An International Symposium & Spoken Word Festival in honour of Kofi Anyidoho @ 70

Wisdom Agorde's picture
December 14, 2017 to December 16, 2017
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Literature, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

A conference call to celebrate the life and works of Prof Kofi Anyidoho on his 70th birthday.

Contact Info: 

Conference Call

An International Symposium & Spoken Word Festival in honour of Kofi Anyidoho @ 70

Theme: The Legacy of Kofi Anyidoho in African Literature & Culture

Venue: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Conference Date: December 14-16, 2017

Abstracts Deadline: September 1, 2017

Full Papers Due: November 1, 2017

Keynote Speakers: TBA

Conveners: Wisdom Agorde: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (

Prince Kwame Adika: University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana (

Kofi Anyidoho was born on July 25th, 1947 to Abla Adidi Anyidoho and Kpodo Yortuwor at Wheta, a small town close to the Keta Lagoon in the Volta Region of Ghana. Following his basic and teacher education, he turned to a life-long career in education which offered him the opportunity to teach at every level, from first grade through middle, secondary, teacher training, to university teaching, research and administration. In his multiple roles as educator, research-scholar, artist, and cultural activist, he has been guided by a determination to contribute to the creation of a better world for his homeland, for African people worldwide and for a healthier relationship between Africans and the rest of the world.

            Kofi Anyidoho comes from a family tradition of oral poets among the Ewe in Ghana. He is Professor of Literature & Director, CODESRIA African Humanities Institute Programme; was 1st Occupant of the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies; Ag. Director, School of Performing Arts & Head, English Department, all at the University of Ghana. He is well-known for his unique style of performance poetry and CD recordings of his poetry in English and Ewe. He has lectured & performed his poetry globally, published several books of poetry, journal articles, book chapters & edited major books on African literature and the humanities. He is a past President of the US-based African Literature Association, a Fellow and current Vice President (Arts) of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

            On July 25th, 2017, Professor Kofi Anyidoho will be 70 years young. To mark this important milestone on life's road for this son of Africa, the Anyidoho family worldwide and the global Pan-African intellectual community invite you to a three-day international symposium and cultural festival to be organised in his honour.

            One of the core activities of the festival is an international symposium. The conveners invite abstracts for papers to be presented at the symposium on various aspects of Anyidoho’s works and achievements, and on his role in promoting Ghanaian/African history and culture. Selected papers from the conference will be published in a book to be titled Essays in Honour of Kofi Anyidoho @ 70. The book will be published by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited in 2018. Those who cannot attend the conference are encouraged to send their papers to be considered for publication.

            We would be honoured to include a chapter from you reflecting your perspective on Anyidoho’s legacy and any accounts of personal interactions with him. The symposium and the book of essays that will be based on it are to celebrate this scholar, poet, friend, and teacher. The symposium conveners solicit essays on Anyidoho’s poetry, poetry dramatisations and scholarly writings. A number of essays may be devoted to the role that Kofi Anyidoho has played in promoting African literature and his role on the national stage to give prominence to Ghanaian/African traditional and contemporary culture. The broad theme of this three-day festival will remain focused on Kofi Anyidoho’s legacy. Sub-themes being proposed for possible papers and reflections are centred on Anyidoho’s life, poetry collections, and the many other dimensions of career. Panels will be organised on the following topics:

  • Kingdom of Childhood: The Early Works and Concerns of Kofi Anyidoho
  • The Pan-African Ideal in Kofi Anyidoho’s Poetry and Scholarship.
  • The Poet as Teacher/The Teacher as Poet
  • Kofi Anyidoho as Mentor and Pathfinder
  • Teaching Kofi Anyidoho’s Poetry: Approaches and Challenges
  • Amongst his Contemporaries: Intertextuality in Anyidoho’s Works
  • From Page to Stage to Screen: Spoken Word Aesthetics in Anyidoho’s Work
  • Technology as a Platform for African Arts & Culture: Anyidoho’s Example
  • Conceptualizations of ‘Global Africa’ in Anyidoho’s Poetry
  • Kofi Anyidoho as a Pan-Africanist Intellectual
  • Kofi Anyidoho as an Organic/Public ScholarArtist
  • Kofi Anyidoho as an Administrator & Cultural Activist
  • Imagining the Post-Colonial Nation-State in Kofi Anyidoho’s Work
  • Tradition and the Individual Talent: Extensions of Traditional Oral Art in Anyidoho’s Work
  • Kofi Anyidoho’s African Language Poetry
  • Historical Memory and Transformative Vision in Kofi Anyidoho’s Work
  • Dialogue Between the African Diaspora and Homeland in Anyidoho’s Work
  • Exilic Consciousness and the Creative Impulse in Anyidoho’s Work
  • Blues & Jazz Aesthetic in Anyidoho’s Work
  • Other Relevant Sub-themes

            Titles and Abstracts should reach the conveners, Wisdom Agorde ( and Prince Kwame Adika ( on by September 1, 2017. Full papers must get to the conveners by November 1, 2017. We will send reminders prior to these dates but if the deadline poses any problems, we would be most grateful if you could please let us know. Abstracts and full papers should be sent to Wisdom Agorde and Prince Kwame Adika. Submissions will be peer-reviewed and any comments for revision will be submitted to the authors. As we plan to publish accepted papers soon after the conference, these deadlines are firm. In addition to your contribution, we would appreciate a maximum of a 200-word bio-sketch of yourself.

NB: For the purposes of planning, the conveners will appreciate a quick email from you indicating your interest in attending the conference and/or sending a paper.

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