Achebe Colloquium to explore Arab Spring

November 17, 2011  |  Media Contact: Deborah Baum |  401-863-2476
Chinua Achebe - The David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies
Chinua Achebe The David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies
Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University
The 2011 Brown University Achebe Colloquium on Africa will focus on several crucial issues that are impacting the continent and the world, including the Arab Spring, the ongoing crisis in Darfur, China’s presence in Africa, and the political crisis in Zimbabwe. The colloquium will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, 2011, at Brown University and available live online.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The 2011 Achebe Colloquium on Africa, convened by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and professor of Africana studies, will be held at Brown University on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, 2011, in the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. Sessions will be available online at brown.edu/web/livestream/

The Achebe Colloquium on Africa brings together an international group of scholars, officials from African governments, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and other organizations for two days of intense deliberation and exchange of ideas on the importance of strengthening democracy and peace on the African continent. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

This year’s colloquium will focus on several key issues that are defining political and economic developments in Africa and the world. The first day of the event will feature panel discussions on the Arab Spring, the challenges to democratization and nation-building in the horn of Africa, Darfur’s journey to sustainable peace, and obstacles facing Southern Sudan as the world's newest nation. On the second day of the colloquium, panelists will discuss China’s presence in Africa, the role of the United States and China in Africa, and the prospects for a stable democracy in the beleaguered country of Zimbabwe. The event will conclude with a session exploring the power of literature, featuring renowned poets and spoken word performance artists from the United States, Canada, Italy, and South Africa.

Distinguished keynote speakers for the 2011 Achebe Colloquium on Africa include Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former secretary general of the Commonwealth; Ali Suleiman Aujali, Libyan ambassador to the United States; and John Schram, former Canadian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Sudan.

This will be Brown’s third annual Achebe Colloquium on Africa. The 2010 colloquium focused attention on three African nations — Rwanda, Congo, and Nigeria — and the crucial issues impacting the countries, the continent, and the world. The inaugural 2009 colloquium addressed the problems and prospects of the 2010 Nigerian elections.

This year's colloquium schedule and other details are available live online at www.brown.edu/conference/achebe-colloquium/.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.