ALA Members and Friends who passed: May 2019-May 2020

Posted on May 30, 2020

Pius Adesanmi Edward Kamau Brathwaite Jean Michael Dash Manu Dibango Sandile Dikeni Harry Garuba Chukwuemeka Ike Eldred Durosimi Jones Sarah Maldoror Paule Marshall Wanjiku Matenjwa Albert Memmi Toni Morrison Molara Ogundipe Tejumola Olaniyan Binyavanga Wainaina Ken Walibora Lifungo J. Vetinde

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Forging a New Path Together

Posted on May 30, 2020

2020 President's Incoming Address May 30, 2020   Dear Colleagues, It is a great honor to take the mantle of ALA Presidency. I thank everyone who participated and worked to make the 2020-2021 ALA annual elections timely and successful. I am humbled by the messages of solidarity and camaraderie many of you have sent my way, and the faith and trust that all of you have placed in me to represent the association. Thank you. I also would like to extend special thanks to my immediate predecessor, Ann Beth Willey. She led the organization with skill and patience, especially during the early destabilizing months of the coronavirus pandemic. I would like as well to commend the entire ALA Executive Council for their unfaltering spirit and commitment to ALA’s mission; the Awards Sub-Committee members for their important work in reviewing the submissions and nominations; and the newly-elected Executive Council members for stepping up to serve the organization as leaders during this difficult time. Allow me also to recognize Carli Coetzee’s major efforts to help safeguard JALA’s continuity as a peer-reviewed publication with Routledge and Taylor & Francis imprints, and Moradewun Adejunmobi’s crucial sharing of her expertise with the ALA leadership at critical times. In particular, Moradewun generously stepped in to take up the position of editor- in-chief of JALA, after the sudden passing of Professor Teju Olaniyan. As our community reflects on Teju’s life and work, it is important to carry on his legacy of scholarship, friendship, and selflessness. Teju was undoubtedly one of the best African minds of his generation. The ALA and wider scholarly community will be challenged to overcome the void left by the absence of such a revered intellectual. Representing ALA and its resilient, dynamic, and talented body of members is both a privilege and a challenge. I am acutely aware of the added significance of leading our amazing organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, with its attendant anxiety and uncertainty for our individual lives and our communities. We are living in guarded co-existence with global devastation and insecurity. During this crisis, we’re all called upon to work harder together, with more resolve and drive than ever before. We must forge a new path for the ALA by developing ideas and practical measures that safeguard our organization through this difficult transition. These measures, however, will only be effective through collaboration across our diverse membership. Our work must focus on the pressing current challenges of seeing our association through the global pandemic, while maintaining and renewing the continuity and vitality of the organization as we move into the post-COVID-19 era. To that effect, I would like to outline a few ideas and measures to start and guide our...

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Carole Boyce Davies Named Chair at Cornell

Posted on May 29, 2020

ALA Member, Prof. Carole Boyce Davies, of Africana Studies and English at Cornell, Past-President of ALA, has been named to the Frank H.T. Rhodes Chair of Humane Letters.Rhodes was president of Cornell, 1977-95."During his tenure as president, the percentage of minority students grew from 8 percent in 1977 to 28 percent in 1994. The number of women and minority members of the faculty more than doubled. In the final years of his presidency a capital campaign raised $1.5 billion. In 1995 the building that houses what was then known as the Cornell Theory Center was named Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall. Cornell also has a professorship honoring Rhodes; Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 University Professors are appointed to three-year terms. In 2010, the University also created new postgraduate student fellowships named after Rhodes to support students committed to the field of public interest law, and enable them to gain in-depth experience in work on behalf of the poor, the elderly, the homeless, and those deprived of civil...

