60th Anniversary of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Kicks off Today

60th Anniversary of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Kicks off Today

Thursday, February 8, 2018 1:18 pm


Chinua Achebe, 60 years of Things Fall Apart

Okediran at the press conference

The much expected 60th anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart, kicked off today at TheNEWS corporate headquarters in Lagos with a press conference, addressed by the writer and physician, Wale Okediran. The theme of the event is: Things Fall Apart: 60 Years On.” The events will span February through December 2018.

The anniversary committee is chaired by Okediran. Other members are: Mr Chinyere Obi Obasi, Isaac Ogezi, Akintayo Abodunrin, Ikeogwu Okey and ANA President, Denja Abdullahi.

The last celebration was 10 years ago when the novel clocked 50. That time, the author, Achebe, was still alive on this side of eternity. Just like lovers of Literature still celebrate William Shakespeare, Achebe, the legend, is also honoured. The book in question has sold over 20 million copies and it has been translated into over 50 languages.

According to Okediran, the anniversary is being put together by the Christie and Chinua Achebe Foundation, Association of Nigerian Authors. That is the Nigerian leg. It will also take place in nine other countries: South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Togo, Liberia and Cameroon. The plan, as Okediran revealed is for these countries to choose dates convenient for them.

The Nigerian leg of it will hold in five cities:
•Lagos, 10 July
• Ibadan, 17 July
•Abuja, 24 July (at the University of Abuja). Then there is another which will hold at the Nigerian Television Authority arena on 28 July
• Sokoto, 2 August
•Nsukka, 11 August for the grand finale.

At each centre, there will be:

A. Symposium with 12 sub themes generally:

1. Conflict Generation and Resolution in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
2. African Literature after Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
3. The Achebe Spirit in the Emergence of Modern African Literature
4. Managing Changes and Transitions in a Pluralized Society: Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in Reference.
5. Africa at the Crossroads of Development and Good Governance: What Has Literature Got To Do With It?
6.Traditionalism versus modernism in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
7.Sexualities and subjectivities: Women in Achebe’s Novels
8. Imagining a New Africa: The Rhetoric of Transformation in Literature and Oratory
9. The Dialectics and Symbolism of Things Fall Apart
10. Prophesy and Poetry in the works of Chinua Achebe
11. Culture, Nationalism and the African Writer

12. Literary Influences, Impacts and Imitations across Generations

Deadline for full paper submission is 30 May by participants.

Time table for the Nigerian celeberation

B. Keynote speakers will make presentations

C. Literary competition for secondary school students. There will be 500 free copies (50 copies per centre) of the novel for them.
Moreover, there will be presentation of adaptation of the novel in drama form by universities from each centre.

D. Dinner which Okediran said would be an avenue for the interaction of town and gown.

Below is Dr. Wale Okediran’s presentation:

60 YEARS OF THINGS FALL APART; AN AFRICAN CELEBRATION

INTRODUCTION:

The year 2018 marks the Diamond anniversary of the publication of the 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

The story’s main theme concerns pre- and post-colonial life in late nineteenth century Nigeria. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It was first published in 1958 by William Heinemann Ltd in the UK; in 1962, it was also the first work published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series. The title of the novel comes from a line in W. B. Yeats’ poem ”The Second Coming”.

The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo, and the second and third sections introducing the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community.

Things Fall Apart was followed by a sequel, No Longer at Ease (1960), originally written as the second part of a larger work along with Arrow of God (1964). Achebe states that his two later novels A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), while not featuring Okonkwo’s descendants, are spiritual successors to the previous novels in chronicling African history.

In view of the global acceptance of the book and its author, it becomes very imperative to celebrate the golden anniversary of the publication of this very important novel with a Colloquium and other Literary activities in Nigeria and 10 other African countries.

SCOPE

The colloquium is proposed to be a 5 City Transnational Event in Nigeria and ten other countries with a number of activities ranging from Symposia to a Children’s Carnival, Writing Competition, Stage Presentations of ‘Things Fall Apart’ as well as a Grand Finale with a Night Of Tributes.

In Nigeria, the above named activities will be situated in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Sokoto with the Grand Finale at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka while the appropriate centres in the other ten Countries will be confirmed later.

Apart from foreign writers and scholars, notable African based writers and scholars will also be invited to present papers and talks.

TFA@60; Banner For Press Conference (1)

ADMNISTRATION.

A 5- man Africa Organizing Committee to be headed by Dr Wale Okediran, former National President, Association Of Nigerian Authors will oversee the organisation of the event in Nigeria and 10 other African countries while Local Organising Committees in the 5 Centres in Nigeria and other African countries will also be appointed.

