"In Nigeria, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun has helped inspire new, cross-generational communication about the Biafran war. In this and in her other works, she seeks to instill dignity into the finest details of each character, whether poor, middle class or rich, exposing along the way the deep scars of colonialism in the African landscape.Adichie's newest book, The Thing Around Your Neck, is a brilliant collection of stories about Nigerians struggling to cope with a corrupted context in their home country, and about the Nigerian immigrant experience.Adichie builds on the literary tradition of Igbo literary giant Chinua Achebe and when she found out that Achebe liked Half of a Yellow Sun, she says she cried for a whole day. What he said about her rings true: "We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers."
Dr. Claire Penn is a speech-language pathologist who has worked for many years in the field of Aphasia. She graduated in South Africa, but has worked and traveled in a number of countries. She is currently serving at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Penn is a founding member of the Stroke Aid Society in South Africa and is co-editor of the book Stroke: Caring and Coping. She has been published in numerous publications dealing with Aphasia and serves on the editorial board of Aphasiology. Dr. Penn has focused her research on enhancing the communication skills of people who suffer from Aphasia. She has a special interest for personal narratives of people surviving with Aphasia on a day-by-day basis. She has recently won a Presidential award in South Africa for her work and was a category winner in Woman of the Year award in 2008. Her current research includes training of health professionals in improving communication skills with patients in a cross-cultural setting.
Dr Steven Radelet, Distinguished Professor of Practive of Development at Georgetown University and former Chief Economist of USAID will be speaking on campus at an Africa Initiative and CAAAR co-sponsored event. Radelet, author of Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries are Leading the Way, will be discussing this, his latest book, among other topics of international development.
Serah Shani is presently at Yale University, Council on African Studies Her areas of academic and research interest are: Globalization, Migration, Transnationalism, Political Anthropology, Africa and The African Diaspora, Anthropology, Applied Anthropology, Anthropology and Education, Race and Ethnicity studies, and Ethnographic Research
Geographic Focus:Sub-Saharan Africa, the African Diaspora and the United states
Languages: English, Swahili, Maasai, Kikuyu and Kisii
A former youth leader and community worker, Dr. James has extensive experience with critical ethnography, phenomenology, action research and government and institutional policy analysis. Dr. James is widely recognized for his work in ethnically and racially diverse communities and for his role, nationally and internationally, in research around equity and identity as related to race, class, gender, racialization, immigration and citizenship.
Lucumí music encompasses an extraordinarily rich and diverse complex of musical traditions from the Afro-Cuban religion known variously as Lucumí, Regla de Ocha, Orisha, or (sometimes pejoratively) Santería. The conference will include: scholarly panels and roundtable discussions; song, drumming and dance workshops; and multimedia lecture-demonstrations.