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2020 Award Nominations

Posted on Sep 5, 2019

The African Literature Association is now accepting nominations for awards that will be presented in the next ALA conference in Washington DC from May 27th – June 1st, 2020. The deadline for all nominations has been extended to November 1st, 2019. All current and individual paid members of the ALA are therefore invited to make nominations for the different awards. Members are also urged to help their colleagues and students to earn the recognition they richly deserve. To submit your nominations, please send the items listed under each of the awards as an attachment to the specific emails listed. The guidelines for submission and the required documents for each of the awards are listed below: Fonlon-Nichols AwardThis award is presented for excellence in creative writing and contributions to the struggle for human rights and freedom of expression. To nominate send the following documents by email to the ALA vice president at negashg@ohio.edu The nomination statement for this particular award should contain:  A biographical profile of the nominee. A detailed justification for the nomination. This should not be more than 2 single-spaced or 4 double-spaced pages. ALA Distinguished Member AwardThis award is given for outstanding record of service to the ALA and commitment to teaching and scholarship in African Literature. To nominate send the following documents to the ALA vice president by email at negashg@ohio.edu A biographical profile of the nominee. A detailed justification for the nomination. This should not be more than a single spaced or 4 double-spaced pages. Graduate Student Best Essay Award This award is awarded for an outstanding paper in African Literary studies by a graduate student. Remember that authors must be current members of ALA and the paper must have been presented at the preceding ALA conference (i.e. 2019). (The expectation is that authors have had the benefit of comments at the conference and have revised the paper). To nominate send the following documents by email to the ALA vice president at negashg@ohio.edu The paper and an abstract, in a Word document, with no name or any other identifying mark anywhere. A pdf of the 2019 ALA conference program page showing the panel in which the paper was presented. CV and bio. Abioseh Porter Best Article Award  This award is given for an outstanding article in African literary studies published in major peer-reviewed journal in the preceding calendar year (2018). Authors must be current members of the ALA. Authors or their publishers can make nominations. To nominate send a pdf copy to: negashg@ohio.edu Best Short Story AwardThis award is given for an outstanding African short story published in the preceding calendar year (2018) by an African writer. Authors or their publishers can make nominations. Authors must be...

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2020 Elections

Posted on May 21, 2019

Nominations are hereby invited for the following positions to be filled by the next ALA conference in spring 2020: (i) Vice President (ii) Executive Councilors (3 vacancies) The instructions for submitting nominations are contained in Appendix I (amended in June 2015) of the ALA Bylaws: “ALA members are reminded of their constitutional right to nominate from the membership at large. Any two paid-up members of the organization can nominate another paid-up member for election to the EC by sending a jointly signed letter or electronic communication to the Vice President. The Vice-President will confirm the eligibility of the nominators’ members and the candidates for elections." Please send your nominations to the ALA Vice President, Ghirmai Negash (negashg@ohio.edu) by November 1,...

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2019 Award Nominations

Posted on May 21, 2019

The African Literature Association is currently accepting nominations for the following awards. The awards will be presented at the ALA Conference from May 27 - June 1, 2020 in Washington D.C. Fonlon-Nichols Award (Deadline: September 16, 2019) For excellence in creative writing and contributions to the struggle for human rights and freedom  of expression. It is given every year to an African writer. The Award was established in 1992 to honor Bernard Fonlon and Lee Nichols for their contributions to both African literature and the freedom of expression. Authors cannot nominate themselves, and neither can their publishers nominate them. Send nominations as email document attachments to: negashg@ohio.edu Please note: The nomination statement should contain: (1) a biographical profile of the nominee (2) a detailed justification for  the nomination. This should not be more than 2 single-spaced or 4 double-spaced pages ALA Distinguished Member Award (Deadline: September 16, 2019) For outstanding record of service to the ALA and commitment to teaching and scholarship in African literature. By nomination only. Nominees must have distinguished themselves over the years in service to the ALA, and commitment to teaching and scholarship in, and promotion of, African literature. Self-nominations are not accepted. Send nominations as email document attachments to: negashg@ohio.edu Please note: The nomination statement should contain: (1) a biographical profile of the nominee (2) a detailed justification for the nomination. This should not be more than 2 single spaced or 4 double-spaced pages. Graduate Student Best Essay Award (Deadline: September 16, 2019) For an outstanding paper in African literary studies by a graduate student. Authors must be current members of the ALA. The paper must have been presented at the preceding ALA conference (i.e. in 2018). (The expectation is that authors have had the benefit of comments at the conference and have revised the paper). Send by email to negashg@ohio.edu, the following: (1) the paper and an abstract, in Word document, with no name or any other identifying mark anywhere; (2) a pdf file of the 2017 ALA conference Program page showing the panel in which the paper was presented (3) CV and bio Book of the Year Award—Creative Writing (Deadline:  September 16, 2019) For an outstanding book of African literature, whether novel, non-fiction prose, play, or poetry collection, published in the preceding calendar year (2017) by an African writer. Authors must be current members of the ALA. Authors or their publishers can make nominations. Send an author bio, one-page book description, and 5 copies to: James McCorkle, Africana Studies Hobart and William Smith Colleges 300 Pulteney Street Geneva, NY 14456 mccorkle@hws.edu Book of the Year Award—Scholarship (Deadline:  September 16, 2019) For an outstanding book in African literary studies published in the preceding...

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