LITERARY COMPETITION

A Literary competition among secondary school students in the five centres will be organised. The Competition will be organised with the provision of copies of ‘Things Fall Apart’ for the students to read for one month before the day of the Literary Competition. The competition will involve a quiz, reading comprehension and one act dramatic enactment of any part of the book by participating schools.

VENUES AND DATES

In Nigeria, the colloquium has been slated from February to August 2018 while other African countries will fix their own celebration between January and December 2018.

In Nigeria, collaborations will be done with the Association of Nigerian Authors at the National Level and through its Local Branches where the events are billed to hold as well as tertiary Institutions such as University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Abuja, Othma Dan Fodio University, Sokoto as well as the University Of Nigeria, Nsukka. The Nigerian Television Authority will also be brought on stage for support in the area of publicity and the use of the NTA Arena in Abuja.

The tentative venues and dates for the Nigerian celebration are as follows;

1. Lagos; Tuesday July 10 2018; Symposium, Literary Competition and Stage Play of TFA
2. Ibadan; Tuesday July 17 2018; Symposium, Literary Competition and Stage Play of TFA
3. Abuja (University); Tuesday July 24 2018; Symposium, Literary Competition and Stage Play of TFA
4. Abuja; (City); Saturday July 28 2018; Children’s Carnival and Stage Play by Secondary School Students.
5. Sokoto; Thursday August 2 2018; Symposium, Literary Competition and Stage Play of TFA
6. Nsukka; Saturday August 11 2018; Symposium, Literary Competition and Night of Tributes/Dinner
7. Other African Countries; Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania and Cameroon will also have their activities between February and December 2018.

The HOD English Department of each University will chair the LOC at each venue. The Chairman Africa Organizing Committee and his team will work with the LOC Chairmen for the success of the events in their respective countries.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

5 Keynote Speakers (1 per centre) will be expected. We hope to have a mix of Foreign Scholars (3) and Local Scholars (2) for this. As usual, the suggestion of the Chinua Achebe Foundation will be appreciated to make this possible.

THE CHRISTIE AND CHINUA ACHEBE FOUNDATION
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
THINGS FALL APART; 60 YEARS ON

INTRODUCTION:
The year 2018 marks the Diamond anniversary of the publication of the 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. As a consequence of the global acceptance of the book and its author, it becomes very imperative to celebrate the diamond anniversary of the publication of this very important novel with a Colloquium and other Literary activities in Nigeria and 9 other African countries.
In so doing, the Conference will also be celebrating the works of one of Africa’s most outstanding Writers as well as the achievements, friendships, partnerships and challenges of African Literature this past 60 years. The conference will be a platform for students, writers, scholars, literary critics and other interested parties to engage, rethink and propose possible new directions for African Literature after 60 years of Things Fall Apart.

In view of the above, The Christie and Chinua Achebe Foundation invites abstracts for 15 – 20 minute presentations during the International Conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic book. The conference will hold at five different centers in Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Sokoto, and Nsukka as well in 9 other African countries; South Africa, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Togo between February and December 2018.

In view of the above, we invite you to submit abstracts, not exceeding 200 words, on any of the sub-themes below:

1. Conflict Generation and Resolution in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
2. African Literature after Achebe’s Things Fall Apart  
3. The Achebe Spirit in the Emergence of Modern African Literature
4.  Managing Changes and Transitions in a Pluralized Society: Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in Reference.
5.  Africa at the Crossroads of Development and Good Governance: What Has Literature Got To Do With It?
6.Traditionalism versus modernism in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
7.Sexualities and subjectivities: Women in  Achebe’s Novels
8. Imagining a New Africa: The Rhetoric of Transformation in Literature and Oratory
9. The Dialectics and Symbolism of Things Fall Apart
10. Prophesy and Poetry in the works of Chinua Achebe
11. Culture, Nationalism and the African Writer

12. Literary Influences, Impacts and Imitations across Generations

Would be presenters would be allowed to go out of the proposed sub-themes as long as their presentations conform to the broad theme and the idea behind the celebration of African Literature. At the end, the papers presented will be further edited and published into a book that will fossilize the gains of the celebration of  the book’s contribution to the contemporary discourse on African Literature, 60 after Things Fall Apart.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically to: ThingsFallApart60@yahoo.com and copied to waleokediran@yahoo.co.uk

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15th March 2018
Notification for abstracts acceptance; 30th March 2018
Full paper submission deadline: 30th May 2018
Dr Wale Okediran; Chairman Organizing Committee (+234 8035765553)
Dr Chidi Achebe; Director, Christie and Chinua Achebe Foundation

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