Join us Feb 17-19: African Philosophies of Language Virtual Conference


To register and join the webinar conference, click HERE

Why do African languages matter to philosophy, and to the human and social sciences, more generally?  In pursuing this question apropos specific African languages, we invite explorations of indigenous ideas about discourse, grammar, meaning, agency, invocation, incantation and language use.  From multiple disciplinary perspectives including linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, art history, literature, religious studies, cultural studies and education, our conference addresses explicit ideas about speech and illocutionary force often associated with ritual power and secrecy in Africa.  We will also engage implicit notions of time, number, place, person, gender, thinghood, narrative, and poetic/pragmatic function embedded in grammars broadly construed.

Motivating our collective effort are the linked convictions that African philosophies of language are rich intellectual and cultural resources from which we have much to learn; that they have been systematically marginalized and overlooked by the western academy; and that meaningful inquiry into their reflexive frameworks requires a renewed commitment to the pedagogy of African languages.

 

ORGANIZERS & CO-SPONSORS

This conference is organized by Dr. Andrew Apter and Dr. Harold Torrence and cosponsored by the UCLA Departments of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Philosophy. 

Andrew Apter is a Professor in the Departments of History and Anthropology and Director of the African Studies Center at UCLA. Harold Torrence is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at UCLA.

Keynote Addresses:

  • Olufemi Taiwo, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University

"What Does Philosophy of Language Have to Offer Africa?"

February 17

 

  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor, Departments of French & Philosophy; Director, Institute of African Studies, Columbia University

“Philosophy and African languages”

February 19

 

SCHEDULE

LISTED IN U.S. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME 

Wednesday

February 17

   
1pm-1:20pm    Welcome and Opening Remarks 
1:25pm-1:40pm    Talking Drums Welcome
2pm-3pm      Opening Keynote: Olufemi Taiwo, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University
3pm-4:30/5pm    Panel 1: Speech Acts and Textuality

Thursday

February 18

   
9am-11am    Panel 2: Afrocentric Epistemologies 
11am-12:30pm    Panel 3:  Proverbial Logics 
2pm-3:30pm    Panel 4: Creole Genealogies 

Friday 

February 19 

  
9am-10:30am    Panel 5: Language Ideologies in Practice
11am-12:30pm    Panel 6: Politics of Speech Acts in Body and Spirit 
2pm-3:30pm    Panel 7: African Languages and National  Development
4pm-5pm     Closing Keynote: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor, Departments of French and Philosophy,
     and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University
5pm-5:15pm    Closing Remarks

 

 

VIEW PARTICIPANT BIOS HERE

 

PANELS & PARTICIPANTS 

LISTED IN U.S. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

Panel # Panel Title  Time (PDT) Panelists  Paper Title 
Panel 1  Moved to Panel  7 - see below W 3-4:30/5pm Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́  Lẹ́yìn Kété Níbi Ń Ṣẹlẹ̀: Disaster, Event, and Ideophone
Panel 1  Speech Acts & Textuality   W 3-4:30/5pm Laura McPherson & Lucas James (In)comprehensibility of Musical Surrogate Speech: An Interplay of Form and Function
Panel 2 Afrocentric Epistemologies  TH  9-11am Mikael Janvid  Testimony in African Epistemology Revisited
Panel 2  Afrocentric Epistemologies TH  9-11am Alena Rettová "The true world is not visible to all eyes": World-writing in Ngayibata Bulayumi's Lingala novel Mosuni 
Panel 2 Afrocentric Epistemologies TH 9-11am Jonathan Egid  Four Conceptions of the Origin of Philosophy in Ge’ez
Panel 3  Proverbial Logics TH 11am-12:30pm Sunday Layi  Rethinking Yoruba Proverbs beyond Aristotlean’s Laws of Thought 
Panel 3  Proverbial Logics TH 11am-12:30pm Deogratias Ngonyani  Riddling in Swahili and the Acquisition of Metaphors by Children
Panel 4 Creole Genealogies  TH 2-3:30pm Tristan M Samuels  Afrika Deh Pon De Translation: Afrocentric Translation with the Jamaican Language
Panel 4 Creole Genealogies  TH 2-3:30pm Charlene Wilkinson & Jeremy Peretz “The Black Creoles never can relish the language of their ancestors”: Linguistic Discrimination and “Decolonizing the Tongue” in Guyanese Ritual Performance
Panel 4 Creole Genealogies  TH 2-3:30pm Megan Eardley  Creole Metrology: The Matter of Measurement and the Language of Standards on Unstable Ground
Panel 5 Language Ideology in Practice  F 9-10:30am S. N. Nyeck Wordsmithing: The Bassa Cosmology and the Making of Queerness as Wholeness
Panel 5 Language Ideology in Practice  F 9-10:30am Nii Ayitey Komey  Expressions of Symbolical Beliefs in Ga Salutations 
Panel 5 Language Ideology in Practice  F 9-10:30am Bisoye Eleshin  Interrogating Effect of Demarcation in a Bi-dialectal Speech Community of Epe, Lagos
Panel 6 Politics of Speech Acts in Body & Spirit  F 11am-12:30pm Adelakun, Abimbola A  Violent Prayers: Doing Things with Curses in Nigerian Churches
Panel 6 Politics of Speech Acts in Body & Spirit  F 11am-12:30pm James Okolie-Osemene Incantations as Grammars of Witchcraft and Negative Peace: Case study of Spiritual Security Scenarios in Igbo Movies of Nollywood 
Panel 6 Politics of Speech Acts in Body & Spirit  F 11am-12:30pm L.J-V. Kouadio  Political Performances of Nouchi 
Panel 7 African Languages & National Development  F 2-3:30pm Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu Divided We Stand and Prosper: Indigenous Languages and the Growth of Intra-regional Trade in Africa
Panel 7 African Languages & National Development  F 2-3:30pm Jose Rombe  Some features of African Self-Inscription
 Panel 7 African Languages & National Development  F 2-3:30pm  Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́  Lẹ́yìn Kété Níbi Ń Ṣẹlẹ̀: Disaster, Event, and Ideophone
         
   
         
         
         
         
         
         
         


Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2021