Students of African Languages and Literature present: Africa and the “Postcolonial Incredible”

Keynote Speaker: Professor Adeleke Adeeko (The Ohio state university)

Location: Pyle Vandeberg auditorium

Topic: “Postcolonial Incredible, or Omens of the Whole”

Time: 1:45 pm –3:00 pm.
This talk thinks through what arts and humanities scholarship conveniently characterizes as contradiction and, or, antimony; terms that fail to reflect the allure of conspicuous incongruities in daily lives in contemporary African societies. Let’s examine a list of the most egregious examples from quotidian life. Bouncing up and down across capital cities are exotic cars imported at prices that outstrip the cost of paving the duty patches on which they are driven. In a provincial newspaper is a news report of a Police-College-trained inspector locking up a goat accused of being a transformed petty thief. Prominently featured in a national newspaper is the story of an aged, tired, woman claimed to have been falling from the skies after breaking off from fellow witches returning from a grand conclave. Novels, films, lyrics in secular and religious musics offer even more fantastic examples of how expecting the unexpected rules social experience.

These are not magical accounts of ordinarily inexplicable events but a well-constructed, attention-holding, narratives that are also well-remembered. The logic of juxtaposition offers little that is satisfactory as explanation. This talk proposes an aesthetic analysis of these reports and attempts to account for the particular pleasure they offer. It will be shown that these stories express a rhythm that orders daily randomness.
Sponsored and funded by the Department of African Languages & Literature, The African Studies Program, and the Associated Students of Madison.