The Association of Nigerian Authors has decided to dedicate the second edition of the ANA/AE-FUNAI Expanding Frontiers of Nigerian Literature International Conference and Creative Workshop to late writer and scholar, Prof Pius Adesanmi, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that occurred on Sunday.
ANA, in a statement made available to our correspondent, also said the conference, which is themed, Nigeria’s Literary Criticism in an Expanding Space of Creative Writing and Digital Production in the 21st Century and scheduled to hold between July 2 and 3, 2019 at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, would examine certain issues affecting literary production in Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “Nigerian literature is expanding in space, context and productivity, but this expansion is yet to benefit from a robust engagement from the critics in tandem with the experience of the 80s and 90s and commensurate with the tempo of the new movement and direction of our literature.
“From its beginnings in the pre-colonial era to its post-colonial contextualisation, the unique breadth of Nigerian literature is second to none in the global south nay the continental sphere. This has not only produced world acclaimed creative writings but also loads of star writers, international media attention, prizes and intellectual engagement locally and internationally.
“There have also been many transitions in the career and craft of the writer as writing spaces and methods have since changed to adopt new or emerging schemes, methods and platforms. With this new development, the critical appreciation of the current literature produced on and off line in Nigeria is yet to enjoy sustained engagement from the literary criticism corps of our literature beyond occasional weekend literary punditry in newspapers and other media; that is if we set apart the criticism done within the cloistered world of the academia.
“Why is it so? Where are the popular literary critics? Who is best qualified to criticise/analyse emerging Nigerian literature? What cannons and theories should inform criticism of contemporary Nigerian literature in a highly digitalised time such as now? Are the current reviewers or critics well equipped for the task of the current literary enterprise? What needs to be done to bring literary criticism back to the front burner of Nigerian literature?
“The 2nd ANA/AE-FUNAI International Conference and Creative Workshop seeks to explore answers to these questions and therefore calls for well researched papers reflecting the sub-themes: Nigerian literature in its current forms, Nigerian creative writing yesterday, today and tomorrow, literary criticism and the critics role in Nigerian literary enterprise, the canons and theories of Nigerian literary criticism, digital literature or literature in online platforms, blogs, online magazines, journals and literary criticism, the role of the conventional media in literary criticism, the role of publishing organisations and publishers in literature’s growth in Nigeria, the new spaces of publishing, literary production and distribution.”
The statement also said the creative workshop segment of the event would hold simultaneously within the period of the conference, adding that it would provide for professional and distinguished writers to engage younger writers in creative enterprises.