Parking Structure for $7 general, $10 reserved
UC parking permits might be allowed in general parking for free parking – check when parking
The parking structure is marked SCPS on the campus map -- www.uci.edu/campusmaps.shtml
Cost: Free and open to the public; parking is available for $7 general; $10 reserved.
The Crystal Cove Auditorium is located inside of the Student Center on the main campus of UC Irvine. For driving directions, parking info, etc., please click on www.uci.edu/campusmaps.shtml
For more information please contact
Sponsor(s): UC Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine, The Dean of Humanities, The Departments of Comparative Literature, English, African-American, East Asian Languages and Literatures, German, Spanish and Music, The Critical Theory Institute, The Critical Theory Emphasis, Chancellor Professor's Research Fund. Information about non-ASC events is posted for informational purposes and does not necessarily reflect opinions of or endorsements by African Studies personnel.